School Board

The school is governed by the School Board, which sets the strategic direction for the School, and ensures compliance with legal and policy requirements.

Our current School Board comprises a group of elected parent and community representatives, an elected staff representative, an elected student representative, and the principal. We are very fortunate that our Board Members bring a wide range of professional and life skills to their governance role. 


Mrs Tahei Simpson - Board Chair

Kia Ora & warm greetings to our Epsom Girls community.

Epsom Girls Grammar School prides itself on its foundations of service and commitment to girls' education. These are qualities I strongly believe create the pedigree of girls we are proud to call Old Girls.

My name is Tahei Simpson. I am an Old Girl of Epsom Girls Grammar School and in 7th form I represented EGGS on the Auckland City Youth Council. My eldest daughter is also an Old Girl, my second daughter is a current student in Year 12. and my son is a Grammar boy in Form 5. We have lived mostly in Mt Eden and Epsom for more than 20 years but we do love going back to my home town of Mount Maunganui as often as possible.

Whilst studying at the University of Auckland I received an award for outstanding achievement in Statistics. Shortly afterwards I launched my career as a financial adviser with a television series called On The Ladder, as my passion is to help Kiwis learn financial literacy, achieve home ownership and grow wealth through property. Beyond providing financial advice, I also accept public speaking engagements in the financial services industry, to community groups, government agencies and iwi, often in relation to pathways to achieving home ownership.

I served on the Executive Committee for a Māori full immersion pre-school my children attended and continued in full immersion education until completing Year 8. I have actively participated in committee meetings, school events and fundraisers including bake sales, school camps, and the Auckland Grammar Foundation Art Tour.
Recently I served a term on the founding Board of Trustees for Auckland City Basketball (ACB) under Head Coach Lindsday Tait, also the Head of Basketball at Auckland Grammar. ACB revolutionised the delivery of youth basketball in Auckland winning the exclusive endorsement of Steven Adams of NBA fame. ACB continues to assist its top players in achieving basketball scholarships at American universities.

I believe in supporting our girls to strive for academic excellence and becoming confident, active and resilient learners. We as parents, staff and Old Girls must set an example by actively participating in their journey.

I possess the right skills and experience to support the Board in ensuring all our girls become Old Girls that are shining examples in our community, that reflect the values we celebrate at EGGS.


Mr Tovia Va'aelua - Deputy Board Chair - Parent Representative

Malo le soifua maua. I was born in Samoa and later moved with my parents and siblings to Auckland in search of a brighter future. I attended Avondale College before heading to the University of Auckland where I graduated majoring in Education. My work history thereafter constantly changed from work placement consultant, to furniture moving, landscaping and even radio shows (e.g. three years of Lovesongs to Midnight with Pete Sinclair). That was until I entered IT where I've spent the last 23 years. I've worked in multiple countries spending 17 years with Microsoft and 9 of these in Manila, Philippines. I am the proud husband of one and father of three girls (eldest in year 12) and one boy at St. Peters. I have two focal points - technology and a better spread of representation in the industry. Ia manuia.

Mrs Ria Pou – Whānau Representative

Tēnā koutou katoa

Ko Rangiputa te Maunga, ko Whangape te Moana, ko Awaroa te Awa, ko Māmari te Waka, ko Te Rarawa te Iwi, ko Ngati Haua te Hapu, ko Te Kotahitanga te Marae, no Kiwitahi ahau, he uri o Ria Puku / Waru / Murray raua ko Wiri Leef.

I work in the winning work / tendering / bidding space of the rail sector of the construction industry.  My husband and I have three girls, our adopted adult daughter, who is an Early Childcare Teacher, our eldest, who is a junior here at Epsom Girls and our youngest is at primary school.

I am passionate about encouraging a more informed understanding of all things māori and appreciate and value the unique diversity of cultures here in Aotearoa.

'He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata'.

What is the most important thing in this world? It is people, it is people, it is people.

Nō reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa

Mrs Sara Tuitupou – Pasifika Representative

Talofa lava & Mālō e lelei. 

My name is Sara Tuitupou and I have been a part of the wonderful Epsom Girls Grammar community for two years now.  I have one daughter currently in year 11 and two more to come in the next couple of years.

My background includes, working for Oranga Tamariki for 9 years then Turn Your Life Around (TYLA) working with youth who had challenging behaviours to help make positive changes.   I am currently Project Manager for a youth leadership programme called, Project Wy which my husband founded about 9 years ago.  During the year I run various Ministry of Education workshops that support parents to champion their children’s educational pathway that includes, Talanoa Ako and Reading Together. I also am a coach for Front Foot Apps Development competition we created in response to the digital gap for Pasifika students during covid.  I am blessed to be able to serve our school and wider community to the best of my ability using my knowledge and skills.

