Our Staff

The best staff make the biggest difference in a child's life.

Jason Ataera


Kia orana Koe. Ko Kurahaupo te waka, ko Tapu ae o Uenuku te maunga, ko Wairau te awa, ko Rangitane te iwi, ko Ngati Mamoe te hapu, ko Omaka te marae.  Ko Takitumu te vaka, Ngatangiia te oire, Turangi te awa, Ataera te anau.  I am an Irish descendant of the Cahill family and of Scottish descent of the Skudder family.  My first principal position was in Rarotonga, and I am very thankful to lead our Tairangi School community who are welcoming, engaged and share their rich diversity, experiences and expertise.  I look forward to adding my expertise to that of our committed staff to make Tairangi an even richer school and community.  Read more here.

Viv Townsend

Junior School Teacher and BoT Representative

My name is Viv Townsend and I am a year 1/2 teacher here at Tairangi School. I have been on the Board of Trustees since 2014. I am married with two sons and we all work and study in NZ. I like to read and do outdoor activities like walking and fishing. I love going into Wellington for all the great things that go on there. I have a lifestyle block that keeps me very busy at weekends and during the holidays. I love my job and still find it incredibly rewarding after 20 years of teaching.

Linda George

Teacher Aide and English Language Learning Assistant

Kia orana everyone,
My name is Linda George.  I am Porirua born and raised and attended Tairangi School as a child, my daughter attended Tairangi School as well.  I am a teacher aide and love working with our awesome students.
Meitaki Maata

Mel Kiddle

Teacher Aide

Hi, I live in Pukerua Bay with my three children.
I work at Tairangi school as a teacher aide in room 12 and room 1.
My favourite thing about working at Tairangi is the smiles I receive everyday from our wonderful
students. Also seeing our students progress with their learning .

Jeanne Zandi

Classroom Teacher

I am the teacher of the wonderful children in Room 6, which is a Year 3, 4 and 5 class.

I started my teaching career in 2006 and have been working at Tairangi School since 2007.

Outside of teaching I love spending time with my family and friends as well as going for walks and listening to music.

Hannah Huria-Perry

Classroom Teacher

Kia ora koutou,
Ko Hannah Huria-Perry toku ingoa.
I am a year three teacher here at Tairangi school. I am a beginning teacher and am happy to have begun my career here. I grew up in a small town and shifted to the Greater Wellington Region in 2014 to study at Victoria University alongside my partner. Outside of school I enjoy visiting family, reading and exploring nature. I find teaching a very rewarding profession and am looking forward to developing further as a teacher at Tairangi school.

Olive Masina

Deputy Principal, Junior School Leader, Classroom Teacher
Talofa lava. I live in Lower Hutt with my family. As a Deputy Principal I have the privilege of working alongside a dedicated and committed team of professionals at Tairangi School.  I am currently Teaching NE & Year 1. Over the past 28 years, I have worked at Sacred Heart School in Petone and St Bernadette’s School in Naenae, Lower Hutt  before I started as an Assistant Principal at Tairangi School in Porirua  in 2007. I became the Deputy Principal  in 2011. I believe that education of our children is a three-way partnership between home, the child and the school.  It takes a village to raise a child as the proverb says.  I have found the role of Deputy Principal challenging and very rewarding; working closely with the Principal, staff and the community to ensure the day to day operation of the school runs smoothly and the learning programmes cater for the diverse needs of all our children. I run a weekly Samoan class to provide opportunities for Samoan children to develop their first language and strengthen their cultural identity.  You are most welcome to contact me if you want to find out more about our Junior Syndicate, school events, assemblies, language weeks and the Samoan class..   Fa’afetai tele.

