Karla Spicer finds her position as Senior Teacher at Tui Park Primary School in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, is hindered by the Associate Principal Val Cook, who resents her progressive ideas. Principal Murray Norwood, is an easy-going man drifting towards retirement who avoids controversy whenever possible. However, through a conscientious attitude and by supporting junior staff and parents Karla becomes a popular staff member.
Karla becomes romantically involved with Ryan Purdon, the school’s property manager and when he tells her about problems back at Top Plateau, a tiny school near his family farm where he grew up. After being approached by the Ministry of Education, Karla agrees to take the acting principal’s position there and Ryan goes with her to stay in his farmhouse.
Life in a remote area is different than expected with problems at the school and also on Ryan’s family farm where he has problems with his sister, step-father and mother who are all trying to sell the property divided between them by his late father’s estate.
Tensions arise in the district with a marijuana plantation discovered near the farm and a local bikie gang being suspected as the growers. However, nothing is as it first seems, potential enemies become friends and the trusted, untrustworthy.
Back in Tui Park, teacher Chrissy Ancell is attacked and turns to Karla for help. As Chrissy’s attacker is a respected person, their efforts to get justice seem to be thwarted.
It appears that the problems are intertwined with Karla being the kingpin and more than just a teacher striving to do the best for the children under her care.