Verity Harlick
2024 President

The Otago Primary Principals' Association (OPPA) evolved in 1992 from the Dunedin Headmasters' Association (1959-69), Otago Headmasters' Association (1969-83), and the Dunedin Primary Principals' Association (1984-91). With the introduction of "Tomorrow's Schools" in 1989 there was a need for a body to look after the welfare of Otago Primary Principals.

Members of OPPA, had an association they could turn to for collegial support and relevant professional development. Apart from organising seminars, OPPA hold regular liaison meetings with the Ministry of Education, Education Review Office and Group Special Education. OPPA serves 126 schools in the Otago region.

OPPA is affiliated to the New Zealand Principals' Federation (NZPF) and two Otago Principals, Nola Hambleton and Paddy Ford have been presidents of the National Organisation. On three occasions, (1995, 2005 and 2010), OPPA have hosted successful National Conventions.

In 2006, a long serving Otago principal, the late Danny Knudson wrote a historical account, "Sound Principals, Sound Principles (Primary Principals' Associations in Otago).

OPPA Objectives

  1. Promote Professional Growth of our School Leaders
  2. Provide Collegial Support and Guidance for School Leaders
  3. Promote High Standards of Performance by Leaders to provide a top quality and equitable education system
  4. Keep OPPA Members informed of Developments in Education

Information Centre

For the latest Annual Report, links to the New Zealand Principal's Federation, and Executive Nomination and Prestigious Award Application Forms click here.

OPPA Goals

  1. Support our colleagues throughout Otago.
  2. Strengthen liaison relationships with all Otago principals.
  3. Mentor and provide pastoral support for first-time principals.
  4. Publicly represent the position of OPPA.
  5. Plan strategically to strengthen education in Otago.
  6. Continue liaison role with Ministry Of Education, Education Review Office and Otago University College of Education.
  7. Support ventures to enhance teaching and learning Camp Trust, Resource Teachers of Literacy, Saturday Morning Music classes, Life Education, Strengthening Families and relevant education support agencies.
  8. Demonstrate commitment to OPPA Executive.
  9. Support our local New Zealand Principal's Federation executive members.