Our Trust

The Kaikohekohe Education Trust (KEN) is a result of Ohaeawai School, Tautoro School and Kaikohe West School initially forming a Learning and Change Network. The KEN was formed in order to provide an entity to develop funds so we could achieve our goals. Funds are initially needed to provide the equity for the lease of the Chromebooks that parents are paying off, professional development for teachers and parents, plus employ an administrator for the Lease Agreements and administrative requirements across the cluster.

Forming the KEN came about because of the above reasons plus:

  • We are determined to provide the best learning opportunities for our students so they can be confident in the world beyond Kaikohe.
  • We are otherwise isolated so a digital solution that is manageable for teachers and families is essential.
  • We are into solutions not barriers. If we keep on doing what we have always done our students will always get what they have always got.
  • Students can (and do) learn from each other within their class and school and this broadens their horizon considerably. This is important in a town like Kaikohe.
  • Parents and families can be part of their child’s learning every day. It will be like their desk coming home each day. Parents actively involved in their child’s learning does make a big difference.
  • Parents will be empowered and will therefore develop a positive attitude to education.
  • This initiative is being driven by professional and passionate people who are committed to see this succeed long term.

Kaikohekohe Education Trustees

Chairperson - Cliff Whitelaw

Cliff grew up and went to school in Kaikohe, attending Kaikohe Primary School and Northland College.

Cliff commenced his working life as a stock truck driver before heading off to University in Auckland to complete a Bachelor of Commerce degree, followed by qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. He spent a number of years working in Auckland before returning to Kaikohe to become a partner in the now Whitelaw Weber Chartered Accountants Practice located in Kerikeri, Kaikohe and Kaitaia.

He has always had a strong commitment to his community, having been involved in a number of community organisations as well as having served nine years on the Far North District Council and the Kaikohe Community Board. Cliff has chaired a number of these organisations and is a past Company Director.

Cliff has been Chairman of the Kaikohekohe Education Trust since its formation in 2015.

Cliff enjoys time with family, working on his lifestyle block and is a keen golfer in the summer and a keen snowboarder in the Winter.

Lee Whitelaw

Lee has been involved in Primary Education in Northland for the past 28 years retiring in December 2017 after 20 years as Principal of Ohaeawai School. She has been the Chairperson of the Kaikohe & Districts Principals Association as well as being a Mentor for First Time Principals and involved in the appraisal and appointment of several principals in Northland.

Lee has been involved with the Kaikohe Education Trust since its inception and was the original Convening Principal representing the Kaikohekohe Education Trust in the Manaiakalani Outreach group of schools across New Zealand.

Lee has always been keen to see students and their whanau in Taitokerau succeed and have the very best of opportunities to succeed in the future and therefore sees the Kaikohekohe Education Trust as having a major role to play in education in Taitokerau.

As well as having a keen interest in education, children and their future Lee loves to keep fit garden, cook ,and travel to visit her children and grandchildren.

Laurie Byers

Laurie of Kaikohe, served 18 years as a District Councillor, 3 as Deputy Mayor. He was chairperson of District Development, Works, Hearings and the District Plan. He was an RMA Commissioner with Chairperson endorsement. He was a trustee of Sport Northland for 9 years, and a Life Member of Kaikohe Golf and Squash Club and a NZ Olympic and Commonwealth representative. He has served 23 years as a trustee of North Point Trust for Mental Health and Ministry of Social Development. He was a Lion for 22 years, is a Justice of the Peace and was awarded a QSM for services to the community.

Mike Preece

Mike Preece enjoyed a dynamic 25yr career in the film entertainment industry before migrating from London to N.Z. in 2004. Mike held executive positions for 20th Century Fox, PolyGram, and Universal Pictures with a remit to grow International film revenues via global licensing and expanding distribution by developing new territories.

Within N.Z. Mike has been an advisor/mentor for business accelerators Ice House and Lightning Lab and has focused more towards digital technology, education and philanthropy.

In a consultative capacity Mike worked with Crown Fibre Holdings, Northpower Fibre, Northland Inc and Whangarei District Council to assist with the Ultra-Fast Broadband roll-out to Whangarei, creating N.Z.’s first digitally enabled city.

Philanthropically, Mike was chairman of Northland Youth Development Trust, a trustee of Far North Sustainable Communities Trust and a current trustee for Te Taitokerau Education Trust . He also works voluntarily with mentoring school principals via The Springboard Trust’s alumni school-advisory group.

Tony Liefting

My partner and I have a dairy farm in Tautoro, 12 kilometres south west of Kaikohe . We have a ten year old son Anthony who goes to Tautoro school.

Te Ropu

Iwi: Ngapuhi

Hapu: Ngāti Te Rino, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu ki Whaingaroa

General Manager at Te Hau Ora O Ngapuhi

Te Hau Ora O Ngapuhi (THOON) is a primary health organisation based in Kaikohe with a mission to provide health and wellbeing to the people of Northland, with a focus on Maori and Ngapuhi members in particular.

I believe the Digital platform and technology is a part of our present and future learning in education. Our tamariki must have access to learning tools which will enhance there learning capabilities during their primary and secondary school years.

My current leadership positions include:

  • A 2018 Graduate Alumnae of Global Women's Breakthrough Leadership Programme
  • Board Chair for Sportsville (Lindvart Park, Kaikohe) Management Group
  • Director: Te Kaupapa Mahitahi Hauora - Papa O Te Raki Trust (Newly established Primary Health Entity for Northland)
  • Maori Advisor of Community Advisory Committee – PHARMAC
  • Director on Te Tai Tokerau Primary Health Organisation
  • Trustee on Kaikohekohe Education Trust (Chrome books in Schools programme)


  • MA in Human Resources and Organisational Development
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Māori Development from the University of Auckland
  • Member of Institute Of Directors and have completed the following Courses:
  • Risk & Audit, Director Training- Chairing of Boards, Strategy Essentials and Digital Era

Sally Macauley, QSM JP

Sally Macauley has lived in the Far North District for over 40 years and has been married to Peter for 50 years, has two children and four grandchildren.

Sally is the Chairman of the Northland District Health Board and Chairman of the DHB Regional Governance Group encompassing the three Metro Health Boards: Waitemata DHB, Auckland DHB and Counties Manakau DHB. Sally has ensured the people of the Mid and Far North have access to all services with the rebuild of the Bay of Islands Hospital and the Kaitaia Hospital initiating chemotherapy and small joint replacement procedures.

Sally has been actively involved for many years in Northland and Far North District Municipal Associations, including Local government. She is a councillor and past deputy mayor of the Far North District Council (FNDC) where she is actively involved with economic development in the Far North District.

Sally is also a Trustee of Kaikohe Community and Youth Centre Trust.

She plays a significant role in the Northland Arts and is the Chairman of the Bay of Islands Arts Festival Trust and is a trustee of the Kerikeri International Piano Competition Trust.

Sally is a Judicial and Ministerial Justice of the Peace and is a marriage celebrant.

In 2009 Sally received a Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for Services to the Community.