The Board of Trustees consists of five members elected by parents of children attending the School, the Principal and a Staff Representative. 


The term of office for the Board of Trustees is for a period of three years. Next elections will be in June 2022.


The Board of Trustees is responsible for governing the school by formulating and reviewing policies that efficiently and effectively help achieve school  goals for student learning and achievement.  Students, and their learning are our main focus!  The Principal is responsible for the day to day management of the school.


Board of Trustees meetings are usually held twice per term at 6.30pm in the School Staffroom.  The date and venue are advertised in the School Newsletter.  Parents and Caregivers are welcome to attend these meetings.




Caine Webster (Principal)

Brett Hall (Chairperson)

JoAnn White (Property)

Libby Tuite (Health and Safety)

Kate Scott (Cultural Competence)

Simon Jones (Finance)

Maria Breuss-McBride (Staff Rep)

Manuela Hodgson (Secretary)





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Principal – Caine Webster

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Deputy Principal – Kate Excell

Kia ora, my name is Kate Excell, I joined the Pauatahanui team in 2019 and I  love working with an amazing team in such a supportive community. Before working at Pauatahanui I spent much of my career as a teacher and team leader at Plimmerton School. In 2018 my husband and I returned to Te Anau for a year where I took up the position of Assistant Principal. We live locally and have two awesome adult children who we are very proud of. In my spare time I love running trails, biking, fishing and reading.


Rm 1 Teacher –  Clare Layfield

Kia ora, I'm Clare Layfield and I'm really excited to join the Pauatahanui team again. I was a reliever at Pauatahanui School for a number of years before teaching full time so it's an honour to come back to the place where I began my teaching journey. 

I am originally from the UK and I emigrated with my husband in 2007. We love living in beautiful New Zealand and are now locals to the Pauatahanui Inlet. We have three young children so weekends are spent following and supporting various sporting events! I love to walk and am passionate about the environment and love working alongside children, watching their creativity and adventures.

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Rm 2 Teacher – Jade Ahrens - on maternity leave

Jade is back after a mini adventure, ready to teach all our great kids again. Her passion for teaching is unwavered and her fur babies and wonderful husband are never far from her mind.

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Rm 3 Teacher - Maddy Bain

Kia ora, I'm Maddy Bain and I'm the teacher in Room 3. I am originally from the sunny Hawkes Bay and moved to Wellington when I attended Victoria University. I have really enjoyed being a teacher at Pauatahanui School over the last 4 years in the junior school. In my spare time I love reading, cooking, exercising, and spending time with family and friends.

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Rm 4 Teacher - Rochelle Kearney

I have loved the last 10 years being involved with Pauatahanui School, firstly, as a parent and over the last couple of years as a teacher.  I enjoy the outdoors, being out walking, biking, swimming and gardening.  Family adventures are at the top of my things to do list outside of school hours, followed by enjoying good music, food and always having a book on the go.

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Rm 5 Teacher - Sharon Gibson

Hi, I am Sharon Gibson and I am the teacher in room 5. 

In my holidays, I enjoy spending time with my family - my husband and two daughters, travelling both here in NZ and overseas to learn about new places and new cultures.  During the term we can be seen out walking, biking and kayaking locally here in Pauatahanui.

Rm 6 Teacher - Jen Cooze

Kia ora, koutou. I’m like a boomerang, returning to Pauatahanui School after a lengthy gap, which has included wonderful opportunities teaching in the UK and Kuwait. This gave me perfect opportunities to travel (a passion), particularly throughout Europe and the Middle East, where I picked up a smattering of Arabic.

I have taught all levels from New Entrants to Year 8 in a number of schools.

My adult children have all flown the coop, and I have three delightful grandchildren.

Interests include: reading, gardening, photography and painting. I enjoy running and cycling for fitness.

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Rm 7 Teachers - Becky Spencer and Claire Jolly

Becky Spencer - Years 5/6 and Across School Lead Teacher - Kahui ako


Tena Koutou, I'm Becky Spencer and I've been at Pauatahanui School in various capacities over the last 12 years. I have two boys of my own who are 7 and 9 years old. They are extremely active and I find myself at lots of football fields, events and free running classes!  This year I am looking forward to teaching the year 5 and 6 students in room 7 and growing fantastic young leaders within the middle of the school.  When I'm not at work or at after school activities, you might spot me running, or horse riding when I can find a bit of spare time!

