Butch Bradley

Butch Bradley

Executive director

Iwi: Rangitane, Ngāti Rarua, Ngāti Kinohaku

Butch is in his second term as a director with Skills Active, having also held the position of operations manager from 2006 to late 2008, providing him with a sound knowledge of the organisation and its industries.

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With a media and executive management background, his communications and strategic planning skills are put to good use in organisational development. He has been active with iwi development in the top of the South Island, having worked as the CEO for an iwi organisation.

Butch has worked in and held a range of directorships with commercial and community organisations which include; Basketball NZ, Te Ara a Maui, NZ Māori Tourism, Tasman Rugby Union having also served on the top of the south Regional Lotteries committee for over 10 years. Currently he consults to World Travellers.

Bridie

Bridie Bright

Resource designer and publisher

Wellington

Phone(04) 916 4390 Mobile021 195 5451 Email

Bridie has been with the Skills Active whānau since 2006 and uses all of her experience and creativity to bring our learning and assessment resources to life, both online and in printed form.

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Outside the office environment she is a mum to wee Finn (a future New Zealand astronaut/All Black), enjoys painting and photography, and is a big Guns N’ Roses fan.

Rachael web

Rachael Broad

Quality manager

Wellington

Phone0508 475 4557 Mobile021 1954567 Email

Rachael joined Skills Active in December 2019 and has worked in tertiary education for over 15 years. She is excited about joining the Quality Solutions team and working with such a great group of people.

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Rachael comes from a background in tertiary education, working in the beauty services sector, tutoring, managing and developing programmes and resources. Prior to that she worked in adult education with community providers. Her work history is originally in fashion and costume for film and television.

When she's not at work Rachael can be found in Kapiti with her fishing-passionate partner and teenage son; her older son is studying at Canterbury. She loves spending time with her family, gardening, sewing and lying on the couch.

Chauntelle Brown Web

Chauntelle Brown

Industry engagement advisor - mātauranga Māori and community recreation

Wellington

Phone(04) 830 2154 Mobile027 492 5501 Email

Chauntelle joined Skills Active in 2017 as a learning support advisor, then left for five months to work with Māori apprentices in construction. She has recently returned to take on a new role as an industry engagement advisor.

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Chauntelle has a sport and recreation background having worked in a regional sports trust for seven years prior to Skills Active.

Her passion has always been about people reaching their full potential through qualifications.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with whānau, friends and long walks.

Emily Brown Web

Emily Brown

Training support administrator

Wellington

Phone04 916 4385 Mobile027 1800 3874 Email

Emily joined Skills Active in 2022. With previous experience in the performing arts industry, Emily has a passion for stage directing and design (musical theatre is a personal favourite!).

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Outside of work, Emily can be found participating in several community theatre productions and spending lots of time with friends: going on bushwalks, working on her nature photography, and exploring Wellington playing Pokemon Go!

Issy Web

Issy Carnegie

Training support administrator

Wellington

Phone027 1800 2221 Email

Issy joined Skills Active in February 2022. Born and raised in Palmerston North, she grew up within a performing arts background. She has a passion for acting and is currently pursuing film acting in New Zealand.

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In 2023 Issy will be heading off to the Gold Coast to study and pursue this as a career. She has danced since she was a young girl in all styles but her go to is always hip hop. 

Issy has worked within many diverse roles in customer service, hospitality and with the government. She loves travel, adventure and spending time with the people she loves most.

Denise

Denise Clarke

Learning support advisor

Nelson, Marlborough, Christchurch, North Canterbury and West Coast

Mobile021 402 293 Email

Denise joined Skillls Active in July 2016 and is based in Nelson. Denise has experience working in the sport, recreation and fitness sectors, delivering and assessing unit standards.

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She is actively working in the fitness industry as a group fitness instructor and is passionate about helping people reach their full potential. 

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exercising at the gym, volunteering in the community and cooking.  

Emily

Emily Cooper

Training advisor - apprentices

Christchurch

Mobile027 223 9268 Email

Born and raised in Christchurch, Emily grew up in the recreation and sport industry in a wide range of sports, from swimming to competitive diving. At age 16, she started working part-time as a lifeguard and has held various roles in the recreation and sport industry ever since - including a stint at Disney World in Florida.

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She has a Bachelor of Health Science and is passionate about education and helping people achieve their goals.

In her spare time Emily loves to hang out with family and friends, kayak, travel and explore this beautiful country on tramping adventures. 

