Pasifika parent representation on the boards of trustees

What We Have Found

The number of Pasifika parent representatives on the board fairly reflected the Pasifika student numbers in four out of every ten schools.

Date Updated: April 2018

Indicator Description

The proportion of schools with a fair level of Pasifika parent representation on the board of trustees as at 1 December.

Why This Is Important

Active participation by Pasifika in planning, development and delivery of education services will help to ensure that those services are appropriate and effective for Pasifika students. Pasifika representation on boards of trustees is one key mechanism for participation.

Boards of trustees of state schools must hold elections for parent representatives every three years. A board may also decide to adopt a mid-term election cycle where half of its parent representatives are elected at a mid-term election (18 months after the triennial election) and the remainder are elected at the triennial election. Triennial elections have been held every three years from 1998.  A by-election can occur at any stage in the election cycle if an elected parent representative leaves the board and creates vacancy.  Although the major changes in board membership occur in triennial election years, there is still some fluctuation in intervening years due to by-elections and mid-term elections

How We Are Going

In 2017, there were 505 schools with sufficient numbers of Pasifika students that, for the students to be fairly represented, we would expect to have at least one Pasifika parent on the school board of trustees.  This expectation is based both on the number of Pasifika students and the number of positions on the board.

Figure 1: Proportion of schools with fair Pasifika representation (1998-2017)


The proportion of schools with fair Pasifika representation increased from 26.2% in 1998 to 42.2% (213 schools) in 2017.  The number of Pasifika parent representatives in the remaining schools does not reflect the number of Pasifika students in these schools.

Demographics, such as family size, may contribute to this under-representation.  Based on the Population Census 2013, for every 10 school aged Pasifika children (5-19 years old) there are 9 Pasifika adults aged 25 to 49.  In comparison there are 17 non-Pasifika adults for every 10 non-Pasifika children.

While the majority of schools are co-educational, the proportion of schools with fair representation in the 28 single sex schools (64.3%) was higher than among co-educational schools (40.9%).Fair Pasifika representation on the board was more common in secondary schools (48.8%) than in primary schools (41.1%).


The majority of schools (59.2%) considered in this indicator are decile 1 to 3 schools. There were, however, schools that we could expect to have Pasifika representation in every decile.

For those schools where Pasifika representation was expected, decile 9 schools were the most likely to have fair representation (66.7%) followed by decile 8 schools (56.0%).

Figure 2: Number of Schools and the proportion of schools with fair Pasifika representation on the board, by decile (2017)



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