Rotorua Area

Rotorua Trust

Life Education Trust NZ's Rotorua Educator Katie Knapman with Harold the Giraffe. Photo / Andrew Warner


Life Education Trust Rotorua Area has been successfully delivering the Life Education programme to children of the Rotorua Area for the past 29 years. We provide the children of Rotorua the knowledge and skills to lead healthier lives.


Our people

Katie Knapman (Educator)

Kia Ora Koutou. What a privilege it is to be part of Life Education Rotorua. I have been teaching in Rotorua for 7 years. Harold and I get to reach tamariki and rangatahi every year with the knowledge to help them to live their best life. The Life Education message is far reaching in distance and years. It is a real pleasure to be in the mobile classroom every day and to be part of our young people’s lives. The schools welcome us in and we become extended whanau. I feel so much excitement every day when I go to work, and I often pinch myself that this is my job. We have a fun, amazing team of Trustees from diverse backgrounds which makes going to work each day even better. Thank you Rotorua for supporting us in educating our young people.

Jules McLaughlin (Chairperson)

Kia Ora. I have been teaching in Rotorua for 21 years. I feel very privileged to have been a part of the  Life Education Trust since 2014. We have a fantastic team of Trustees who work hard to ensure that the wonderful work Life Ed can continue in our beautiful city. I have seen first-hand, the overwhelmingly positive response our tamariki have to Life Education. The visits to the mobile classroom are something special and Harold is such a well-known character for young and old. If you see us out and about in the community, be sure to say hello.

Mike Dingwall (Trustee)

I joined Life Ed as the Police representative in the mid 1990's. I have always had an interest in youth and was on Police Blue Light for some time before joining Life Ed. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the many and varied Trustees, all of whom have contributed in their own way to ensure Life Ed continued to deliver its meaningful messages to children in our community. Over the years I have seen that Life Ed is making a positive difference and am very proud to be part of it as a Trustee. Over the years, we have had many very dedicated and committed Trustees and Educators who have given considerable time and effort to ensure Life Ed continues to provide excellent service to our community.

Viv Sutton (Trustee) 

Kiaora koutou. I’m stoked to be part of the awesome team that supports Life Education Rotorua. Our Trust have been working hard for 29 years to help tamariki be happier and healthier and teaching them how to make informed, considered decisions. Both of my children have had the benefit of being in the mobile classroom taking part in  Life Education lessons, and loved getting the chance to see Harold. I look forward to continue being part of the Trust and supporting the great work they do in the Rotorua area.

Kylie Brackfield (Trustee)

Hi - I'm Kylie Brackfield - wife, mother to two wonderful boys, Trustee for Life Education Area Trust and part of the Rotorua business community for many years now. Through my own children, I have seen first-hand the value of Life Education programmes in supporting children's understanding of their bodies and healthy ways of living. I love that I'm a part of a small and dedicated team that support the children of Rotorua to be their best selves. It's a very rewarding and privileged role to hold.

Nate Weston (Trustee)

Kia Ora, I have been in education for over 15 years. I have taught around the world, including California, Norway, Germany, and now Aotearoa, New Zealand. I have a passion for instilling self-directive and inquiry based learning in my students from primary to university levels, which is greatly incorporated in the Life Education philosophy. I have also  been witness to the awesome content, activities, and discussions in the Life Ed mobile classroom for the past 4 years at Mamaku School, and starting in 2020 I was asked to join the Life Education Board of Trustees. I feel blessed to work with such an amazing  team to continue to provide meaningful experiences to children across New Zealand. I live in Rotorua with my loving wife and two young boys, where we enjoy the outdoors regularly, including surfing, hiking, kayaking, biking, and many other adventure sports. I look forward to providing ongoing support and innovative ideas with the Life Ed team, so that we can continue to keep Harold and the Life Ed classroom rolling for many years to come. 

Sue Baty (Trustee)

I am a Director of Avid Business Agency Limited and we provide sponsorship of the bookkeeping and accounting services for the Trust. We are passionate about building and enabling economic, social, cultural and environmental opportunities for all organisations. Avid is privileged to support this local organisation.


Contact details

Chairperson: Jules McLaughlin, [email protected]
Educator: Katie Knapman, 0223991477, [email protected]