Aksel Bech - Chairperson
Aksel is the Deputy-Mayor of Waikato District and Councillor for the Tamahere, the immediate northern neighbouring district to St Peter’s, and is a parent of current students at the school. He has a commercial background in both Human Resource Management and equipment sales & service, particularly to the Dairy, Wine and Brewing industries. Aksel has a B.Sc. in Microbiology and Psychology, and a Masters in Industrial Pyschology. Aksel started his professional career working for Natural Gas Corporation, and was part of the successful management buy-out of NDA Engineering in 1998. He continued as an owner/manager until the business was sold a decade later, after which Aksel held Board of Trustee roles in primary schools as well as directorships in private sector companies whilst focusing most of his time around family.
Chris has served as a company director in a diverse range of commercial and investment organisations. Chris is a parent of three St Peter’s School alumni. Chris values the importance of independent schools in New Zealand and the contributions they make to New Zealand society, and is passionate about St Peter’s maintaining its position as one of New Zealand’s leading independent schools. He is keen to assist the Foundation in growing its Endowment Fund to support St Peter’s School with scholarships and other funding. Chris holds an MBA and a Post Graduate Certificate in Governance.
Leigh joined the Foundation in 2017. She attended St Peter's between 1992 and 1995 and was Deputy Head Girl in her final year. Leigh has been teaching for 18 years and is currently Head of Faculty Health and Physical Education at Otahuhu College. Further education includes Master of Educational Leadership (Hons First Class) from Auckland University of Technology, and Postgraduate Certificate in Digital and Collaborative learning from Unitec.
Harry Mowbray was born and educated in Hamilton and completed a Bachelor of Science at Waikato University. Not long after graduating, while working at Kinleith Pulp and Paper mill, he co-built a house, established a pine plantation and purchased a run-down farm. This entrepreneurial spirit led him years later to buy and develop the derelict Matangi Dairy Factory, which now houses 28 businesses. It also rubbed off on Harry’s children. After helping his 10-year old son Mathew develop a model hot air balloon which won a number of competitions and science fairs, Guru Toys (Later changed to Zuru) was born. Now two of Harry’s sons and daughter run one of the world’s largest toy companies, Zuru Toys. In 2004 Harry and his son Andrew developed The AWOP pay wave system for festivals. Harry now runs one of NZ's largest organic dairy farms and is one of the founding farmers in the new organic dairy farming co-operative, The Organic Dairy Hub.
Bernadette and her GP husband Fayez, live in Cambridge. They became part of the St Peter’s community when they immigrated from the UK in 2009. Their sons have attended St. Peter’s. The school was recommended for Stephen, their eldest, as he was already attending a sought after, selective school and they wanted something on the same level, Stephen joined towards the end of year 9, and continued through to year 13, studying for the International Baccalaureate. Jonathan joined in year 7 and is now in his final year, following the NCEA pathway. Both boys have enjoyed the variety of learning and extra circular opportunities offered by St Peter’s mainly sport, music and production.
Richard lives in the Waikato with his wife Claire and two children. Richard’s career has included time in the Manufacturing and Supply chain industry, including locally and globally before focusing on dairy farming. He has extensive corporate farming experience having been involved in managing two large scale farming businesses in both the North and South Island. He is currently director of Tatua, JD & RD Wallace group and Kotare Limited. His education includes St Peters’ School, BCom (Management Science) from the University of Canterbury and a Diploma in Agribusiness Management.
Tim joined the Foundation as a representative from the St Peter's Parents Association in 2011. From there, Tim became a full member of the Foundation in 2012. Tim is also a committee member of the St Peters Alumni and was a member of the Parents' Association for five years. Tim is an old boy of St Peter's (1972-1978). He is married and his three children all attended the school between 2001 and 2011. He was eager to become involved with St Peters through the various committees because of the value, tradition and excellence which St Peter's School pride themselves on.
Gareth is a past staff member of St Peter’s, IT Manager 2005 to 2015 and graduate of Massey University BSc (1997). He is passionate about technology, health and education, having worked in the industries for over 25 years. During Gareth’s semi-retirement, he volunteers for St John Ambulance, Taranaki Kiwi Trust and is on a number of other boards and committees. Gareth strongly believes in the holistic education and opportunities St Peter’s offers.
After nearly two decades in the United Kingdom, Fiona returned to New Zealand with her family in 2016, and the family now calls Cambridge home. Her three children attend St Peter’s. Fiona is a commercial lawyer and has a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (History) from the University of Canterbury. Her professional experience includes in-house legal roles in London and private practice in New Zealand. She is currently employed as a lawyer in the corporate and commercial team at Norris Ward McKinnon, a Hamilton based law firm. Fiona also has experience in the not for profit sector both in paid and voluntary roles. Fiona is very committed to using her skill set to support the Foundation and the wider community.
John is the Chair of the St Peter's Trust Board. He has worked in both the public and the private health sector in senior leadership roles. He has delivered a range of digital and service innovations that have changed how you and your family experience health care. John is currently working in New Zealand, Australia, UK and the Middle East with start-ups, NGOs, private and public sector organisations in advisory and governance roles. John holds a BLS and MBA from the University of Waikato, and advanced leadership and system design qualifications from Harvard University and Henley Business School. John is married with 3 children - 2 current St Peter’s students and one recently graduated. John is passionate about seeing St Peter’s continuing to develop as an independent school, producing critical thinking leaders of tomorrow, equipped to make a difference.