The Cognition Education Trust aims to contribute to increasing the life chances of its beneficiaries, the young people who are the future stewards of Aotearoa New Zealand's social and economic well-being.


The Cognition Education Trust supports educational projects, initiatives and research that actively develop practice and foster professional and community collaboration, to ensure young people develop dispositions and competencies for living and lifelong learning* and to increase teacher effectiveness.

*See The New Zealand Curriculum (2007) Ministry of Education


The Cognition Education Trust is a registered NZ charity with two functions:

  • To exercise the responsibilities of its 100% shareholding in Cognition Education Ltd;
  • Through the careful stewardship of a capital investment fund, to provide grants in the education sector

The Trust focuses its granting on projects and initiatives that increase teacher effectiveness because the evidence shows that excellence in teaching is the single most powerful influence on student achievement.

Shareholder Strategy

Enhance the value on a sustainable basis of our 100% shareholding in Cognition Education Ltd.

Capital Investment Strategy

Manage the Trust\'s perpetual investments to optimise returns and increase the overall capital fund in order to provide long term stability, and a healthy annual granting amount.

The overall financial objective is to build up a perpetual fund that will facilitate increasing grants to beneficiaries as well as create a legacy for the Cognition family.

To achieve its objective, the Trust endeavours to only draw upon income derived from the capital fund’s earnings to fund its expenses including its granting activities.

The Trust uses its best efforts to minimise its overhead expenses as befitting a charity, and to direct the majority of its income into its granting activities.

The Trust’s approach is a prudent one - to constantly assess the appropriate balance of stakeholder need for grant investment whilst simultaneously increasing capital.

Cognition Education Trust History

As 100% shareholder of the internationally successful education consultancy company Cognition Education Limited, Cognition Education Trust continues the work of its predecessor Multiserve Education Trust. Over more than two decades donations from Cognition Education Limited (originally Multiserve Education Limited) have underwritten our philanthropic programme. Initially the granting programme focused on the annual Multiserve School Awards and subsequently evolved into funding for education research programmes of particular merit. The Trust now funds a range of projects and collaborates with other philanthropic organisations.

Cognition Education Ltd is the leading consultancy focused on educational thinking, design, and impact. Its core business is building the capability of teachers, school leaders, and policy makers to accelerate student learning.

Today Cognition Education is working in around 20 countries in the world, and is building a strong story of creating sustainable impact on education achievement.


Cognition Education Trust is governed by a board of directors and managed by an executive officer. You can contact any of our Trustees by emailing Executive Director Anne Rodda.

Candis Craven
Candis Craven, CNZM

Candis brings extensive experience to her role as Chair of Cognition Education Trust.

A Chartered Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, her current directorships include Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board, Niger Holdings Ltd and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. She has also previously been chair of the Investment Committee at Public Trust, and chair of the Investment Committee at the ASB Community Trust Board (now Foundation North), board member of Philanthropy New Zealand and director of Auckland Council Investments Ltd.

Candis was made an Officer of the Order of New Zealand in 2001 for her services to health education.

Tim Livingstone, MNZM
Tim Livingstone, MZNM
Deputy Chair

Tim is a chartered accountant, company director and community leader. He is active in professional, business and community affairs both as a chartered accountant and businessman, providing advice to a diverse range of businesses and community organisations. Tim is a director on several private companies and acts as a trustee on a number of large not-for-profit trusts.

His specialities include – business valuations, governance, business turnaround and business transformation.

Richard Jefferies, Director
Richard Jefferies

Richard operates his own consultancy company – Kokomuka Consultancy Ltd. Formerly Provost - Corporate (Co-Deputy CEO) for Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in Whakatane and past Director and Chair of Te Putea Whakatupu Trust (TPWT) - the education and training offshot of Te Ohu Kaimoana (TOKM), Richard brings wide ranging governance experience.

For more than 20 years, Richard has provided a wide range of Māori development consultancy services all over New Zealand. His consultancy companies have completed over 300 contracts and worked in a wide range of development fields, especially: community and social development; Māori education; Māori land development; revitalisation of te reo Māori; organisational capacity and capability building. Richard's interests and passions are reflected in the company’s work, and he is commited to Māori success in education and economic development.

