GROWTH THROUGH LITERACY
President’s Report to the Annual Meeting of the New Zealand Literacy Association
10 June 2023
Tēnā tatou katoa,
Ko Remutaka te pae maunga e whakamaru ana i ahau.
Ko Te Awa Kairangi te awa e whakaora ana i ahau.
Ka mihi ki te mana whenua ō Koraunui Marae.
Nō Koraunui ahau, engari kei Bunnythorpe ki Manawatū ahau e noho ana.
Ko Sarah McCord toku ingoa.
Ko au te tumuaki o te kura ō Taitoko ki te Rawhiti.
Ko au te president o te New Zealand Literacy Association
Tēnā koutou katoa.
Ka mihi ki te mana whenua ō Whanganui-a-Tara.
Nau mai haere mai ki te NZLA hui ā tau ki Te Whanganui-a-Tara
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa,
A very warm welcome to our NZLA Annual Meeting. This hui gives us the opportunity to wānanga and kōrero together. It gives me great pleasure to present my third, and final, report as President of the New Zealand Literacy Association.
We have now managed our way out of 3 ½ years of uncertainty and disruption. We have made it through to the other side and we’re still smiling!
Way back in 2020 the Taranaki Literacy Association made an early decision to cancel their 2020 conference when the news of the pandemic broke. Then in 2021 Hawke’s Bay Literacy Association were well down the track of their conference when Auckland went back in to lockdown and Hawke’s Bay had to make the difficult decision to cancel. In 2022 we finally we felt like things were improving for us all and Auckland Literacy Association were also well down the track of their conference planning, but it wasn’t the right time and people were not ready to commit to registering for a conference, particularly in Tamaki Makaurau, so without enough registrations to make a conference viable Auckland also had to cancel.
I want in particular to mihi to the Auckland Literacy Association. The cancellation was not a reflection of the conference and the fantastic line up of keynote speakers. But it was instead a reflection of the jitters out there. Heather and the ALA team, you all worked so hard and we are grateful to you for everything you had done.
Fortunately, times have changed and there is now much more confidence across the motu. Southland have had an overwhelming response and have very high registration numbers – so we are full steam ahead for our NZLA comeback conference in Waihopai, Invercargill. The team are being very ably led by Joyce and Gina – also known as the social media advertising gurus. Thank you team! Many of us are looking forward to connecting with our colleagues and friends again in the deep south.
At this year’s annual conference we will celebrate those councils who have achieved Honour Council status. This year started with some severe weather challenges for parts of our country and because of that Hawke’s Bay and Auckland councils have been given a breather and will present their HC submissions next year.
I do, however, I want to acknowledge and celebrate each of our councils who were able to achieve Honour Council status for the 2022 year. Congratulations to Southland – 4 years, Manawatū – 7 years, Tai Tokerau – 9 years, and Waikato – 20 years! Waikato receive a $1000 award from NZLA). Ka Mau te Wehi. Homai te pakipaki.
I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing financial support NZLA receives from the Marie Clay Literacy Trust each year. This year we have a number of Marie Clay Literacy Trust Early Career and Experienced teachers who are receiving $1000 (Early Years Teachers) or $500 (Experienced Teachers) from the Marie Clay Literacy Trust to attend the 45th NZLA Conference hosted by the Southland Literacy Association.
Due to the disruption of the last 3 years we offered the MCLT recipients the option to return the grant or to use it this year. This year’s recipients are a mixture of recipients from current and previous years. The Trust also gives us $2000 for the Dame Marie Clay address. This funding supports councils with the costs associated with hosting keynote presenters, and a respected New Zealand keynote presenter is acknowledged at the conference as the Dame Marie Clay keynote address recipient. Five conference awards of $1000 are also available to be awarded to workshop presenters. The MCLT continues to generously support NZLA to encourage teachers across Aotearoa to attend, and present, at national conferences.
This year the NZLA Exec are hosting some webinars, so look out for these! The first, entitled Te Reo Māori in Matariki Picture Books’ was held on 1 June. A large group tuned in to hear sociolinguist and picture-book expert Nicola Daly share her insights into picture books for Matariki. Look out for more webinars by through emails, Facebook, and by visiting our website. https://nzla.org.nz/
Every year we set and then review our annual plan. Over the last few years we have been working to streamline our annual plan so it can become more of a living document that reflects our vision and our mahi. One area of our annual plan that we have been working on is how we can better honour and enact the principles of te tiriti ō Waitangi and in doing so enrich and deepen our understanding of Māori perspectives through our annual plan and the work we all do across the motu. We continue to learn and grow in this area.
