Senior Management Team

Grant Davidson - Chief Executive

Grant joined Skills Active in March 2010, and before that he was on the Skills Active Board for a number of years.
Grant has a PhD in risk management from the Department of Management Studies at Waikato University, a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Minnesota (USA) and a BSc in Physics and Applied Maths from Auckland University.
He is also a trained and certified teacher and a certified Lead Auditor with Global Exemplar. Grant still follows an active lifestyle with his wife, three children and border collie.

P (04) 385 9047


Ron Taukamo - Kaihautū & Manager, Cultural Development
Ngāti Porou, Ue Pohatu, Te Aupōuri; Te Whānau a Hinetāpora
Ron joined Skills Active in 2006, having completed three years as Training Advisor, Tourism Māori at Aviation, Tourism and Travel Training Organisation. Previously Ron spent nine years as Programme Manager in education and training, including three years as Executive Director, at YMCA Wellington.
He has a background in business, and was self-employed for 15 years as Managing Director in both the retail and construction sectors.
Ron is committed to Kaupapa Māori and Tikanga Māori approaches with workplaces, and uses past experiences to build relationships with iwi, hapū and other Māori stakeholders to create awareness of opportunities available through Skills Active.
P (04) 916 4375
Leona van der Heyden - General Manager, Learning Solutions
Leona returned to Skills Active in January 2008 after 10 years away, and following several years with InfraTrain, the infrastructure ITO. Leona manages the Learning Solutions team which covers two key areas of Skills Active:
  • Qualification and Standards development: this team is currently focused on working through the Targeted Review of Qualifications (TRoQ) project to develop and register New Zealand qualifications and standards across our sectors.
  • Quality Solutions: this team is responsible for the development of Skills Active's learning and assessment resources and the quality assurance of assessors and providers delivering and assessing Skills Active qualifications and standards.
P (04) 916 4389
Cate Baxter - General Manager, Business Support

Cate joined Skills Active in August 2010 as the General Manager, Business Support responsible for the Finance, HR, IT and Admin functions of the organisation. Prior to working for Skills Active Cate worked for various organisations in Wellington in similar roles. Cate enjoys spending her spare time with her children in the sporting arena and is heavily involved in Basketball and Waterpolo as a coach, referee, manager, supporter and anything else that is needed.

P (04) 916 4398


Maren Frerichs - General Manager, Industry Engagement
Maren joined Skills Active in 2016 and has a keen interest in the impact of sport and recreation on personal development, health and wellbeing.
While Maren has worn a number of hats in the health sector including research, government advisory and management roles, her passion is for the New Zealand outdoors and for grappling.
Maren has 15 years experience in Martial Arts and teaches womens' Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and self-defence in Wellington. When she is not on the mats she is escaping the city to explore the wilderness with her partner.  
P 027 446 9032

Kelvin Trumper - General Manager, Trainee Support


Kelvin’s first full-time position was as a soldier in the New Zealand Defence Force. While in the army, he was exposed to work-based learning and learned to appreciate the use of systems, frameworks and the idea of continuous improvement.

Upon leaving the army, Kelvin went on to hold a number of senior and general management positions in the wholesale, retail, technical (ICT) and not-for-profit industries. Through these experiences he has been fortunate enough to have worked with a number of of inspiring people; from newly appointed apprentices through to inspiring corporate CEOs.

He lives in the Wairarapa with his partner and their dog, and if he is not working on his house, he can be found playing on the Tararua Ranges. 


P 027 233 1031




Jason Hare - Manager Safety Auditing and Accreditation

Jason has a strong background in quality management systems over a number of years working both nationally and internationally. Jason has a drive for consistent and transparent processes that will ensure OutdoorsMark delivers a quality product to its clients.

P 04 382 8517

M 021 806 090