Richard has had many other roles in the education sector – researcher, teacher, lecturer, community liaison person, commissioner, limited statutory manager, iwi advisory committee member, project manager, and policy developer. He serves on the council of The University of Waikato.

Sarah Martin, Director
Sarah Martin

Sarah is currently the foundation Principal of Stonefields School in Auckland. She is a passionate, forward thinking educator and has a real commitment to improving outcomes for all learners.

She has held leadership roles in a number of schools. As both a teacher and leader, she has a particular strength in building change momentum, developing collective vision, building teacher effectiveness and re envisaging future schools.

Sarah has previously been involved in developing the Numeracy Project and Exemplar development in Mathematics and has participated in the Ministry Managed Learning Environment Reference Group.

Gary Swift

Gary is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and immediate past Chief Executive of Auckland Council Investments Limited, a Council Controlled Organisation whose role is to manage over $1.5 billion of Auckland Council's major equity investments. Previously Gary was Chief Financial Officer at Watercare Services Limited. He currently serves as a director and trustee on several Auckland based entities. He has extensive Treasury, investment and financial management experience in New Zealand and overseas and is a Fellow and former member of both the Board and Council of the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Finance Professionals New Zealand and formerly chairman of a predecessor organisation, The New Zealand Society of Corporate Treasurers.

Margaret Bendall, Director
Margaret Bendall, CNZM
Adviser to the Trust on Educational Matters

A former principal of Epsom Girls Grammar School and Board Member of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority for several terms.

Since 2005 Margaret has held a number of leadership and management roles in the Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland. Much of Margaret's recent work has been focused on the implementation of the New Zealand Curriculum (2007), and professional learning for principals and other school leaders. Margaret's professional career has been marked by her leading contributions to curriculum design, particularly in the field of English, and qualifications reform. She has a long-standing commitment to the on-going development of curriculum, pedagogy and qualification systems that support young people to succeed at school, and to develop capabilities for their on-going learning beyond school.

In 2005, Margaret was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for her services to education.

John Hattie, Director
Prof. John Hattie, ONZM
Adviser to the Trust on Academic Matters

Professor John Hattie is currently the Director of Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, a position he has held since March 2011. He is also Honorary Professor of Education at the University of Auckland. John is the Senior Advisor for Visible LearningPlus, a division of Cognition Education Limited. John is one of New Zealand's most internationally acclaimed academics. He has been both Professor and Chair of Educational Research Methodology at the University of North Carolina.

Professor Hattie regularly advises governments in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. He has authored or co-authored 17 books and more than 500 papers.

In 2011 he was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, for services to education.

Soana Pamaka
Adviser to the Trust on Auckland and New Zealand schools serving Low-Decile Communities

Soana Pamaka became Principal of Tamaki College in 2006. She was the first person of Tongan descent to become a High School Principal in New Zealand. Prior to her appointment as Principal, Soana was head of the History Department at Tamaki College, a Dean and a Deputy Principal. Under her tenure as Principal, both roll numbers and academic success has steadily increased at Tamaki College. She is also an Advisor to Teach First NZ, a member of the Board of Te Papa in Wellington and also a member of the Board of Tamaki Regeneration Company. Mrs Pamaka is a pillar of her church, a wife and a mother of four teenage children and a highly respected leader in her community.

Raewyn Stone
Executive Officer

Raewyn Stone has a varied background in strategy, policy roles in local government. In these roles she has had a long history of successful working with the education sector and academics from early childhood, schooling and tertiary sectors across of variety of research, community development and advocacy projects. She has recently been the interim CEO at the NZ Planning Institute and in her prior consultancy capacity has undertaken reviews for not for profits, government and local government agencies in NZ and offshore. Raewyn has a Diploma of Teaching from the Auckland College of Education and a Master of Arts (1st class Hons) in Political Studies from Auckland University.