Every so often we receive nominations for service awards and citations of merit. This year I have the privilege of presenting five awards! I can tell you that the recipients know of their awards – the special presentation events will be held later this month and next month. So you can congratulate these very well-deserved recipients
Sally Morch – Taranaki
Jackie Cameron – Taranaki
Sharon Ross – Waiariki
Tricia Kenyon – Waiariki
Citation of Merit
Wendy Morgan – Waiariki
We were absolutely delighted to support these nominations and as an association we are very grateful to all of the recipients for their commitment to their local councils, NZLA and literacy in Aotearoa NZ.
Over the last three years our wonderful NZLA Exec have collaboratively problem solved through many challenges. The support our roopu have shown to each other is quite remarkable.
So in alphabetical order…
Glenice Andrews, Treasurer – your role is huge and one that you do with attention to detail and a sense of calm as you have kept us financially viable after more than 3 years of next to no income.
Joyce Wakelin, Exec member – the ‘Eveready battery’ team member who actions an idea while we are still finalising the details. Your drive and vision is exciting and infectious.
Judy Aitken, Secretary – Little did you know that your 2 year stint would lengthen to 3 years! You are a joy to work with and I couldn’t have done it without you. I am very grateful to you. Thank you, Judy.
Kay Hancock, president elect – NZLA is in good hands. You have such a deep understanding of all things literacy and bring a fresh perspective to our mahi. I am excited about the next 2 years!
Scotty Delemare, IT Coordinator – your knowledge and patience with us as you move us into the digital world is extraordinary. Oh the joy for Scotty to have Joyce on the team – two way conversations at last!
Steph Dix, Editor – It has been an absolute privilege to work alongside you, and learn from you, as we moved our Te Kōrero Pānui Tuhituhi o Aotearoa – Literacy Forum NZ to an online journal.
Todd Burton, Exec member – I have really appreciated your calm, thoughtful and considered approach to the challenges and opportunities that come our way. You keep us grounded.
Wendy Carss, coopted Exec member – you have been my rock and wise council with all things literacy. Thank you.
Welcome aboard to Belinda Whyte. I know you will be a fantastic secretary for Kay when she becomes president tomorrow afternoon.
A huge thanks to all of you here and to your local committees. The people who work within local councils and give so freely of their time are the valued foundation of our association. Although there have been challenges around the motu as we come back from uncertainty, you are reinventing yourselves and never losing sight of our vision; Growth Through Literacy. Ngā mihi ki a koutou.
NZLA is an association we can be very proud of. We remain a strong network of councils, passionate about literacy, and sharing with kaiako, whānau and tamariki. NZLA and local councils play a crucial role in providing professional learning with a literacy focus in our communities. In spite of the challenges we meet and the pressures we face in our professional lives, it is important that we continue to fulfil this vital role.
Tomorrow I will step aside after an extended term as president.
There were a few challenges and some disappointments;
I didn’t have a conference to support and open
I seemed to be constantly contacting people to let them know something was cancelled (and forever may be remembered as the cancellation president)
Instead of following the well organised systems successive presidents had established, I had to work it out as I went along. As a team we had to find new ways of doing things, because we hadn’t been through anything like this before.
However, there have been many joys along the way
I had huge support from my NZLA whānau which I will be forever grateful for
I attended the ALEA conference in Melbourne with Joy in 2019 – from this experience came my venture into writing books for young children.
Then I attended the ALEA conference in Darwin with Kay in 2022 – my highlight was learning about the Uluru Statement From the Heart, the history behind it and the importance of it as it asks for a ‘First Nations Voice in the Constitution’. This is something that has really moved me.
I had the privilege of supporting and guiding councils as you went through tough times
But most importantly, I was able to spend an extra year working with this incredible bunch of people. I have learnt so much about our association, about leadership and about thinking on my feet, and I have deepened my passion for all things literacy
I am ready to hand the baton to Kay and look forward to supporting her in her role over the next 12 months.
I believe in this association and the people involved and I am very grateful for your support as we have navigated some very bumpy waters together.
And I am excited about our journey towards learning how our association can give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Ngā mihi ki a koutou e hoa mā
He kete korero
Nau te rourou
Naku te rourou
Ka ora ai tatou
With your basket of knowledge and my basket of knowledge all will benefit.
tēnā tātou katoa