• Home
  • Member Spotlights - Apr 18

Member Spotlights 

Steve Williams

General Manager, Business Services

New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA)

AuSAE member since: November 2012 

What we do 

NZSTA is a membership-based national organisation representing the interests of its member boards. Membership of NZSTA is open to boards of trustees of any New Zealand State, State Integrated or Partnership School.

School boards of trustees are the largest single group of crown entities in the country, accountable directly to the government and the local community for the quality of education in their school. There are approximately 18,000 people currently serving on 2,432 state and state integrated school boards. Approximately 2,210 school boards of trustees are NZSTA member boards of (91 percent of the total number).

NZSTA has a contract with the Ministry of Education to deliver a fully integrated range of services free to all boards of trustees to support and enhance boards’ capability in governance and employment. NZSTA is also an active party in relevant education related decisions and national policy formulation, and works alongside the Ministry of Education in negotiating Collective Agreements with unions.

NZSTA is a not for profit incorporated society with charitable trust status.

Number of members

Staff size
80 staff

Years in association management
21 years

How I got into association management

Initially it was being successful in applying for a role with a not-for-profit organisation, and as time went by I realised that it was important to be part of a network of people who were working in the same sector, so that I could connect with professionals who were doing similar work.

I joined NZSAE in 1997 and have been a member of either NZSAE, Associations New Zealand or AuSAE since that time.

What I like about my job
I like working in the not-for-profit (NFP) sector as the work involves people who are committed to a purpose. Several of the NFP organisations I’ve worked for have had the challenge of small (5 or less) workforces that need to be multi-skilled and prepared to roll up their sleeves to get things done within short, tight timelines – I enjoy the variation in the work that having a small number of staff (or a small team) creates.

My biggest challenge
I work for a medium-large sized NFP and my current challenge is developing a Quality Management System for NZSTA, and getting all staff to buy into the new system. This challenge may be expanded towards the end of this year with the review of the New Zealand Education sector (including the “Tomorrow’s schools” model) being undertaken by the Minister of Education.

What I am most proud of at our association
I’m most proud of the people I work with, and the huge amount of effort we’ve put in to improving school governance in New Zealand. The past five years have seen a staggering amount of change and an increasing number of governance tools being made available to all school trustees in New Zealand.

Favourite AuSAE event  
The annual Leadership, Insights, Networking Conference (LINC) held in New Zealand.

What I want to learn from other AuSAE members 
What I learn from other AuSAE members is perspective on the issues that I work on, particularly the experience they have working on issues in the NFP sector.

How AuSAE has helped me 

AuSAE has provided me with access to a network of talented NFP professionals.

This has helped me with new challenges, allowing me to have a conversation with AuSAE members about the challenge and giving me a wider appreciation of what needs to be done and the tools required to fulfill the challenge.

Reasons to Join 

Community of association professionals


Professional Education 


Member only on-line Resources


Leadership Growth Opportunities



Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software