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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 (currently) 5 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 our eldest child, Hana, is in her sixth year at Seven Oaks, in Mike’s class.

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.

Matt Rogers

Parent and treasurer

Karlene and I have two children, one of whom is at Seven Oaks.

I have been a qualified accountant for many years and bring my accounting and administration abilities to the school board.

We were attracted to Seven Oaks because of the Arrowsmith Program, which is of great help to our son.

Charlotte Syme


I was privileged enough to be one of the first educators to join Seven Oaks in 2009. Over this time, I have seen the school evolve and grow into the caring and effective centre of learning it is today. It was a ground-breaking endeavour; all those years ago and many schools seem to be keen now, to follow our lead, sharing the importance of social and emotional learning.

My family has grown too, over the time I have been at Seven Oaks. I have my husband and three beautiful children and now I am also a very proud grandmother to three wonderful grandchildren.

I have had a lot of life experience that includes lots of varied work experiences from Deloittes in London to a flag factory in Perth, Australia. One of my loves is to paint and I have been happy to have exhibited my work and had success in various art competitions over the years. It is a great joy for me to be able to share my creative skills with the children.

It has been and will continue to be an inspiring journey as we all grow together as a community and I feel happy, as an educator, to be helping your children grow to their full potential. The Community Circle, of which I am the educator liaison to the Board, personifies that community in the way that they give of their time and expertise to enhance they school with fundraising and friendship.

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.

Dianne Locke


Rob and I are the parents of Cadigan, who is in year 5.

I qualified as a radiation therapist many years ago and have worked all over the world in this career. I returned to New Zealand in 2003 and have continued working in radiation therapy, but with a change of role, first being a tutor in our training programme and now for the last five years taking on the role of Clinical Educator, looking after post-graduate education and training for our staff.

There is a proverb that says “it takes a village to raise a child” and I believe that Seven Oaks is an important part of that village. It is a school which provides an environment that nurtures our daughter’s individuality and also instigates a sense of community in her.

Cadigan often reminds us that sending her to Seven Oaks was one of the best decisions we have ever made and I wholeheartedly agree with her. I am excited to be a member of the board and are looking forward to seeing the school grow at its new site.

Matt Binnie


My wife Lesley and I have two young boys, Flynn (6) and Blake (4). With Flynn now being approximately halfway through his second year at Seven Oaks, in Charlotte’s class.

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 Kowhai class. 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.

“Free to fly with ideas”

It felt right. I haven't been disappointed. My son is happy, wants to go to school, is excited about learning...

Nicola, parent

“Learning through doing”

The single biggest stand-out feature of the school is the massive hearts, love and nurturing, hugs and support that the...

Ange, parent

“We love Seven Oaks”

In only 3 months she has just blossomed from an anxious, unsettled child who hated school, to a bubbly, enthusiastic...

Kezia, parent

“Believe in yourself”

Our daughter has started to believe in herself again, feeling she is listened to and respected

Eleanor, parent

“Amazing parent community”

By simply placing her in the right environment, it has highlighted just how much she was suffering at her old...

Mark, parent