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Claire Jolly


Kia Ora,  My name is Claire Jolly and I'm so happy to be part of the Pauatahanui School Whanau.  I have been teaching for over 20 years and I've been fortunate to teach in Thailand, London and Wellington.  I am the proud Mama of two boys who are 8 and 4 so in my spare time we swim, travel (when possible) and try our best to wear them out!  I love teaching at the Year 5/6 level and co-teaching with Becky is a lot of fun too!  In my spare time I love reading, eating and try to fit in some exercise - life is all about balance, after all!


Rm 9 Teacher - Kansas Davis (on parental leave)

Hi I’m Kansas Davis and I am the teacher in Room 9. Before moving to Pauatahanui School in term 3 2020, I taught at Plimmerton School in the junior syndicate. 

I grew up in Plimmerton and went to Plimmerton School until my family moved to Wanaka in 2004. I moved back to Wellington in 2011 to attend university. I live locally with my partner Kieran and our two cats Luka and Meeko. In my spare time I play a lot of netball, I enjoy reading, baking and pottering around in the garden at our home. 

I’m really looking forward to teaching at Pauatahanui and getting to know all of you.

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Rm 10 Teacher - Maria Breuss-McBride

Kia ora koutou,

I am excited to be part of the team at Pauatahanui School. I have lived in Whitby, for the past 20 years, but am originally from the South Island. I have a wonderfully supportive bike-mad husband and 2 adult sons who are at various stages at home, flatting, studying, and pursuing their own interests. Many years have been involved in their sporting interests such as football, cricket, swimming and I believe sport teaches many great life lessons. I enjoy reading, home renovations, spending time with family, walking and travelling whenever possible. I am looking forward to getting to know the Pauatahanui community further throughout the year.

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Executive Officer – Manuela Hodgson

I have a girl here at the school in year 7 and my older daughter went to Pauatahanui school right from year 0 - 8. I have loved being involved at the school as a parent for several years and I'm really enjoying my role here in the school office. 

You can contact me through

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Learning Coach - Vicki Judd

I have been working at Pauatahanui School for about 4 years now and loving every bit of it. I have two children who attend Pauatahanui school.  My children are the second generation to attend the school. I am look forward to working with all the children and getting to know the new faces.    


Brett Hall - Chairman

Hi my name is Brett Hall and I live on Moonshine Hill Road with my wife Tracy, Daughter Mackenzie (8), son Fletcher (6) and twins Angus & Zara (14mths). I have been lucky enough to call Pauatahanui my home for alot of my life having had stints away at the University of Canterbury to study engineering and the obligatory OE in Europe where I worked as a engineer for the Kent Fire and Rescue Service. Pauatahanui is a great place to live, I'm lucky enough to be one of our schools alumni having attended the school from 1985-1991 moving onto St Patricks college silverstream.

On Moonshine Hill Road we farm Hereford cattle and Coopworth sheep and operate a small agricultural contracting company servicing the wider Porirua region.

I'm often around the village or collecting our children from school so feel free to stop for a chat whether just to shoot the breeze or ask me anything about what the board of trustees are working on or even a concern you have at school.

Look forward to meeting you.

JoAnn White - Property

I have 2 children at Pauatahanui School, currently in years 4 and 6.  I moved back to New Zealand with my family in 2015 after living in London and Singapore. 

Being part of the Board of Trustees is important to me, to give something back to the school and the community, and help the school reach its full potential.

I am a qualified accountant, but have been working in project & programme management roles for the last 15 years in the telecoms sector, currently working for Chorus in Wellington.  My project management experience has given me good planning, execution and communication skills that are instrumental to support the school deliver its goals. 

I am driven and very motivated, and understand the importance of accountability & clear communication. 

Kate Scott - Cultural Competence

Together with my husband, Blair and our three children, William (Year 3), Oliver (Year 5) and Charlotte (Year 5) we have recently followed our dream and moved into this idyllic part of the world – with the aim of having a more rounded, rural life for our family.

I have a strong business, HR and accounting background combined with a passion for being an active contributor to my community. I also bring experience of being on the Island Bay School Board of Trustees for the 18 months prior to moving to Pauatahanui.

My aim as a Trustee is to ensure that the quality of education at Pauatahanui School is maintained at the highest standard and that the staff has the resources they need to accomplish this goal. I also enjoy being able to contribute to my children’s education by being part of a Board of Trustees

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