Freemans Bay School, (FBS)  is governed by a Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees shall consist of between 8 and 10 people, namely:

  • the principal
  • the staff trustee
  • the Whānau Ata trustee
  • five trustees elected by parents
  • optionally, up to two trustees co-opted by the Board


The Board is responsible for the governance of FBS, setting the direction and meeting the relevant legal and statutory requirements.  This specifically includes the responsibility for implementing the Charter, setting and reviewing goals, implementing policies and assessing performance in relation to these. 

The Principal, as Chief Executive, is charged with the responsibility of achieving these objectives through effective day to day management of the school’s staff and resources.

Code of Conduct:

The code of conduct applies to all members of the school Board of Trustees.

Code of Conduct can be read here.



For parents and families School Docs provides a comprehensive view of all the  school operational and policy documents.
Click on the link above and search for Freemans Bay School.

Board Meetings:

Board meetings are open meetings and are held twice a term.

  • Notification of each meeting is on the school  calendar.
  • Minutes of the Board meetings are available in the school office or on this page.
  • The Board keeps the parents informed through a Board newsletter.

Current Board:

These are the members on our Board of Trustees: 

Hamish Hopkinson - Chairperson

Kia Ora & Hello

My wife Jo and I have lived in Freemans Bay for 15 years. We love it here. Our son has gradulated from Freemans Bay School and our daughter is now in Year 5!  I have previous governance experience, having served on several boards or reporting to them. I have been involved with education, sporting and environmentally focused organisations.

The importance of education and supporting your local school is something I really value. My mother was a teacher and my father was on school boards. Previously I was coordinating the Parent Group here at school. I did this to meet, engage and support other parents but to also help build the parent community inside the school – something that is important to me.

I continue to be amazed with our school and enjoy very much contributing my little bit to help with the great job being undertaken by parents, teachers and all the staff in ensuring that our children grow into happy, prepared and smart teenagers.

It is an honour and a privilege to be on the Board.

Cindy Walsh - Principal

Principals are members of the Board of Trustees and what a pleasure it is for me to work with such a dedicated, committed and engaged group of Trustees that we have at Freemans Bay School.     

School board members have a very important role in making sure every child achieves their potential at school. 

Here are some of the things they do 

  • Work with the principal and consult with staff, students and the community
  • Set the educational goals and strategic direction of the school
  • Monitor progress and let parents know how the school is progressing against its annual targets and how well students are achieving
  • Decide how the school’s funding will be spent
  • Select the school’s principal and support the development of all staff
  • Oversee the management of staff, property, finances, curriculum and administration.

The trusting, collaborative and respectful relationships I have with the other Board of Trustee members ensures we make progress towards our overall goal of making sure every child at our school achieves their potential.   

If you are interested in becoming a Board of Trustees member in the future, I would be happy to talk to you about this.  

Staff Trustee - Caroline Cels

Over my teaching career I have taught in a variety of settings across the North island including small rural schools, larger urban schools, an island school and now a central city school.   From these experiences I have learnt to adapt and appreciate the unique culture of each school and community.  Having taught at Freemans Bay School for a few years, I value the diversity and inclusiveness of our community.  I recognise the importance of ensuring we are catering for the specific needs of the learners in our community and celebrating the gifts their culture brings to our setting.  As a board member,  I hope to work together with the board to make decisions that provide the learning opportunities that will engage, enrich and empower our Freemans Bay learners.


Whānau Ata Trustee - Shavana Ashford

Kia ora koutou, 


Ko Aotea te waka

Ko Ruapehu te maunga

Ko Whanganui i te awa

Ko Otoko, Ko Matahiwi ngā marae

Ko Te Atihaunui-ā-Pāpārangi tōku iwi 

Ko Shavana Ashford tōku ingoa

I am a busy māmā to three boys, with our eldest, Kiah in Tau 3 in whānau Ata. I am excited to join the Board of Trustees at Freemans Bay! 

Pauline Nguyen - Parent Trustee

Kia ora koutou

I am the mother of 2 boys at the school – Benjie (Year 4) and Toby (Year 2). My youngest, Tilly, will start in 2025. Originally hailing from Australia, I have called New Zealand and Freemans Bay home since 2011. Growing up as a first-generation kid from a refugee family made me appreciate the importance of an inclusive, engaging, and diverse school environment. As a board member, I look forward to contributing to positive outcomes for our school community.

Professionally, I am an Australian and New Zealand qualified lawyer with experience in major infrastructure projects and general banking. I am currently taking time off work to spend more time with my kids.

Leon Kipa - Parent Trustee

Kia Ora koutou

Ka hikaka tōku ngākau. I am excited to be apart of the board of trustees for Freemans Bay School. I am keen to engage and learn. My contributions will be based on the foundation of the following values. Ko te tika, te pono me te aroha. Integrity, respect and compassion.

Ngā mihi.

Leon Kipa

David King - Parent Trustee

I am the proud father of Lily who is now at Ponsonby Intermediate and Angus, Year 4 . I originally emigrated to NZ in 2007 from the UK with my now wife, Gabby.

I am passionate about improving educational outcomes, and have volunteered for the Springboard Trust since 2016, helping primary schools enhance strategic leadership capacity. Professionally, I am a partner in the Deal Advisory team at KPMG, where I works with companies and people dealing with challenging opportunities and issues. I am a Chartered Accountant, qualified from Auckland and Newcastle (UK) universities, and I completed the Future Auckland Leaders course in 2015.

Summer Wharekawa - Parent Trustee

Summer is of Ngāti Tahu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, and Ngāti Maniapoto iwi. A devoted member of the Freemans Bay School community since 2015, all three of Summer’s children attended Freemans Bay School in our rumaki unit, Whanau Ata.  Two have now graduated and are continuing their Māori medium education and her youngest, Tiaho, is in Tau (year) 3.


Professionally, Summer boasts over 25 years of experience in the media sector, showcasing her expertise in promotions, content creation, and communications.  She is GM Commissioning at TVNZ, and an intermediate level speaker of te Reo Māori.


Elections for the Board shall be conducted every 18 months to ensure continuity of board membership.  The ‘main’ election (ie: at the 3-yearly May/June date gazetted externally) will be for:

  • 3 parent-elected trustees (elected by all parents)
  • the staff trustee
  • the Whānau Ata trustee (elected at a Whānau hui)

The “mid-term” election (18 months after the ‘main’ election) will be for:

  • 2 parent-elected trustees (elected by all parents)


They can be contacted by emailing the Chairperson on