Lead Facilitator

Region: Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast
Nick Major


Diploma of Professional Coaching – Southern Institute of Technology
Master of Education (Distinction) – University of Canterbury
Postgraduate Diploma of Teaching – Christchurch College of Education
Bachelor of Science – University of Canterbury

Professional experience

Nick began his role at Tātai Aho Rau Core Education as a kaiarahi (leadership coach and mentor) for the National Aspiring Principals’ Programme in 2011. In 2016 he was the Southern Regional Coordinator for this programme. Since then he has worked as a lead facilitator focusing on supporting leadership capacity development in schools and kāhui ako, as an expert partner, and supporting schools review and refresh their localised curriculum. In addition to these roles.

Nick has worked closely with principals, leadership team members and boards of trustees in Canterbury, Nelson, Tasman, and Marlborough as a performance appraisal adviser and facilitator, and as a consultant to boards on principal appointments.

Prior to his current roles in facilitation, leadership, coaching and mentoring with Tātai Aho Rau, Nick was a primary school principal for 21 years, and a deputy principal for five years. His teaching experience included working in primary and intermediate schools, being a museum education officer, and a seconded teachers’ college lecturer. Nick has been involved in principal leadership and mentoring programmes, education trusts and presented to teacher and principal groups over many years.

During his teaching career he was the recipient of a number of fellowship awards, including a Commonwealth Relations Fellowship which enabled him to further his interest in primary science teaching at the Institute of Education, University of London.


Nick is passionate about using coaching and mentoring approaches to support school leaders to grow their professional knowledge, understandings and practice, and to develop effective strategies in response to specific situations and challenges.

He is able to provide professional development or consultancy services in the following areas:

Leadership support and development

Successfully supporting leaders (team, senior leaders, principals and kāhui ako leaders) to:

  • grow their leadership efficacy through coaching and mentoring
  • offer critical friend support and advice
  • deepen their understanding of effective deliberate acts of leadership
  • respond effectively to complex problems and issues
  • implement effective leading change strategies
  • collaborate and network
  • develop and maintain effective team dynamics.
Local curriculum design and refresh

Guiding and supporting schools to:

  • review, re-design and refresh their local curriculum to align with community aspirations and the current NZC refresh programme.
Strategic planning and self-review

Guiding and supporting leaders and boards to:

  • develop effective long-term strategic and annual plans based on identified priority and targeted needs
  • develop effective self-review frameworks and processes
  • conduct effective self-reviews leading to next step improvements.
Performance management and appraisal

Support and guide boards of trustees and kāhui ako governing boards by:

  • advising and facilitating principal, senior school leaders, and kāhui ako leaders’ performance appraisal processes.
Principal appointments

Support and guide boards of trustees by:

  • advising and guiding the recruitment and appointment process.

Professional memberships

Graham Nuthall Classroom Research Trust, Trustee (2004 – 2010), Chair (2009 – 2010)
Christchurch Digital Learning Trust, Trustee (2009 – 2011)

Personal statement

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini
Strength comes from working together, not on your own.

I remain as passionate today about working alongside others in pursuit of better educational and wellbeing outcomes for our students as the first day I stepped into a classroom as a young teacher. The diversity of competing demands and views, and the increasing complexities of the educational and schooling environment in the twenty-first century, urges us to collaborate, to develop rich networks and communities of best practice.

I regard myself as privileged to be able to continue to contribute to such communities and support leaders through my work with Tātai Aho Rau Core Education.