Ben

Ben Corcoran

General manager, projects and partnerships

Christchurch

Mobile027 673 8459 Email

Ben joined Skills Active in April, 2018. For more than two decades, Ben has been a professional in the outdoor recreation industry. He has worked in guiding and instruction roles across most disciplines and holds qualifications from NZOIA, NZMGA, NZRA and MSC.

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His experience includes management roles at adventure tourism businesses both nationally and internationally and senior instructor roles at a number of outdoor centres. He comes to Skills Active from the New Zealand Defence Force, where he spent eight years leading adventure activities while facilitating leadership development programmes.

Ben covers the outdoor recreation industry and is the key contact between Skills Active and NZOIA, NZRA, NZSAC and the NZPMBA.

When he is not adventuring in the outdoors or waxing lyrical about Skills Active, he can be found teaching his kids to ski and ride or hanging out with family and friends.

Anthony web

Anthony Cox

General manager, Finance

Wellington

Mobile027 5780977 Email

Anthony joined Skills Active in April 2020, early in the Level 4 lockdown. He is a chartered accountant and has considerable experience in senior management roles.

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He describes himself as a lifelong learner and the opportunity to join the Skills Active team seemed a good fit in facilitating the learning of its industry trainees.

In his spare time, Anthony enjoys the outdoors. Exercise these days is mainly walking, but he has previously included a number of racquet sports, soccer, golf and a bit of skiing. An avid music fan, his tastes lie predominantly in the 70s and 80s, and although travel is currently limited to New Zealand, he looks forward to restrictions being lifted, as he still has a few countries on his list.

Angela

Angela Dorrington

Audit administrator

Wellington

Phone(04) 382 8571 Email

Angela has extensive experience in the education sector, and has been an administrator for an industry training organisation for many years.

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Making audits run as smoothly as possible is Angela’s work goal. She is very comfortable working with a wide range of people over a geographically-spread area.

Linda

Linda Dorrington

Industry engagement advisor - aquatics

Wellington

Mobile027 270 7821 Email

Linda has been working in the aquatics industry for over 20 years in multiple roles including management at facilities and water-based fitness. She has been part of the wider Skills Active team for over 10 years, working as an learning support advisor, workplace trainer and roving assessor.

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With a passion for workplace training and seeing people succeed, her role as part of the Industry Engagement team builds on her knowledge and community recreation engagement.

Linda is Wellington-based and when not at work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Maren

Maren Frerichs

Chief operating officer

Wellington

Phone027 446 9032 Email

Maren joined Skills Active in 2016 and has a keen interest in the impact of sport and recreation on personal development, health and wellbeing.

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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 husband Glenn and their little boy Leon.  

Monique Web

Monique Freshwater

Quality advisor

Wellington

Phone04 916 4386 Mobile021 194 1220 Email

Monique joins Skills Active with eight years experience in the Assessment Services team at the Aviation Tourism Travel ITO (ATTTO - now Service IQ). Prior to that, she spent six years working and travelling throughout the world, which included being a head ski resort representative in the French Alps.

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Most recently, Monique worked for the NZ Police in the Kapiti Digital Communications Centre. She enjoys the diversity people bring to the workplace, loves learning about different cultures and is passionate about working in roles that make a difference in the community. Family, friends and fun plays a big part in Monique's life. She loves to bike anywhere and if needing space to breathe, will often be found strolling her home beaches on the Kapiti Coast.

Aimee web

Aimee Froud

General manager - People and Culture (Group)

Wellington

Mobile027 569 7717 Email

Aimee has a very eclectic CV, which is the result of her completing a theatre degree (which basically means she's good at making things up). She spent seven years at Wellington Airport, falling into HR and working her way up to GM People and Culture.

Just when life was going really swimmingly, she had an epiphany at a wellness retreat and decided to quit her great job and leave her very nice life in Wellington to go travelling.

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Almost five years later, (largely thanks to Covid), she is living back in Wellington and while she spends a lot of time reminiscing about when she lived on a tropical island and was warm, she is very happy to be part of the Skills Active whānau. She is counting down the days until she can get to Melbourne to visit Rosie, her magnificent niece and back to Sri Lanka to see Sherlock, her menace of a dog.

Stephen Gacsal

Stephen Gacsal

Board member

Stephen is the registrar of the NZ 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. REPs is the industry owned not for profit register with over 3000 exercise professionals, and 200 exercise facilities registered.

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Stephen has experience working with a range of organisations, from small owner-operators (the backbone of New Zealand businesses) 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 workplace based education and standards.

