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Board and governance

We are extremely lucky to have a group of dedicated professionals and parents supporting the school. They all give their time so generously and continue to help us to implement our vision for the school.

Bruce McIntyre

Trustee and visionary

Tomo and I have 4 children and 6 grandchildren. My son loved his time at Seven Oaks but had to move on when we ran out of classes for him. However his maturity as a teenager, compared with his new peers, is testament to the social and emotional skills he developed at Seven Oaks.

After a year at university, I decided to start my own business. Macpac grew to be a substantial and successful business, employing up to 250 people in factory and office. We cared a lot about environment, product performance and an open, friendly, egalitarian culture. I bring 35 years of innovation, leadership and a wide range of business experience to my roles on the Trust board and the school board.

Kane Bunting

Parent co-chair

Returning from the UK in 2007, I switched from working in contract management to a procurement role with City Care. After seven years growing procurement at City Care, I created a residential property management company and now work from home. The work flexibility I now have has given me the opportunity to join the school board.

I am married to Jo and we have three children, Cooper (9), Tait (7) and Miri (5). The school has been a great choice for our family with the tailor-made education for each individual child, holistic curriculum and ethos a match to our parenting style at home.

I look to bring commercial business experience and support to the finance committee.

Jace Carson


I am married to Anitra Carr. All three of our children have attended Seven Oaks.  Our eldest daughter Anna was a founding student at Seven Oaks, completed schooling at Hagley Community College and recently joined the workforce.  Sarah graduated from Seven Oaks in 2017 and is now doing well at Unlimited.  Ryan is 10 and moved up to Mike’s class this year.

I trained in science and have worked for many years in the research sector in organisations both here and in the US. In my current role I drive strategic research initiatives, development of Research Institutes, project management and coordination with National Research Centres. This work has seen me involved in the development of over 1,000 proposals and accumulated contracts totalling more than $100 million.

We sought out a school like Seven Oaks for the nurturing environment, individualised and experiential learning, realistic teacher/student ratios and male teachers.

John MacDonald

Parent co-chair

I’m married to Fiona and we have two children at Seven Oaks.

Coming from a science background, I now focus on developing people to realise their potential, growing leadership capabilities, talent management and succession planning and the usual range of personnel-related activities. A large portion of my role involves me working at a strategic and governance level to be future-focused on the needs of the organisation.

We chose Seven Oaks because of its holistic, child-centred approach to education. In today’s environment of large class sizes, Seven Oaks provides a great alternative where the needs of the individuals can be catered for and supported by appropriately paced learning. Children at the school have the opportunity to build quality relationships with educators who care deeply for their wellbeing.

Bridget Edwards

Parent and treasurer

I have been a qualified Chartered Accountant since 2007. I have worked in a variety of different sectors, including an accounting firm, a large registered charity and CFO for our own high growth business. At the start of 2020, I finished working in the family business to focus on our family. This has given me time to help at Seven Oaks. I am excited about being on the Board of Seven Oaks School. I use my accounting knowledge and business experience to help with treasurer duties and advice.

Kurt Janssen and I are parents to Theo and Harvey. Theo is absolutely loves Seven Oaks as it allows him to develop at his own pace in a peaceful, caring, and supportive environment. The school has given him a positive disposition towards learning and he is moving ahead in leaps and bounds. We are looking forward to Harvey joining him in 2021.”

Leanne Stuart


I am married to Garth, and we have two children currently attending Seven Oaks. I originally trained as an ECE Teacher and have worked for a variety of ECE providers in Christchurch. Throughout my children’s early childhood, I became involved as a parent, and as ECE coordinator. I currently work as an Early Intervention Teacher on transition to school teams at an Early Intervention provider in Christchurch.


I am very passionate about education; particularly holistic, relationship-based, child centred practice. I believe every child should be able to have access to learning in a way that is meaningful for them, and which develops and extends upon their interests and strengths. This is largely why we felt that Seven Oaks was the best fit for our children, as the schools philosophy aligns with our beliefs around what education should look like.

Michael Debbie


After a decade spent as an engineering officer in the Royal New Zealand Navy and a further five years working in the oil and gas sector in the Middle East, my wife Diana and I returned home to Christchurch with a young family.  I have since been working in leadership roles responsible for broadly managing occupational risk and the wellbeing of people, initially at HW Richardson Group and more recently Ryman Healthcare. These leadership roles have seen me closely engaged with business governance, particularly focussed in the areas of risk management, health, safety and wellbeing.

Our son James is in his second year at Seven Oaks having moved from a mainstream school so that he could enjoy more individualised learning in smaller classes with a focus on nurturing and growing him to his full potential.

Mike Rea


I have been an educator at Seven Oaks for the last 5 years and have been closely linked to the development of the curriculum and vision of the school. Every day I work with the children, guiding them to achieve their full holistic potential and gain a range of fulfilling life experiences. Through this time, I have also achieved much growth myself, as an educator, board member and personally.

I am married to Laura and have 2 wonderful children, Layla who is 8 months old and Tobias who is 4 years old. Before beginning my journey at Seven Oaks, I travelled for 5 years teaching and living in Edinburgh before working on Organic Farms throughout Europe. I have a passion for bio dynamic and organic gardening as well as cooking, travelling, playing guitar and sport. My goal on the board is to be a clear voice in keeping the vision at a working level within the school.

Matt Binnie


My wife Lesley and I have two young boys, Flynn and Blake, both at Seven Oaks.

I am a registered valuer, specialising in residential and commercial property valuation, having retrained as an adult student. I formerly worked in a large family food manufacturing business and also spent several years living in Canada. The contractual nature of my career allows flexibility, including the chance to be involved in Seven Oaks’ governance.

Lesley and I were drawn to Seven Oaks’ philosophy, particularly the play based learning, which we have found to be an amazing environment for Flynn. The school’s key philosophies, outstanding educators, amazing community and small class sizes, continue to confirm that Seven Oaks is a great fit for our family.

Liam Foster


I am married to Lyndsey, and our daughter Evelyn is in the junior school. Through my experience working within an engineering consultancy environment, I can call on a wide range of skills that can be of benefit to the school. I have joined the board to bring some project focus to delivering new facilities to our new site at Halswell.

We chose Seven Oaks as we wanted Evelyn to be nurtured at her own pace and allow her passions to shine through in a supportive environment, including the Building Brilliance scheme and more realistic class sizes than is common across the Christchurch school education system.

“Moving her to Seven Oaks was the best decision we have ever made”

Amazing school. My daughter was not coping well with the modern learning environment at her previous primary school. She was...

Meeghan, parent

“Both of our children instantly felt a strong sense of belonging at their new school”

The decision to move our children to Seven Oaks School was based upon the fact that we wanted our children...

Leeane, parent

“We love the wide curriculum”

Seven Oaks School offers the individual approach we were looking for our children and we would highly recommend it. We...

Jo, parent

“Our son thrives when he can learn in a hands-on environment”

Seven Oaks has been a fantastic fit for our family. In particular, the play-based learning philosophy for the new entrants...

Matthew, parent

“All about developing more than just educational outcomes!!!” 

The right school... Small class sizes. Play-based learning is developing our child amazingly well. Key element for me is it's...

Liam, parent