LEADING LIGHTS     Issue 1 | 2024

Martin Thrupp

Vale Martin Thrupp


We acknowledge the recent passing of renowned New Zealand education leadership and policy leader, Professor Martin Thrupp, and honour both his contribution to education and his humanness in being a kind and generous teacher and colleague.

“While Martin was many things to many people, he will always be a taonga, a special treasure that was taken far too soon. Kua hinga te tōtara o Te Waonui a Tāne; moe mai rā, e te rangatira.”

Martin’s career spanned over 25 years at the University of Waikato and was a pivotal leader in Te Kura Toi Tangata School of Education.

Martin focused on research that made a difference and which challenged the status quo. He demonstrated the strength and courage to challenge policies that may result in any form of inequality.

Martin’s influence extended beyond the academic world, where he was known for the depth of his guidance and support.

Internationally, Martin co-authored works on Finnish education. Including Finland’s Famous Education system- Unvarnished Insights into Finnish Schooling. His authoring of the book ‘The Search for Better Educational Standards- A Cautionary Tale’, a critique of the National Standards policy, was recognised among principals in New Zealand. Martin was widely read by principals with his regular column in the principal magazine for the New Zealand Principals’ Federation.

Martin contributed to NZEALS by serving on the editorial board of JELPP and completed his last article review for this in December of 2023.