As a past chair of the Skills Active Exercise Advisory Group, Stephen has a clear understanding of the value and importance of workplace-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 international development of standards for exercise professionals. With the growing pressures on health budgets globally due to health conditions such as obesity, mental health, type 2 diabetes, and an ageing population, Stephen's ICREPs directorship role is important to ensure that the exercise industry worldwide has robust qualifications, and recognition, to offer effective solutions to these burdening health challenges.

Sue Gemmell

Sue Gemmell

Resource Development manager

Wellington

Phone(04) 916 4370 Email

Sue first joined Skills Active in 2006 as a learning support advisor. Since then she has made several attempts to break away from Skills Active, the most recent being a contract resource development role as part of a New Zealand project team working for the Ministry of Education in the Sultanate of Oman.

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She is loving being back in New Zealand, working for Skills Active again, and living at Waikanae Beach. 

Sue still enjoys participating in any outdoor pursuit, but most likely she will be found blasting the local trails on her mountain bike. 

Lorna

Lorna Gillespie

General manager, Learning Solutions

Wanaka

Mobile027 6004428 Email

Lorna joined Skills Active in August 2015, and is based in Wanaka. Lorna has extensive experience as an educator, including secondary, tertiary and teacher education and as a professional development advisor and facilitator.

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Lorna’s background in education is now applied to qualification and standard writing, resource development, snowsport assessor training and support. 

Outside of work Lorna is a gardener, skier and mountain biker.

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Amanda Gilmore

Learning support advisor

North Canterbury, Canterbury and South Canterbury

Phone0508 4 SKILLS Mobile0212724548 Email

Amanda has been a part of the aquatics industry for almost a decade. Starting out as a part-time lifeguard she quickly made her way through the organisation and has more recently been part of two successful leadership teams at aquatic facilities in North and South Canterbury. Amanda has been a Skills Active registered assessor for four years.

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She has a passion for giving people the opportunity to be the best version of themselves, and providing support to ensure they achieve their goals. In her spare time she enjoys a good game of rugby and spends time with family and friends. Her 8-month old springer spaniel also keeps her on her toes!

Angie

Angie Gooch

Learning support advisor

Manawatu-Whanganui and Taranaki

Phone(04) 916 4373 Mobile021 532 835 Email

Angie joined Skills Active in September 2016. She comes from an event management and instructional background in the outdoors and community recreation industries.

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Angie loves the interpersonal side of her work, and has had the privilege of meeting and working with many amazing people through her various roles in local and regional authorities, private enterprise, corporate and community facilitation and development.

Angie is a furniture maker, Brazilian drum maker, house renovator/handy-person and general #8 kiwi engineer, who wishes there were more hours in the day to create awesome stuff, including some pretty funky steampunk walking canes.

 She can often be found drumming with the infamous Wellington Batucada. Otherwise Angie loves hanging with her family.

Andrew Gunn

Andrew Gunn

Board member

Andrew is not directly involved in any Skills Active Aotearoa sector and brings an independent perspective to the governance board, as well as his experience in this bi-cultural organisation to the two board committees Titiro Anga Whakamua and the Audit & Risk.

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Andrew brings his strong business experience and strategic planning skills to the governance group.  Andrew was a past director on the Industry Training Federation board (the peak body for ITOs) and is the learning and development manager for Financial Advice New Zealand Inc.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting and economics, and a Master of Business Administration from Canterbury University.  

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Stephanie Hadley

Board member

Stephanie is an Associate of Governance New Zealand and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators. She is actively involved with the fitness industry.

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Stephanie manages her own business, En Forme Studios in Christchurch, where she provides group fitness classes in barre, Pilates and dance fitness.  She has had firsthand experience going through the Skills Active qualifications in progressing her fitness career.

Stephanie’s corporate background is in the law where she is an associate at James & Wells Intellectual Property. She specialises in trade marks, marketing and consumer law and advises on intellectual property strategy.

Stephanie also has a background in professional dance and performance and has had previous governance roles within the performing arts community.

Jacinta

Jacinta Handscomb

Learning Solutions administrator

Wellington

Phone(04) 385 7024 Email

Jacinta returned to Skills Active in 2017, after 8 years away. Her role involves helping with the administration tasks of the Qualification, Quality and Resource Development teams, within Learning Solutions.

Wanda

Wanda Hart

Data Coordinator team leader

Wellington

Mobile(04) 916 8744 Email

Wanda joined Skills Active in March 2013. She has been involved in the fitness industry for over 15 years, where she has worked on the gym floor, managed and even owned a gym. She has enjoyed every minute of it.

