Principal Consultant

Derek Wenmoth


Advanced Diploma in Teaching
Higher Diploma in Teaching
Trained Teachers' Certificate

Professional profile

Derek has been involved with Tātai Aho Rau Core Education since its inception in 2003. Derek, Nick Billowes and Vince Ham set up Ultralab South (later known as CORE Education and now Tātai Aho Rau Core Education), which was to embody their vision of an elearning research and development centre.

With a background as a teacher, principal, teacher educator and education policy advisor, Derek’s role at Tātai Aho Rau, as Principal Consultant, perfectly combines his passion for teaching and learning together with his long-held fascination with the use of technologies in education.

Derek is regarded as one of New Zealand education’s foremost future-focused thinkers, and is regularly asked to consult with policy makers and government agencies regarding the future directions of New Zealand educational policy and practice. He has coordinated the development of Tātai Aho Rau’s Ten Trends that are widely referenced by educators and educational leaders.

He is a regular speaker at conferences both nationally and internationally, and maintains a blog on matters relating to e-learning and other aspects of interest to educators.

In recognition of his work in this area, Derek was designated one of 2008’s “Global Six” by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, which recognises individuals making a difference in education: Daring Dozen 2008.


  • Whole-school review and development – using a range of strategies and frameworks to enable school leaders to lead change around their schools.
  • Future-focused education – building a vision of education in and for the future.
  • Modern learning practice – exploring the principles and practices of effective pedagogy for modern learning environments.
  • Strategic planning and policy development – assisting schools and governments to develop effective plans, procedures and policies.
  • Virtual learning and teaching – with expertise in instructional design, online teaching and blended learning approaches.
  • Eastland Community Trust (2013) – Community consultation project leading to a future-focused view of education provision in the Gisborne Region.
  • Eastland Institute of Technology (2012) – Development of an innovative initial teacher education programme in partnership with local schools.
  • e-Learning audits – For various primary and secondary schools throughout NZ, involving consultative process with staff, community and students, assisting schools in their planning for investment in ICT-related projects and professional development.
  • Modern Learning Environments – Chair of the Cross Sector Forum working group on MLEs (for Minister of Education) charged with developing a national framework and set of principles to guide the development of Modern Learning Environments.

Professional body memberships

Minister of Education, Hekia Parata's Ministers Forum; member.
Associate Minister of Education, Nikki Kaye's Digital Literacy Reference Group; member.
Distance Education Association of New Zealand (DEANZ); executive member.
UNESCO (NZ) Communications sub-commission; member.
Christchurch Digital Learning Trust; member.
Horizon Report – Australia-New Zealand Advisory Board; member.

Recent conference presentations, seminars and workshops

2021: Future Focused Learning - presentation to the Qatar Foundation 6th Annual Teaching & Learning Forum
2021: Deep and Long – the keys to Future Focused Learning - mini keynote to the Deeper Learning Symposium, Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky, USA
2021: Agency by Design: Making Learning Happen - workshop presentation to the Aurora Institute Symposium
2021: Thinking Long - presentation to Leaders Connect, NZ
2021: Future Focused Schools - keynote to the Association of Independent Schools conference, Wellington NZ
2021: Future Focused Flexible Education - keynote presentation, FLANZ conference, Wellington NZ
2021: Future Focused Learning - keynote presentation to the Masterton Schools TOD
2020: Empowering Schools to Facilitate Teacher Agency - presentation to the Taranaki APDP association

Access all of Derek’s keynote and workshop presentations here -

Awards, fellowships and scholarships

2018: Life Membership, Flexible Learning Association of NZ (FLANZ)
2008: Edutopia’s Global Six Award (George Lucas Foundation) for an international educator making a difference in education, special recognition for work in the area of distance education.
2001: Peter Brice Award (Pacific Circle Consortium) In recognition for achievements in fostering inter-cultural understanding.
1993: Ian Stewart Memorial Award (Christchurch College of Education) - For innovation and leadership in distance education.


Avery, L., Jones, M., Marr, S., & Wenmoth, D. (2021). Mere engagement: Reflections about connections between online learning, student agency, and student engagement. Vienna, VA: Aurora Institute.
Wenmoth, D (2016) “Networked Learning” in “Leadership for Communities of Learning: Five Think Pieces” (Paper commissioned by the Education Council – available online:
Wenmoth, D (2013) “Digital Alignment Strategy”, prepared for the Canterbury Regional Ministry of Education
Barbour, M & Wenmoth, D (2011) “Virtual Learning as an Impetuous for Educational Change: Charting A Way Forward for Learning in New Zealand.
Wenmoth, D (2010) “The future’s not what it used to be.” in Ham, V and Wenmoth, D (eds) (2010) eLearnings: implementing a national strategy for ICT in education, 1998 - 2010. CORE Education, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Wenmoth, D., & Coogan, P. (2008). “Tomorrow’s web for our future learning” in Langley, J. (Ed) Tomorrow’s Schools 20 years on. Cognition Institute.
Wenmoth, D., & Eckstein, J. (2008). Educational Technologies in New Zealand. In M. Orey, T. Amiel, J. McClendon, & M. K. Barbour (Eds.), The world almanac of educational technologies.
Ham, V and Davey, R, Wenmoth D. (2007). “Teachers Doing IT For Themselves: Action Research as Professional Development” in Transforming Classroom Practice: Professional Development Strategies in Educational Technology — ISTE 2007, still in publication.
Wenmoth, D (2007) “Embedding Web2.0 tools in Practice” in Coming of Age 2.0, Terry Freedman (Ed) — still in publication.
Wenmoth, D; Trewern, A; Gilmore, H. (2005). “Towards a Professional Community of Inquiry: Report to the MoE on the T4T4T pilot” Published by CORE Education, available online:
Wenmoth, D. (2005). “The New Zealand Correspondence School and the Video Conferencing Cluster Schools Network” — in “Open Schooling Models” published by Commonwealth of Learning (COL) for the International Conference on Open Schooling, Goa, India, Jan 23–25 2005.
Wenmoth, D. (2004). “SchoolNets in Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands” — in “Emerging Trends in the Development of School Networking Initiatives” part of the Perspectives on Distance Education series, Commonwealth of Learning, 2004.

Personal statement

I’m an educator at heart, and driven by a deep personal belief in the public good of education. I see education as the pathway to self-improvement, and a fundamental right of every human being. I also see our current school system as past its ‘use-by’ date, having remained fundamentally unchanged since it was set up in the industrial age. But I am also an optimist.

I believe it is possible to bring about change, big change, fundamentally significant change, if we set our minds to it and work collaboratively and cooperatively towards that. And we must, for the sake of our children and grandchildren.