Introducing our new MENZA board members

Hayley Hunter

Hayley is a primary trained Music specialist teacher and has been teaching Music and Performing Arts over the past 25 years in a variety of Primary School and Early Childhood settings. She is a passionate advocate for Music and Performing Arts in the classroom and believes that Arts education should be available for all students and integrated holistically into the curriculum to optimise learning.

Music has always been an integral part of Hayley’s life and she was fortunate to grow up in a musical household where music-making was a natural part of daily life. She started learning the piano, cello and singing from an early age and has been actively involved in choirs and orchestras throughout her schooling. Hayley completed her Grade 8 Cello and Theory exams (ABRSM) at high school and completed her ATCL in Pianoforte Performance (Trinity College) while studying at university. Becoming a music teacher was a natural progression for Hayley, and so she went to Palmerston North Teachers College to complete her Diploma in Teaching (Primary) and then completed her Bachelor of Education (Music) at Massey University. Recently, Hayley has completed Level 3 in Orff-Schulwerk Certification and is in the process of completing her Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Music) through the University of Waikato. She has continued to be involved with community music ensembles and choirs throughout her life.

Hayley is currently teaching Performing Arts from Kindergarten through to Year 6 students at Kristin School in Albany, Auckland. Hayley enjoys teaching music and movement in the classroom context as part of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme at Kristin School. She also is actively involved in the co-curricular life of the school through conducting the Marimba Band, the Ukulele Ensemble and the Year 5-6 Choir, as well as accompanying other choirs within the Junior School.

Hayley has been an active committee member of ONZA (Orff New Zealand Aotearoa) since 2010 and has held the roles of Primary Workshops Co-Ordinator, Vice President and is now the current President. Hayley is a keen advocate of using the Orff Approach to music education in an inclusive and holistic way using speech, movement, singing and playing instruments as part of her teaching. Hayley has been active in helping ONZA become a national organisation over the past few years through facilitating Orff workshops and mentoring projects for teachers throughout the regions. By joining the MENZA board, Hayley hopes that this would further strengthen the relationship between ONZA and MENZA and enable future collaboration and joint projects to promote Arts education and teacher training opportunities throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

Christian McDonald (Ngāti Kahu, Te Paatu)

Christian is currently a co-opted member of the board and a tangata whenua representative within MENZA

Growing up in the Far North was adventurous to say the least. Memories of my younger days were full of  fishing, hunting, building huts in the native bush, finding swimming spots along the creek, picking pipi with nan and koro, trying to build go karts for a steep gravel driveway, cutting wood, making spears and underwater lights for floundering and so on. I enjoy the outdoors and look forward to engaging with our tamariki outside the classroom.  As for schooling I spent all my time at Kaitaia Abundant Life. The Abundant Life Youth group had a major influence on me as I was growing up, where my father was absent, other male role models took his place.

Family, outdoors activities and building up our young men and women in the community, providing academic and practical pathways will always be my end goal as our students transition from secondary school to life as an adult. I have worked 8 years in the Far North; 5 years teaching music at Whangaroa College and 2 Years teaching music at Taipa Area School – currently I am our creative leader of learning and Pastoral Dean. My main passion is around composition, electronic music and production, as well as my love for taonga puoro and its many faces. With many of my students winning multiple National Awards for their songwriting, performance and composition – I find joy in showing them what is possible. Including their whānau has been important in the process to me, we can not do what we do, without our whānau, school and community.  I am always looking for opportunities for our students here in the Far North and have always been a keen collaborator with other schools, whether it’s performance evenings, talent quests or marking assessments; it’s always a pleasure and I am always learning something new.

From Ngāti Kahu and Te Paatu myself, I acknowledge my tūpuna and those that have help guide me to where I am today. I carry my whānau on my back, and I represent them with all I am.

He waka eke noa tēnei, ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, he toa takitini. Our success is in the collective, we are in this together.

Charlotte Nicklin

Charlotte Nicklin

Charlotte is currently a co-opted member of the board and the Treasurer and also assists with maintaining MENZA’a social media platforms and website.

I am an enthusiastic music teacher who can bring a strength in co-curricular or project-based learning to the MENZA board, as well as a passion for equity and collaboration. As head of Performing Arts at Marist College, I can offer insight into ways the music curriculum can integrate across other performing arts subjects, including the unit standards in events and entertainment technology, and Achievement standards in dance and drama. My background as a musician includes choral, classical and contemporary singing primarily, and I have industry experience working in bands in Wellington and Auckland. I am passionate about inclusion and partnership in music education, and will work as an ally to groups who have not historically had a voice in music education. I am proactive in building relationships and have recently helped to re-form the Tāmaki makaurau MENZA board to offer more PLD and networking in the Auckland area.


Makaira Waugh (Te Ātiawa)

Makaira is currently a co-opted member of the board and a tangata whenua representative within MENZA

Makaira is a Māori arts specialist kaiako, artist and poet whose passion is empowering students’ creativity and hauora through the arts, especially music. Along with teaching in Kura Kaupapa Māori and Kōhanga Reo, this dedication has led him to run free wānanga for kaiako around the motu, and support them through networking hui and mentoring programmes. He led the first Māori immersion classes within Orff levels training courses in 2018, and in January 2020 spent his first overseas trip teaching music and movement as language revitalisation tools in far flung indigenous communities in México. Makaira is currently   a tangata whenua representative within MENZA, Makaira is keen to support other Māori to share their own gifts through arts education. While music is often the vehicle for his work, the real aim is for tamariki and pāhake to connect with wairua and explore their own creativity and expression through the arts and beyond, learning to manage this sustainably to follow their dreams and create their own futures. Mouri tū mouri ora, mouri puāwai ki te ao!