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About us 
Mō mātou 

The Greater Christchurch Schools' Network is a charitable trust which works to bridge the digital divide in education for ākonga and their whānau across greater Christchurch.

What we do

Professional Learning and Development to support digital fluency and the integration of digital technologies. 

Project management and support of Equitable Digital Access projects.

Advocacy and support in issues relating to the digital divide and equity of access for ākonga and whānau. 

Support and develop initiatives for ākonga to promote participation in STEAM disciplines. 

Advice and guidance for schools, ākonga and whānau around digital access and support. 

Our Board 

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Steve Wakefield 


Steve is a Chartered Accountant, and in 2017 he retired from a 36 year career with the global accounting and consulting services firm of Deloitte. 

Steve is now a professional director and trustee, who supports the community in governance roles at GCSN, NZ Health Innovation Hub, Brackenridge Services, Court Theatre, Church Property Trustees, and Christchurch Cathedral Reinstatement Limited. 

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

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Robin Sutton

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, a role he completed in 2023. In his time he developed, and continued to pursue, an abiding interest in the benefits of improved wellbeing and learning outcomes generated when we nurture our inherent creativity. He is also a trustee on the Ao Ōtautahi-Learning City Christchurch trust. 

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Derek Wenmoth

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 organisation based in Christchurch. 

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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 Service Trust and involvement in a number of other organisations. 

As a Chartered Accountant, he has worked in a range of business and education organisations prior to retirement.

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Iain Murray

Iain is an educational professional currently serving as the Principal of Hornby High School in Christchurch. With a wealth of experience in the field, Iain has held principal positions at Cheviot Area School, Emmanuel Christian School, Silverfern International School, and Westland High School. 

In addition to his extensive involvement in education, Iain has a diverse background spanning multiple disciplines. He has expertise in accounting, aeronautical engineering, education, community service and healthcare. Iain's professional journey includes serving as an Aeronautical Draftsman in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, assuming the role of Manager of Community Health with the Hawkes Bay district Health Board, and as a cost accountant with Lowe Corporation. 

Iain is also a current board member for Presbyterian Support Service Upper South Island.

Who we work with

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Christchurch City Council Libraries 

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Emma Planicka 

Digital Learning PLD

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Spark Foundation

Our mission is to accelerate towards digital equity

GCSN engages with schools in the greater Christchurch area to identify students eligible for the Ciena Jump for Students Fund.  Ciena and Skinny Jump partnered to create the Ciena Jump for Students Fund, which provides fully subsidised home broadband to eligible school students and their whānau, addressing the financial barrier to having internet access at home and enable students to participate in online learning. The Ciena Jump for Students fund offers a free wireless broadband modems and 210GC monthly data allowance for the school year.  It was established in 2020 to support remote learning during COVID-19 lockdowns, and has now been extended until the conclusion of the 2023 school year.


The fund is specifically aimed at households where cost is a barrier to having a broadband connection and home.  It is available to students enrolled a school.  To apply, a referral from either a school, GCSN, or partner library is required, and households must meet the same eligibility criteria as for Skinny Jump, including an address availability check.

GCSN x Ciena Jump for Students Fund 

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Recent Updates

May 2023

Whānau and caregivers can now text their address to GCSN on 0204 0234 222 so we can check the availability for Skinny Jump and the Ciena Fund at their home address. This helps households that don’t have access to the internet to be able to check their address themselves. There are modems available for Ciena Fund sign-up and collection at Hornby, Eastgate, Shirley and New Brighton Libraries.


Please download the flyer to distribute through your home/school digital and paper communications. 

Download the flyer here. 

The Team 





Leona is the Project Coordinator for the Ciena Jump for Students Fund at GCSN, supporting students who lack access to home broadband due to financial constraints.  Additionally, she is a Program Manager for IES Abroad Christchurch and Digital Project Coordination for the Waitaha Regional Digital Equity constellation, one of many national constellations guided by Digital Equity Coalition Aotearoa.  Leona has over two decades of experience in national and international education, research, and development.  She holds a Ph.D. in Education from Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha University of Canterbury, with a research focus on the linguistic landscape (physical and digital) of educational settings.

Leona Harris

GCSN Project Coordinator for the Ciena Jump for Students Fund
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