OUr trust

The Trust

There is a firm belief underpinning the conception and development of the Stonefields Collaborative Trust; namely, that in order to systemically improve learning outcomes for students across New Zealand, as schools, we need to grow capacity to learn with, and from one another.

The Stonefields Collaborative was born with this in mind. Firstly as a response to 'new school' visitor demand, and then in acknowledgement of ongoing interest and value; each time based on a philosophy of sharing what we had learned, in an iterative, dialogic manner.

The Trust is committed to this work. Set up in 2016, its vision is to provoke thought & action about learning and leading that matters, and to be a catalyst for educational improvement through:

  • Sharing practice in a range of forums.
  • Supporting students to contribute & participate positively to community and society.

Our Trustees

With a deep love of all things educational, Sue Vaealiki has an extensive history in executive leadership for teacher education, and programme development in both the business and tertiary worlds. Sue was formerly the Director of Learning and Development for Triplejump and Director of Academic Programmes for one of NZ's largest Early Childhood teacher tertiary enterprises. Now working as an educational consultant, Sue is also a monitor for the New Zealand Qualification Authority. Her passion for utilising technology for learning has led her to spearhead innovative online education for financial services professionals.

Michael Absolum is the founder and director of Evaluation Associates, author of Clarity in the Classroom, and a thought leader in assessment for learning. Michael is currently directing the Consortium for Professional Learning (CPL) Leadership and Assessment PLD in the Ministry of Education's Southern, Central South and Northern regions. He is also the co-national lead for the Ministry of Education Maori-medium aromatawai (assessment) project. He has a deep knowledge of the New Zealand education system and what it takes to lead an effective school, create inspired and inspiring teachers and enable students to become powerful engaged learners. He is also one of New Zealand's most highly regarded evaluators.

Nina Hood is the founder of The Education Hub, a not for profit with a mission to bridge the gap between research and practice in education. She also is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland where she specialises in new technologies in education. A trained secondary school teacher, Nina also holds an MSc (with distinction) in learning and technology and a DPhil in Education from the University of Oxford.


Judy Newcombe is a professional director and strategy consultant. She has many years of experience in the fields of organisational transformation and change management.

Judy has held a number of senior management roles in some of New Zealand's top corporates including Tower Insurance, Telecom (now Spark) and Fonterra and has more recently worked in the not for profit sector focusing on educational leadership development. She has also had a distinguished career in management consulting with KPMG and its successor BearingPoint, becoming one of the New Zealand managing directors of this firm.

Sarah Martin is the Foundation Principal of Stonefields School. She is a passionate, forward thinking educator and has a real commitment to improving outcomes for all learners, not just those within her school community. She is enthusiastic about ensuring all students develop the necessary competencies to strengthen their capacity to learn, staying focused on students being engaged and successful with learning that matters, as well as questioning the effective teaching practice that causes learning.


Clare Wade is the Trust's Executive Officer. She assists the Stonefields Collaborative Trust with event planning, marketing and communications, governance and administration. Clare has a background in recruitment, banking, business management, leadership and accounting. She previously led a grant making foundation for the Catholic Bishop of Auckland. Clare consults to Charitable Trusts on governance, HR and operations matters and she also volunteers for the ASB Tennis Classic as well as AFS NZ (which aligns with her interest in student professional development).