Mr Andrew Patrick - Board member - Parent Representative

My wife and I are blessed with two daughters, the eldest is currently at Epsom Girls Grammar with our youngest following in her footsteps shortly. Our whānau links to Epsom Girls go back to the early 1900s, with our daughters being the fourth generation to attend the school. 

Personally, over my career I have been drawn to operational roles at the forefront of technology interfacing between traditional and digital, working in both large multi-national companies and globally focussed tech start-ups. As a leader in these organisations, I’m passionate about growing people through coaching, opening pathways and sharing knowledge with an international mindset. 

I'm keen to bring my knowledge and passions together for Epsom Girls Grammar, which is why I’m privileged to be on the Board and helping in that journey where I can. 

Mrs Kirstin Kane - Board member - Parent Representative

My current role is Literacy Lead for Auckland Council Libraries.  I have a bachelor's degree in technology as well as other qualifications in design and small business.  I have a post-graduate in Information Systems and LIANZA registration.  I have worked in the library industry for 8 years.  I worked as a Product Manager at Hewlett Packard for 8 years.  

My family has a long affinity with Epsom Girls, my dad Rob Tapper was Head Boy of Auckland Grammar (1962), my Aunt a teacher at Epsom at the same time.  My two younger sisters and I all attended Epsom Girls Grammar in the early 90's, initially as residents of Epsom House and then as day girls. My sister Michelle Hooper (nee Tapper) was Head Girl of Epsom Girls in 1996.  I have three daughters (Louisa 17, Emily 15, and Coco 11), two of whom are currently attending Epsom Girls Grammar (Yr 12 and Yr 11) and as they leave in a couple of years my third daughter will be privileged to start.  

I offer skills in information systems, marketing, and management as well as an understanding of the importance of literacy and numeracy.  I am a passionate advocate for women's rights and issues.  I see Epsom Girls as a leader in women's education in New Zealand.  That we as the Board have the opportunity to work towards setting a strategic goal for a diverse and inclusive learning environment for all our students.  I feel honoured to have been voted to be a part of the Board of Trustees for the next three years.

I am open to communications from all members of our community.  I encourage you to reach out and discuss any concerns you may have with me or other Board members.  We are here as your representatives within the school landscape, to listen, to question and to provide guidance.

Mr Michael Alofa - Board member - Parent Representative

Nga mihi nui koutou katoa and Talofa lava!

My name is Michael Alofa, and I extend warm regards to you all. We are proud to join the EGGS community as a new addition to the whānau. Our journey here began in 2022 when our daughter transitioned into Year 11, having completed four enriching years at Marist College. Our decision to change schools was driven by EGGS' extensive academic curriculum, which we believe will support her aspirations in life. EGGS holds a special place in our hearts, having also played a significant role in my wife Kelly's educational journey, from her early schooling to her time at Auckland University. Kelly brings with her 24 years of experience as a dedicated Police Officer.

Meanwhile, our son is currently in Year 10 at St. Peter's College. My roots trace back to Samoa, although I have called Auckland home since the 1970s. Fluent in Samoan, I also possess a cultural understanding of Te Reo and Tikanga Māori. My involvement in education governance spans many years, having served on our children's previous school Board and presently on the Board at St. Peter's College.

My own educational journey took place at Kelston Boys High School, where I was under the mentorship of Sir Graham Henry, though without the accolade of an All Black contract. In 2004, I was honoured with the Samoan High Chief title of ‘Mauga,’ linking me to my mother's village of Malaemalu in Falealili.

I firmly believe in the proverbial wisdom that "it takes a village to raise a child," and in EGGS, I see that village. By rallying behind our Principal and her team, we can empower our young women to flourish, achieve greatness, and become confident, active, and resilient learners.

Professionally, I have served as a Specialist Advisor for Auckland Council for 17 years, offering strategic guidance to elected members and overseeing community development projects. My expertise lies in crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) and project management (Prince2 Practitioner). With over three decades of experience in security consultancy, crime prevention, and private investigation, including a tenure with the US Government, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table.

