Head of communications

Hayden Eastmond-Mein champions teachers interests as Head of Communications at NZEI Te Riu Roa.

Hayden Eastmond-Mein outside Parliament

Key facts

Career: Head of communications, NZEI Te Riu Roa
Programme: Bachelor of Arts
Subjects: Politics and International Relations; Media, Film and Television

"I’m Head of Communications at NZEI Te Riu Roa, Aotearoa’s largest education union representing a wide range of education sector workers. I work with a communications team of seven to champion our members’ interests, engage with them around our campaigns, and grow their numbers.

"Education is one of the most important things for a society to invest in, but unfortunately in this country we’ve severely undervalued many of the people working in the sector for a long period of time. The most enjoyable thing for me is knowing that the work we do has a real impact on thousands of people’s lives and livelihoods.

I’ve been lucky enough to spend almost all my
career working for causes I believe in and care about, and this job is no

"I studied media and politics, and I think the combination of both has really helped. It’s critical to have an understanding of the political landscape, a keen awareness of how your messages will fit into the wider discourse, and an ability to respond to changes and challenges on the fly. It’s also really important to know the historical context when you’re fighting for change.

"It’s a cliché but figure out what you really care about or believe in, and then see if you can find a communications job in that area."