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Wanda received her National Certificate in Exercise in 1994 and has been in the fitness industry ever since. She is a member of the Register of Exercise Professionals and has continued her education and upskilling.

Wanda completed numerous certificates with Skills Active before starting in her current role, and is now enjoying being part of the team that helped with her fitness career. 

Wez

Wez Hind

Web developer

Wellington

Phone04 916 4382 Email

Wez joined Skills Active in 2017, having previously provided software services to the company as a contractor since 2011.

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He has a software analysis and development background and currently builds and maintains many of our back-end and front-end systems.

He is passionate about improving useability of our services, and providing clients with what they need to get their own jobs done with the minimum of fuss.

When he's not at work, Wez mostly spends time with his family, but when rare opportunity presents he can be found playing an instrument, or reading and writing science-fiction.

Pete Hodkinson Web

Pete Hodkinson

Business Development Manager

Wellington

Mobile021 193 2787 Email

Pete Hodkinson joined Qualworx in June 2021. He has a Diploma in Sport and Fitness Education from Unitec where he graduated top of his class. Making a few non-linear shifts he forged a background in local, national and international student association leadership, governance, music and language education.

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The skills that tied it altogether? Connecting the unconnected; both ideas and people. He’s ready to put his toolkit to use, developing and growing our organisation alongside the team.

Donna

Donna Hooper

Resource developer

Christchurch

Mobile0211 599 831 Email

Donna joined Skills Active in 2006, and is based in Christchurch. She enjoys bringing together her experience in aquatics, human resource management and adult education to produce learning and assessment pathways for clients within her current role as a resource developer.

Andrea web

Andrea Ibell

Resource designer and publisher

Wellington

Email

Andrea is our InDesign ninja. She makes our printed and online resources look good, and just loves weeding out those pesky typos and prettying things up.

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She has a bit of a weird Welsh/Kiwi accent, a gaming addiction and an obsession with Dave Grohl.

Sandy web

Sandy Jones

Programme Developer

Taranaki

Email

Sandy has been part of the Resource Development team since 2019. She has a background in teaching and particularly loves biking, badminton and baking.

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She’s based in South Taranaki and when not working for Skills Active, she can be found chatting to her chooks, foraging in her garden, or playing with her grandchildren.

Erika web

Erika Josa

Training support administrator

Wellington

Phone02718002748 Email

Erika is French and moved to New Zealand in 2005. She has spent the last decade in the health and wellness industry - from being a personal coach to running her yoga studio in Wellington. She is now looking forward to supporting trainees in their new journey, as well as supporting her team the best she can.

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Outside of work Erika loves to hang out with her daughter Brooke as well as family and friends, and loves a good laugh around a cup of tea or a fresh glass of Champagne! When she has time she loves to paint, walk in the bush and enjoy her favorite thing: “silence”.

Denny Laird web

Denny Laird

Learning support advisor

West Auckland, Northland

Mobile021 563 035 Email

Denny joined Skills Active in 2022. She has previously worked at the New Zealand School of Tourism and has over 20 years’ experience in hospitality and tourism. She is a people person who loves to travel and being outdoors.

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When she’s not at work, Denny can be found with her running shoes on or at CrossFit, and she loves spending time playing games with her partner and friends. She might be slightly competitive.

Denny loves the snow and spent four winters in the Pyrenees in Andorra, before heading to Queenstown where she spent eight years enjoying both the summers and winters.

Emma QS web

Emma Lindsay

Quality advisor

Wellington

Phone04 916 8745 Mobile0272 473 469 Email

Emma joined the Skills Active Aotearoa team with a varied and diverse work background but most recently worked in public libraries in customer service and systems maintenance.

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When she's not at work she loves quizzing with her quiz team and spending time with her friends and family. You can usually hear her coming before you see her, either due to her jingling bracelets or her absent-minded singing.

Todd

Todd Maddock

General manager, Delivery

Wellington

Mobile027 233 1031 Email

Todd joined Skills Active in March 2018. While Todd has a broad range of experience across his career he had a desire to move into a role in the sport and recreation, health, wellbeing and personal development sector. Skills Active was an excellent fit.

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He has a history in endurance sport, completing Ironman NZ, and representing New Zealand in his age group at the World Champs for triathlon. When not at work, he'll probably be on the trails. 

Matt Mard Web

Matt Mard

Industry engagement advisor - performing arts

Christchurch

Mobile027 1800 3336 Email

Matt joined Skills Active as industry engagement advisor in 2022. He has been working with Skills Active as assessor for the Event and Entertainment Technology qualifications (Levels 3 and 4) since February 2017, and joined the sector reference group working on the Level 5 and 6 qualifications in 2019. Matt has overseas experience teaching event and entertainment technology as a certified master-craftsman.