Additionally, I am honoured to serve on the Pacific Advisory Board and the Te Ohu Kitenga Family Harm Governance Group for the Waitemata Police District. Within my community, I have been an active member of the Glen Eden Catholic Church for over 40 years, holding various elected roles within the Parish Council, including committee member, deputy-chair, and chair. Furthermore, for the past 16 years, I have found fulfillment as a Marriage Celebrant, contributing to the community through this role.

In all my endeavours, I am guided by an old Samoan proverb: “O le ala i le pule, o le tautua” (the pathway to leadership is through service).

Nga mihi, Michael (Mauga) Alofa

Mr Michael Chen – Board Member - Parent Representative

Originally from Taiwan, I moved to New Zealand from South Africa in late 1992. I'm very happy and proud to have called New Zealand "home" ever since. 

I and my wife Annie are blessed with 2 beautiful daughters. Our eldest is currently in her senior years at EGGS, and hopefully our younger one will follow her big sister's footsteps in joining EGGS one day. 

We came to EGGS because we are strong believers in education. And that's what EGGS is offering - great education, great teaching staff, great caring and supporting environment, and a great school with strong heritages.

Professionally, I'm a qualified Chartered Accountant with CAANZ. Through my experience gained from various sectors/industries, including ICT/IT, tertiary education, manufacturing and distributions, Māori/iwi, primary health, utilities, professional services, retail, and recently with a government agency providing housing and urban development, I look forward to offer/share my passion, skills and experience to/with EGGS and the local communities.

Mr Murray Burt - Board member - Parent Representative

As a father of three daughters, I am passionate about empowering young women to fulfill their dreams and reach their full potential. I have a long history of association with Epsom Girls Grammar School, with both my sisters and my wife being 'EGGS old girls', and now my daughters are the second generation of our family currently attending the school.

I trained as a civil engineer and my wife is a teacher (IB, British and NZ curriculum). As a family we lived and worked overseas for 15 years, first in Sri Lanka (post Tsunami reconstruction), then Kenya (British Govt and United Nations contracts) and finally Switzerland (United Nations Refugee Agency - UNHCR). My work involved leading global infrastructure teams to successfully deliver projects in the world’s most politically complex and challenging environments. We recently returned to NZ two and a half years ago for the high school years and I am currently managing engineering projects in Auckland.

I have a heart for serving the community and have a broad range of governance experience with a focus on property, buildings, facilities and infrastructure master planning.

I am an authentic values-based leader, with significant experience in developing and maintaining effective relationships with governance boards, and community stakeholders, and a demonstrated ability to develop, drive and implement a clear vision and strategy in different cultural contexts and across a broad range of sectors. 

I am a member of the NZ Institute of Directors, and and hold qualifications in civil engineering (BE, Auckland), environmental management (MSc, Loughborough) and business administration (MBA, Edinburgh).

Ms Rachel Heeney - Board Staff Representative

I have been teaching biology and science at Epsom Girls for the past 20 years. Needless to say I love it here and during my time, I have been involved with rowing, underwater hockey, organising trips to Vanuatu and Samoa as well as being on various committees over the years. I have co-written textbooks and helped deliver biology professional development to biology teachers throughout NZ. 

I had thought about how I could contribute to the wider school and in 2015 become the staff representative on the Board. I am certainly impressed by the Board here at EGGS and can see the school from a different angle. We have a fabulous caring and innovative staff here, terrific students and a great management team - I hope my daughter who is now only 11 would like to come here for her education too.



Miss Jasmine Huang - Board Student Representative

Hello all.

My name is Jasmine Huang, and I am the Student Representative on the Board for 2024. For anyone who is wondering, my role on the Board is to represent the EGGS student body and to gather information about student life. I am in Year 11 and have an amazing tutor class and teacher, Mrs Grant (11GRT.)


Both my parents come from Foshan, Guangdong in China, therefore I have a Cantonese background, but I was born and raised in Auckland. During my childhood, I attended Mt Roskill Primary School for six years and one year at Newmarket Primary. I later went to Auckland Normal Intermediate and now I am a proud lioness!


I applied to the Board hoping to implement change for the good and to give back to the compassionate community that has been serving for 107 years. I was the class captain in 2023, as well as the Student Council representative for the Year 10 cohort. I have an older sister who is an Old Girl as of this year, graduating in 2023. 


I am looking forward to what the year of the Dragon brings, but most importantly I am most delighted to hear about all the new unique ideas coming from each unique mind. If you are a student, you can find me roaming around the school with a smile from ear to ear! If you have any queries feel free to contact me at

Mrs Brenda McNaughton - Principal

Mrs Catherine Readhead - School Board Secretary