Rona Mulligan

Senior School Team Leader and Teacher

Kia ora koutou,
I te taha o toku matua
Ko Horouta te waka
Ko Hikurangi te maunga
Ko Waiapu te awa
Ko Ngati Porou te Iwi
I te taha o toku whaea
Ko Tainui te waka
Ko Taupiri me Maungatautari oku maunga
Ko Waikato te awa
Ko Ngati Haua te iwi
Ko Sidney Mulligan raua ko Pani Mulligan oku Mātua.
Ko Rona Mulligan toku ingoa.
I was born and raised in our wonderful Porirua city. I love teaching at Tairangi school as its my way to give back to the community that supported me growing up.  I am enthusiastic and passionate about teaching and learning where students develop a sense of belonging and where they came from and lastly where they want to be in the future.
No reira tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa.

Tini Taia

Teacher Aide

Kia Orana,ite aroa maata o te Atua.

I am Vaitini Taia but I am known by Tini.  I was born in the deep South, in Bluff. I have lived in Aitutaki when I was younger and then moved to Invercargill, then Christchurch and finally wonderful Porirua.

I have one daughter who was a past student of Tairangi School.  I have worked as a Teacher Aide for 10 years now and I have to say I have loved every minute of it.  I enjoy working with a wide range of children of different ages and cultures.

Kia Manuia.

Junior Palauni

Junior is a parent of our school and our Caretaker.  Junior does all the jobs that most of shy away from, to make sure our school is well cared for and ready for our young people to learn every day.  Junior takes great pride in his work and it shows in how great our school looks. Junior also coaches our school Rugby League Team in his spare time as well.

Lynley Smith

Office Manager
Lynley is a wonderful member of our school team, who is here to help us all.  She makes sure the school continues to run smoothly each day and is the best person to speak to if you are not sure of anything about school.  You will see her friendly smile in the front office each morning. She tells me and I agree that our parents are great and make her job a lot easier. I know I would be lost without her!

Yvette Dermondy

Office Administrator and Librarian
It is often the quietest people who have some of the greatest impact and this is true for Yvette.  Her cheerful voice is the one you hear if your child is away, gently encouraging your child to come to school.  Her efforts have a huge impact on learning as we can’t do our job if children aren’t here and she has a huge part to play in supporting parents to have your kids here every day.  You may not know this, but she also runs our amazing library. This is the beating heart of our school Reading programme.

Lucho Arca

Classroom Teacher

Hola!  My name is Lucho Arca and I come from the land of the Incas, Peru in South America.  I’ve been just over 43 years in Aotearoa and the last 12 years teaching at Tairangi.

I’m married to my beautiful wife Mariela and have 3 children: Angela, Olivia and Lucho with 3 mokopuna from my daughters but unfortunately they live overseas.

My favourite subjects are: Maths and Spanish.  I also love teaching, reading action books, cooking and doing crossword puzzles.


Halayna Smith

Classroom Teacher

Miss Smith returned to New Zealand after an exciting trip around Europe and Africa.  Miss Smith is teaching in the middle school and sharing all of her wonderful experiences with her class.  She also has the best catering connections which staff and students have had the privilege of tasting!  Thank you Miss Smith.

Keriana Mulligan-Galola

Classroom Teacher: Release

Marina Paiti

Teacher Aide

Marina is one of our wonderful Teacher Aide team members.  Marina can usually be found in the junior school supporting some of our youngest learners who need a little extra support.  Marina always shows manaakitanga by checking to see other teacher aides have had a break during the day and helping our little ones around the school.  Thank you Marina.

John Green

Classroom Teacher

Kia ora, my name is John Green. I am married, have two children, a son and a daughter, and
three grandsons. My wife Donna is also a teacher.
I am privileged to be the teacher of our newest students as the new entrant teacher in
Room 7. I taught with Mrs Masina in Room 9 towards the end of 2017 and in Room 10 last
year prior to our move to Room 7 due to the classroom upgrade. In previous years I have
taught new entrants at West Park School and Pauatahanui School.
I am enjoying the opportunity to work with our newest students and their whanau as we
focus on developing their relationships, oral language, phonics, reading and maths and
generally in giving them the best start to their education that we can.
Nga mihi,