Our Board


Sam Napia - Chairman

Iwi: Ngapuhi, Ngati Kauwhata

Sam has an executive management and director background in both the private and public sectors, having served on boards across a variety of industries including advertising, fishing, and broadcasting. 


He has a Master of Business Administration with distinction from the University of Waikato. Sam is involved with the Treaty settlement process for the country’s largest iwi, Ngapuhi, and has extensive experience in working with Māori and non-Māori organisations alike.


Sam currently works in local government, a sector with which he has been associated for more than 25 years. His local government experience includes an overseas appointment as a council CEO in Australia’s Northern Territory. Sam was elected to Skills Active’s Board in May 2007. Sam has been involved with Skills Active since the incorporation of Sfrito.


Andrew Gunn - Board Member
Andrew has been on the Skills Active board since 2002 and has brought his strong business experience, financial analysis, auditing and strategic planning skills to the governance group. Andrew is a director of Professional IQ College, was a past director on the Industry Training Federation board (the peak body for ITOs) and is the Learning & Development Manager for the Institute of Financial Advisers. Andrew comes from a business background and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting and economics, and a Masters of Business Administration from Canterbury University.


Andrew is not directly involved in any Skills Active sector and brings an independent perspective to the governance board as well as financial skills to the role of Chair of the Audit & Risk board committee. 


Stephen Gacsal - Board Member
Stephen is the Registrar of the New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) with direct responsibility for the operation and growth of the register, including financial management, strategic direction, and managing key organisational relationships both large and small. REPs is a not for profit industry owned entity with just under 3000 registered exercise professionals and 200 exercise facilities.
Stephen has experience working with a range of organisations, from small owner operators (the back bone of New Zealand) through to large national entities. He has a hands on understanding of the needs and challenges facing small non-profit organisations, and how to support their growth through investment into work place based education and standards. As a past chair of the exercise Sector Advisory Group (FSAG), Stephen has a clear understanding of the value and importance of work place based training, and the ability to drive, promote an encourage its growth.
Stephen is also a Director of the International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPs) which is actively driving the global development of standards for exercise professionals. With the growing pressure on countries health budgets in relation to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and the ageing population, the ICREPs director roles is important to ensure that the exercise industry worldwide is robustly established in terms of qualifications, and recognition to offer effective solutions to these burdening problems.​
Butch Bradley - Board Member

Iwi: Rangitane, Ngati Rarua, Ngati Kinohaku

Butch is in his second term as a director with Skills Active. Also having held the position of Operations Manager from 2006 to late 2008 he brings a working knowledge of the organisation and the industries we work with.
With a solid media and executive management background, he uses his communications and strategic planning background as a specialist in organisational development. Butch has been active with iwi development in the top of the south island as well as holding a number of directorships in commercial and community organisations, serving on the top of the south Regional Lotteries committee for over 10 years. He has served as a director on the board of Basketball NZ Chairman of Te Ara a Maui, Director of Regions & Operations with NZ Maori Tourism, and with the Tasman Rugby Union he is currently CEO for Ngati Apa ki te Ra To.

Alexander Brunt - Board Member


Alexander Brunt is currently the New Zealand Country Manager for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists. He is formally the General Manager of Water Safety New Zealand and its Manager for Planning & Research.


Alex has held management positions within two territorial local authorities and has a broad governance background, being a former Chairperson of Outdoors New Zealand, the Riverslea Trust Board, and a member of the Diocese of Wellington’s Finance Committee. Alex holds a postgraduate honours degree from Victoria University of Wellington, an undergraduate degree from the University of Otago and qualifications in Project/Financial Management along with being a New Zealand Recreation Association Accredited Recreation Professional.


Alex brings extensive stakeholder experience from the outdoor and community recreation sectors and contributes strongly to the Board’s finance, risk management, governance and strategic planning functions. He is a member of the Boards Audit and Risk Committee, along with its Kaupapa Maori subcommittee.



Des Ratima - Board Member 

Iwi: Ngati Kahungunu, Te Rangikoianake, Rongowhakaata Te Whanau A Kai

Des has been actively engaged in operational, governance, strategic and collaborative impact projects for the past 10 years. He has wide experience in local, regional and central government. He is Deputy Chair of the New Zealand Māori Council elected in February 2016. Des comes from a military, trade and political background. He has always been an avid sports participant gaining representative honours in the NZ Army, NZ Combined Services and NZ Forces rugby team in New Zealand and South East Asia.


He has skills in negotiation, facilitation, cultural tikanga, training design and relationship building. He currently chairs Te Whanautahi Trust, founded Te Roopu Kaitiaki O Te WaiMaori cultural environmental consultancy, founding member of Takitimu Ora a Whanau ora collaborative operating in Hawke's Bay. His strong links into Māori communities as chair of the Nga Marae O Heretaunga collective provides access to opportunities for Skills Active in the Māori community. Des was elected as a director in 2013.


Wendy Sweet - Board Member 


An award-winning presenter and fitness industry leader, Wendy has been involved with the health and fitness industry in Australasia for three decades. Although, she started out in the fitness industry as a group-fitness instructor and trained many of the senior group fitness instructors now working for Les Mills International, her most prominent role has been a long time commitment to the education and development of Personal Trainers. This included pioneering personal training education in New Zealand in 1992. On establishing Trainers as self-employed contractors in 1995, these courses were the first to include business-development sessions for Trainers. This not only helped to establish the increasing professionalism and acceptance of personal training into the main-stream fitness industry but set the standard and rationalisation for new academic courses to emerge in a range of tertiary education settings around New Zealand and Australia.


On ending her 18 years with the Les Mills group in 2001, Wendy then assisted in establishing Auckland University of Technology’s (AUT) personal training modules and for 14 years, supported the education of hundreds of personal trainers in the Auckland region.


On moving to the Waikato, she then taught at Waikato University teaching exercise prescription, nutrition & wellbeing and exercise physiology papers. Along-side bringing up two sporty children, she also returned to being a student herself and completed her Master’s thesis in 2009.


Today, Wendy’s passion continues to be the education and attention to professional standards for Personal Trainers. Her championing of personal training best-practice led to her working with Exercise Association of New Zealand to establish the REPS registration system and as head-judge, she was also integral in establishing the judging criteria for the now well–established Fitness Awards in NZ. All of this was acknowledged in 2011, through Exercise Association of New Zealand with their award for ‘The Most Outstanding Contribution to the Fitness Industry’.


Today she continues her studies with a part-time PhD exploring the active-ageing experiences of mid-life Baby-boomer women, including why they are the largest group to sign-on with personal trainers in the western world. She continues to mentor and support local Trainers over a coffee or two and has written a number of fitness education resources for Skills Active. Wendy currently works as an independent consultant to the fitness industry and is undertaking a PhD through the University of Waikato.



How we manage our interests

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