Board of Trustees

Message from the Board of Trustees

2020 Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees wish to extend a warm welcome to all new pupils and their families to Mt Roskill Primary School. We offer a secure, stimulating, safe and happy learning environment for our children. Mt Roskill Primary School produces successful young achievers every year, which we are very proud of, and we owe a lot to our dedicated staff. We endeavour to create a stimulating learning environment and the strategic plan that is developed in consultation with the staff directs us in developing Active, Engaged, Successful Learners.

The Board, Principal and Staff want to work together with you collaboratively in the development of our children and our school. Mt Roskill Primary School offers a wide range of extracurricular activities along with the core subjects to produce well rounded successful children. You are very welcome to attend our monthly Board meetings which are advertised in the fortnightly school newsletter and we want to know your hopes and aspirations for your children so we can help achieve these goals collectively.

Our Board of Trustees currently consists of seven members;

  • Raj Bhikha - Chairperson & Community Representative

  • Paul Booth - Community Representative

  • Nerys Major - Parent Representative

  • Rakesh Lachaiya -Parent Representative

  • Sandra Brennan- Parent Representative

  • Rochelle Nafatali- Co-opted Member

  • Charissa Towers - Staff Representative

  • Mike O'Reilly - Principal

I would like to extend our best wishes to you and trust that by all working together we achieve the best for our children.


My name is Raj Bhikha, I have been on the Mt Roskill Primary School Board for over 12 years, of which I have been Chairperson for the last 6 years. I am also currently serving on the Mt Albert Grammar School Board and have previously contributed 6 years on the Mt Roskill Intermediate Board.

I am a 3rd generation NZ born Indian and have grown up in this community. I am happily married to Dimple and we have three beautiful children. My oldest daughter is currently attending the University of Auckland studying Law and Property. My two younger children are currently studying at MAGS in years 11 and 13. All 3 of our children have previously attended Mt Roskill Primary School.

After leaving Mt Albert Grammar School in the early 90’s I gained multiple qualifications including a Diploma of Architecture, Bachelor of Construction Management and finally a Bachelor of Quantity Surveying. I am a member of the New Zealand Institute of Builders (NZIOB) and the New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NZIQS). I am currently working for C3 Construction on various commercial projects in Auckland.

Raj Bhikha


Paul Booth

Community Representative

My wife Debbie and I have three children who have all attended Mt Roskill Primary School. Our son has now left school and our two daughters have moved on to Mt Roskill Grammar School.

Our family has been part of the Mt Roskill community for the past 26 years.

I have served two terms as a board member. Mt Roskill Primary School is a wonderful school for developing our children into positive, rounded individuals who are eager to learn.

I consider that it is essential that our children be given every opportunity to learn and achieve in a safe environment with the best teachers and resources possible.

Professionally I am a transport logistics manager with significant management, finance, procurement and governance experience across the retail and transport industries.

I believe Mt Roskill Primary School is a valuable and central part of our diverse community and I am pleased to offer my time and experience to the benefit of the school and the community.

Hi, my name is Nerys Major and I am a mother of six children. One at Mt Roskill Grammar, One at Mt Roskill Intermediate, two at Mt Roskill Primary and two at Mt Roskill Early Childhood Centre.

I work on campus as the Manager of the Mt Roskill Early Childhood Centre and have been in this position for seven years. Through my position I have formed strong relationships with children and families within our school community with many children starting their learning journey at our centre before moving into the primary school. Many families still attend our after school and holiday programme.

I am an invested and passionate member of the Mt Roskill Community and am a strong advocate for children and parents in my day to day work and can bring this to the school board. Education is a strong passion of mine and ensuring children are empowered to view themselves as competent learners is the foundation of both my career and home life.

I have experience in governance through my time on the board for the past three years. I also attend the trust meetings for the Mt Roskill Early Childhood Centre. I have strong communication skills and am experienced with negotiation and will always ask questions that will challenge thinking and encourage provocation, and will raise issues as required.

I hope to put my skills and experience to good use to continue to contribute to the development and progress of Mt Roskill Primary School.

Nerys Major

Parent Representative

Sandra Brennan
Parent Representative

My name is Sandra Fatule Brennan, I am a mother of 5 lovely grown children except for a 11 year old daughter, who attends Mt Roskill Intermediate. I am also a Nana to 8 grandchildren, a grandson that is Year 1.

I am a Niuean born, raised up in Auckland when I was 5 years old. I have been working for Reid Research Company for 15 years as market researcher.

