About Us


  • Operator Safety Rating available online incorporates and Pearsons are proud to have a 5 star operator rating
  • COF pass rate – out of 86 tests completed in 12 months, only 2 have failed on minor issues
  • 28 school runs in Mid Canterbury
  • 3 school runs in Waimate
  • 1 school run in East Otago
  • Fleet of 50 buses – ranging from 10 seater vans to 50 seater 4-5 star luxury coaches
  • Two depots – Oamaru and Ashburton – approximately 45 staff
  • We are constantly upgrading our fleet. Recently we purchased two brand new purpose-built BCI coaches and 1 new minibu.


  • Retention of school bus service in Mid Canterbury area
  • Grow the charter business within the area – “not just a school bus company”
  • Continue to provide financial backing and sponsorship to the community – Rugby, Bowls sport mid Canterbury etc
  • Grow partnerships within Mid Canterbury and the Tourism areas of the district to extend our profile


1965 – Les Pearson owned a milk bar and taxi service in Kurow back when the Benmore and Aviemore dams where being constructed, it was a very busy time . The taxi business declined when the projects finished and with the service being no viable Les purchased a school bus run (from Charlie Tempro) contracted to the MOE to do the Otiake/Lake Waitaki route. The bus was a wooden framed Bedford bus nicknamed by the kids on the bus as ‘The Biscuit Tin’.


1967 – A replacement bus was purchased and the Biscuit Tin was removed from its chassis and placed at the back of the Pearsons house in the garden as the new Tomato house. There were several buses purchased as replacements , always Bedfords and his son Murray recalls helping his Dad take the heads off motors in the school holidays seemed to be a reoccurring thing with them.


1986 – After Les passed away suddenly from septicaemia at only 56 years old – Murray (who was 27 at the time) was a building contractor, bought the bus and took over the day to day running of the business. Employing a driver to drive the school bus he then changed the company name to Pearsons Coachlines Ltd.


1988 – The School Tendering System was introduced by MOE and Pearsons were successful in tendering for 4 runs covering the Upper Waitaki Valley servicing the Kurow Area and Haka Valley schools.


1994 – Murray was encouraged to tender for the school routes in the Oamaru area. Pearsons tendered and were successful in tendering for 6 runs in the Oamaru area and 5 in the Kurow Area. Head office was relocated to Oamaru, operating from a new yard and workshop in Regina Lane. Murray then had to give up the Building as the bus business was growing.


2001 – After being unsuccessful in tendering for Ministry runs in Oamaru the local schools were disappointed with the MOE decision but expressed their support for Pearsons through charter work and are still are very loyal to this day. 2001 to 2002 were crucial years in the history of the business, with only the 4 Waitaki Valley school runs – the business was down-scaled and the focus shifted to growing the charter work within the community. To re-establish the school transport service the decision was made to tender outside the North Otago area.


2003 – Pearsons successfully tendered for 9 MOE school runs in the Mid Canterbury area and a new depot was established. The next five years were spent cementing our name and brand within the Mid Canterbury community, and offering a superior and more reliable service than our competitiors.


2008 – The tendering process for MOE changed and this eliminated any companies that did not comply with the strict safety requirements set by the of the MOE. Due to our ongoing aim for high quality Pearsons qualified among the top companies in the whole tender process.


2009 – Successfully tendered for 26 school runs in Mid Canterbury – under the Direct Resource Management of MCSTS. Beginning of Operator Safety Rating Database.