School Leadership

Lin DixonPrincipal: Lin Dixon

I have been the proud Principal of Hokowhitu School since July 2012. Previous to this I was the proud Principal of Bulls School, my first principalship of almost 7 years. I have admired Hokowhitu School since my teacher training days! I used to cycle past the school on the way to PNTC (Palmerston North Teachers College) and ask myself if I might ever be lucky enough to teach in such a beautiful setting.

As I think about Hokowhitu School, what strikes me as most special about it is our cultural diversity, which gives such a unique flavour to the classrooms and community. I also greatly value the informed, supportive parent community, and the experience of working with the teaching team to STRIVE to provide the best for our learners. My particular passion lies in exploring ways to “engage” children in learning: finding out what it is that brings out the best in them, what “smokes the tyres” for each individual learner. This is one of the reasons that I am so excited with our current modernisation projects, where we’re creating flexible learning spaces that suit a range of learners needs, and where teachers can collaborate to personalise the learning for the students.

Out of school time, I am passionate about family. Being the 7th child of 8 has meant that family has been an extremely important part of who I am. Some of my fondest memories ever are the many, simple pleasures we had as a family with our children growing up  - fishing, camping in tents and caravans, sharing challenges and successes in their chosen team/individual sports,  just to name a few. With our own children now grown up, we are lucky enough to have grandchildren to share the next generation of family togetherness. I am also an avid follower of sports - almost any sport takes my interest.


Helen GriffinDeputy Principal: Helen Griffin


I feel very privileged to be in the role of Deputy Principal here at Hokowhitu School. As a school, Hokowhitu values and celebrates the potential and uniqueness of each member within its diverse school community. Learners are encouraged and supported to be actively involved in their own learning in modern learning environments geared to cater for their various strengths and interests. This as a wonderful educational setting where everyone is engaged in teaching and learning.


I have been a classroom teacher of learners from Year 0-8 with the majority of my teaching being with our youngest learners, Years 0-2. Each year group has their own set of characteristics and challenges and I am particularly passionate about ensuring those initial years at school provide learners with a sound foundation and the confidence for increased independence and ongoing learning success. Play-based learning and the teaching of literacy through the Multi-sensory Structured Language approach supports the transition of learners into school where they continue their learning journey. The Arts and creativity are another area I promote and foster within my class and school wide. My leadership  experience includes having responsibilities as a Team/Kete leader and Deputy Principal both here at Hokowhitu and at my previous school.


My husband and I have always been involved in the educational centres our daughters have attended as we believe having a positive relationship between home and school is a vital component of each child’s learning journey. We are proud of what our daughters have achieved with each of them now embarking on their chosen careers. As a family we enjoy a mix of sporting, outdoors and cultural activities. Having grandchildren in the mix now has added a whole new dimension to our gatherings and adventures, much fun and making of memories.


Deputy Principal: Drew Pouniu

Talofa lava, malo soifua, kiaora koutou katoa,

It is an honour to be a Deputy Principal at Hokowhitu School and I’m excited to be a part of the Hokowhitu whanau.

My journey began in South Auckland, at Papatoetoe North, and it is there that I became a Teaching Assistant Principal and gained a Master’s Degree in Education. My wife and I  have travelled the world together and taught English in South Korea. When we returned to Aotearoa we built our first home in Feilding and welcomed our first child into the world in 2017.

At Riverdale School, I was a lead teacher of a Flexible Learning Environment. We adapted our combined teaching experience to develop collaborative practice to highlight kaiako strengths in order to reflect Modern Learning Pedagogy because at the core of our practice was student agency and the promotion 21st Century tools.

I am passionate about the Performing Arts and I encourage akonga to gain an appreciation and confidence in Music, Drama, Dance, Kapahaka, Siva Samoa and other Pasifika  dance.

I believe school is the sum of its community, akonga, heritage and context. Knowing this, and valuing what has gone before, enables a leader to build, rather than to compare with the past.   My goal as Deputy Principal is to tautoko our BOT, ariki and kaiako to maintain the richness of Hokowhitu, and continue to promote 21st century opportunities for akonga.