Achievement certificate for hard work, participating and support in the projects and activities in the Cati Sector. I also helped with Reading Advance Programme with the Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 at May Road Primary School. I have volunteered with the Primary School at Mt Roskill for many years. I have enjoyed helping out with children reading and also going on school trips.

Kia Ora and greetings to all the parents, caregivers, whanau and friends of Mount Roskill Primary School (MRPS). MRPS is a great place for teaching and learning. It is one of the prestigious academic institutions I have come to know. I know this for sure because I have my three children currently attending this school (Year 3, 5 and 6) and I have taught at this school as well. I am fully aware of the educational system of the school from a parent and teacher perspective.

I am of indo-Fijian decent and have lived in Auckland for over a decade. I am a teacher by profession and have taught in New Zealand and overseas for the past 19 years. I taught in secondary schools for 11 years before moving into special education. I have written publications on Autism in Pasifika Communities in New Zealand and Culturally Responsive Pedagogies. I have also provided academic support as a mentor for students doing postgraduate studies in specialist teaching at Massey University. I have also published some of my creative writing pieces, which involved a collection of short stories and poems. I am a member of Autism New Zealand. I work closely with families who have children with physical , learning disabilities and work collaboratively with teachers, and other professionals who deal with individuals for whom English is their second language and learners diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Currently, I am the head of the MacLean Centre at Mt Roskill Grammar School. When I am not at school... I enjoy travelling, listening to music, reading, cooking and spending time with my family.

It will be a pleasure to share my expertise with this diverse group of individuals so that together we establish an education system where all children will succeed in all aspects of their learning and one where we all take shared responsibility in ensuring this happens.

I am passionate about education and working for the educational and social well-being of our children. More than anything though, it is the success of every child at Mt Roskill Primary School that will make our job as the stakeholders of the school a rewarding one and it will be an honour to work for the best team in the best school.

Rakesh Lachaiya

Parent Representative

[MSpecTchg(Hons), PGDipSpecTchg,GradDipTESSOL, BA,DipED]

Rochelle Nafatali

Co-opted Parent Representative

Tēnā koutou e te whanau o MRPS,ko Rochelle Nafatali ahau. I was born in Tamaki Makaurau, grew up in Tai Tokerau, spent 14 years in

Pōneke, and am Kiwi Samoan. After completing my master's at Victoria University (in forensic psychology), I relocated to Auckland I am currently a doctoral scholar at Massey University in the clinical psychology programme. My doctoral research focuses on the lived experiences of Pasifika parents raising children on the autism spectrum, and the transfer of traditional language and culture within these families.

My work experience includes eight years of executive administration and support, and more recently during study academic tutoring, customer service, and research for Corrections. A favourite experience was running the Pasifika graduation celebrations at Victoria University over five years, because of the bringing together of all levels of the community- from the families and graduands right through to the diplomatic core, clergy, and MPs - to celebrate the success of our students. I have also held many volunteer roles including student mentor, fundraising baker, events assistant, and community kitchen volunteer.

I have two children currently in Year 3 and 6 at the school, one of whom is on the autism spectrum and in mainstream classes. I count it a privilege to serve and advocate for our childrens'/student needs. I have done this once before; in 2017 I represented postgraduate students on the Victoria Equity and Diversity Committee, which was extremely important in working towards parity and accessibility. Further, I am currently the national Student Representative on the Executive Board for the NZ Psychological Society.

Being a training mental health professional, I am a strong advocate for the holistic hauora/well-being of our children, and accessible, equitable, and quality education is a large part of this. I love the range of cultures and the diversity at MRPS, and this is one key reason we sough an education at MRPS (through ballot places). The particular skills I bring to the board room table are an evidence-based approach, administrative expertise, fundraising and events experience, a keen desire to see our diversity and culture acknowledged and celebrated, and a passion for seeing all of our children reach their full potential.

Kia ora. I am Charissa Towers. I have been at Mt Roskill Primary 6 years and am currently teaching in the Year 3 team. I live in Mt Roskill with my husband and two of my three (nearly adult) children.

With an HR background prior to teaching, I spent many years working in the travel and banking industries before I decided to retrain as a teacher about 15 years ago. This proved to be a good decision and I am privileged to be a part of the school community here at Mt Roskill. As the staff representative for the Board of Trustees I look forward to contributing to discussions and decision making in order to provide opportunities and positive outcomes for all our students.

Charissa Towers

Staff Trustee