Our Executive


The TPANZ executive structure is different to other competitors. Our elected executive consist of a President, Vice-President and Treasurer who must all be teachers, these executive members make all policy decisions for TPANZ.

The Secretary is appointed by the executive under the constitution and does not make policy decisions. Instead, the Secretary sees to the day-to-day operations of the organisation on behalf of the executive.

When we say "Run by Teachers for Teachers" we mean it.

 Rachael Mortimer 


Rachael has been directly involved in education for fifteen years. She has a special interest in finding ways to modify the curriculum for students with diverse learning needs. Right now she holds the position of head of Humanities and as a Dean at a school in Canterbury. Rachael also works for the tertiary sector in education on a casual basis. During the last few years, in her free time, she has been acting as chair for NZTSOS, working with teachers to advocate for them, and is passionate about providing educators the chance to choose. 

Rachael Mortimer

 Tanya Miller 

Vice President

Tanya worked in primary education after completing a Bachelor of Education in 1989. Her teaching career began on the West Coast of New Zealand. She worked in International schools while completing a Masters in Education. On returning to New Zealand she taught and worked to complete a post grad diploma in counseling and became a journey Practitioner. She has years of teaching service and has always been an advocate for the rights of educators, focused on the mental health and wellbeing of all the people in her care. Providing safe spaces and places where the learner and teacher work to create the best possible learning outcomes for all. Tanya believes in looking after educators.

Tanya Miller

 Sam Walker 


Sam Walker is an experienced part-time Maths teacher in Hamilton, with over 30 years of teaching experience. She has also taught and trained in the UK. Sam is a passionate advocate for educators' rights and mental health. Her expertise lies in teaching students with extra needs, especially autism. She runs her own successful tutoring business in Cambridge. Sam's dedication to education is evident in her extracurricular activities, such as running the equestrian team and participating in school bands. Her love for nature and animals is reflected in her vegetarian lifestyle and her involvement with the SPCA.

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 Sarah Gilbertson 


Sarah leads the operations of the NZ Unions, beginning her long association with the union movement back when she was the student rep for the NZNO National Student Unit. Fed up with a lack of action from the legacy unions, she looks forward to help lead a change in the education union movement with NZ Unions. Sarah has experience in governance and has successfully organised and executed several campaigns.  

Sarah is inspired by and draws strength from the examples set by local Wellington women advocates like Celia Lashlie and Helen Kelly.  Freedom, fairness, justice and integrity are core values for Sarah.

Sarah is incredibly grateful to have three children in her life and loves food, travel, music and dancing. 

Sarah Gilbertson

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T: (+64) 9870 9182


The Teachers' Professional Association of New Zealand (TPANZ) is a union whose principal purpose is to protect and promote the interests of members in matters concerning their employment or professional engagement. No membership fees are used to support any political party, so we are able to source and/or provide representation for all members, on all issues.

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