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The Greater Christchurch Schools' Network is a charitable trust which develops, implements and evaluates a range of programmes and initiatives to bridge the digital divide for school-aged students and their whānau within greater Christchurch. GCSN’s projects facilitate access to the internet and internet-capable devices across a range of home and school settings. Its professional learning and development programmes enhance teacher knowledge and capability in digital fluency and effective e-learning pedagogies.

What we do

We have a range of services we can offer to schools, teachers and students. Get in touch below to find out more.

Project management of Equitable Digital Access projects

Support for schools undertaking Digital Fluency PLD

Advocacy and support in issues relating to the digital divide


Workshops to support educators digital fluency and the development and implementation of Digital Technologies I Hangarau Matihiko

One-to-one and small group digital PLD for TToM member schools

Support with community and whānau engagement relating to digital access and e-learning

Delivery of PLD programmes to support digital wellbeing and digital leadership

Advice and guidance around digital access and support

Check out what the Greater Christchurch Schools' Network have been up to here: GCSN Milestone Report - June 2022

Board Members

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Steve Wakefield
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Steve is a Chartered Accountant, and has recently retired from a 36 year career with the global accounting and consulting services firm of Deloitte.

Steve supports the community in governance roles at GCSN, the Canterbury District Health Board, Brackenridge Services, Court Theatre, Church Property Trustees, and the Council of the University of Canterbury.

With an IT and financial background, Steve brings considerable expertise to the board.

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Paul Armitage

Paul has been a member of the GCSN Board since 2011, shortly after it was established. With more than thirty years’ experience in education, Paul brings a wealth of experience to the Board particularly from a primary schooling perspective. He is passionate about future focussed teaching and learning and the role technology plays in this.

He is currently Principal of Elmwood Normal School.

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Murray Spackman

Murray is passionate about supporting young people who need a hand up in achieving equitable access to education. He pursues this through his work as a Justice of the Peace, and roles as a trustee for GCSN, Chairperson of Christchurch Budget Services, and a number of other organisations. 

Although trained as a Chartered Accountant, he has worked in a range of business and education organisations throughout his career.

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Robin Sutton
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Robin began his career in education teaching commerce at Christchurch Girls' High School. A change in direction saw him employed as Director of Ferrymead Historic (Heritage) Park in the late 1980s, and Administration and Business manager at Canterbury Museum, before returning to the classroom as HOD Commerce at Hornby High School.

This preceded 16 years at Christ's College, including 14 as Senior Master Curriculum, before becoming principal of Hornby High School in 2016.

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Derek Wenmoth
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Derek has a broad background in education, with experience as a teacher and principal, lecturer and policy analyst and adviser to the Ministry of Education. He is a pioneer in the development of eLearning clusters in NZ, including the CANTAtech project, the Virtual Learning Networka and GCSN. 

Derek currently lives in Wellington and operates his own educational consultancy,, providing strategic and future-focused advice and support for schools and educators. He was previously co-founder and eLearning director of CORE Education Ltd, a not-for-profit educational research and development organization based in Christchurch. 

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Niki Davis

Emerita Professor Niki Davis, having retired from the University of Canterbury, continues to support research in the area of online learning and she remains a member of the UC e-Learning Research Lab supporting research in  Education and Health.

Previously editor, she remains a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (JOFDL). Publications include chapters describing practices of virtual schooling and her 2018 book ‘Digital Technologies and Change in Education’.

Our Team

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Gabrielle Wall
General Manager
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Gabrielle is a consultant who specialises in organisational change and stakeholder engagement, particularly within the education sector. She has been involved in education in greater Christchurch and nationally for more than a decade in a range of roles, including working with clusters and Kāhui Ako on strategic planning and leading sustainable change. She has partnered with the Ministry of Education and Grow Waitaha to research and publish a range of reports in the areas of culturally responsive practice, future-focussed school design, and effective teaching and learning.

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Leona Harris
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Leona is the GCSN project coordinator for the Ciena Jump for Students Fund, a funded solution to address digital equity access for students, their whānau and school communities. A recent PhD graduate from the University of Canterbury, her research, which is discussed in various publications, focused on the linguistic landscapes (physical and virtual) of young emergent multilingual children in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Leona's University of Canterbury research profile

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Geoff Allen

Geoff has extensive experience in education sector as a teacher, as an evaluator with the Education Review Officer, as a manager and advisor with the Ministry of Education and in the formation of Hornby Networked Learning Community from 2008.  He has been with GCSN since 2010.  

His main responsibilities have been to administer the National Education Network trial in Christchurch Schools from 2010 to 2016 and to implement the GCSN professional learning and development programme from 2015.

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