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Matt enjoys his work with Skills Active as he finds it important to share knowledge and experience. He has strong connections within Aotearoa’s event industry and shares his experience as an assessor with his industry peers to guarantee consistency in the assessment process for this industry.

Work/life balance is very important to Matt, and when he's not at work it's likely that he's on one of Aotearoa’s tramping tracks.

 

Jim

Jim McKendry

Resource developer

Wellington

Phone0508 475 4557 Email

Jim joined Skills Active in 2018. He comes from a varied hospitality background and has also worked as a sound technician, in fitness marketing, and as a hospitality tutor before becoming a resource developer in 2014.

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He is passionate about adult education and breaking down barriers to learning.

When he's not at work, Jim enjoys astronomy, lifting weights and watching Liverpool football club.

Julie

Julie McKiernan

Administration assistant

Phone(04) 916 4370 Email

Julie joined Skills Active in August 2013 as the office assistant. Since joining she has completed two Skills Active qualifications - the National Certificate in Recreation and Sport (Core Skills) and Business Administration and Computing Skills Level 3.

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Julie is from the UK and has two daughters. She loves spending time with her family, just hanging out and having fun. Julie loves to help people.

Esther

Esther McLaren Noble

Marketing and Communications team leader

Wellington

Mobile021 195 5127 Email

Esther joined Skills Active in 2016, and was previously a business journalist. She is a big fan of plain English.

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Esther's favourite sport is crosswords. She also likes books, newspapers, yoga, and the Oxford comma. You can usually find her hanging out at home with her husband and kids.

Prea Millar web

Prea Millar

Data coordinator

Wellington

Phone04 909 9830 Mobile027 1800 3007 Email

Originally hailing from the chilly east coast of Te Waipounamu, Prea was born and raised in Timaru. Growing up surrounded by theatre from a very young age, Prea quickly grew a passion to follow the performing arts as a career. Taking the leap to the windy Pōneke in 2017, Prea began her studies at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington.

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After graduating in 2019, Prea has since been working as a freelance performer, writer, and producer in the Pōneke theatre scene. Starting at Skills Active is an exciting new chapter for Prea as she starts her career supporting trainees across Aotearoa.

Sam Napia

Sam Napia

Board chair

Iwi: Ngāpuhi, Ngāti 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.

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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, Ngāpuhi, 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.

Nick Parke Web

Nick Parke

Learning support advisor

East Auckland

Mobile021 360 487 Email

Nick joined Skills Active in 2021 as a learning support advisor. Academically, Nick completed his undergraduate degree in sport and recreation through AUT in 2013. Following his graduation he spent 12 months living in Queenstown where he secured his first opportunity working voluntarily in the high performance sector, as a strength and conditioning coach.

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Upon returning to Auckland Nick elected to further his studies, completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Sport Science and Strength and Conditioning at AUT. While studying he found work at a private training establishment and spent six years as a tutor and curriculum developer. Alongside his work in education, Nick continued to work voluntarily as an assistant sport scientist, and a strength conditioning coach with local football clubs, and briefly, at NZ Football.

When Nick isn’t working or spending time with his family and friends, he can be found reading, drawing, listening to music, playing PlayStation, or absorbing all the football he can. He considers himself a student of the game of Football, and American Football. He follows the fortunes (or misfortunes) of Arsenal FC, and the Miami Dolphins.

Elizabeth Parker Web

Lizzie Parker

Quality advisor and assessor liaison

Wellington

Mobile021 592 621

Lizzie began with Skills Active in June 2021 but has been working in vocational education and training for over 20 years, with her first role tutoring in the area of travel and tourism.

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Lizzie has worked in both the provider and ITO sectors in several different roles including lecturing, assessing, moderating and assessor support. 

When not focusing on all things assessment, Lizzie enjoys singing, travelling and hanging with her family and friends.

Matthew

Matthew Phillips

Graphic designer

Wellington

Phone(04) 916 4381

Matt joined Skills Active in 2016. He has a Bachelor of Visual Communication Design majoring in digital media at Massey University. Before joining Skills Active as a graphic designer, Matt had been involved with Skills Active through lifeguarding, first completing the National Pool Lifeguard Award eight years ago.

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 Matt has always had a passion for the outdoors. He is an avid ocean swimmer and during summer can usually be found travelling the country to compete. His other passions include tramping and photography, two things that go together better than peanut butter and jelly.

Philip Potter

Philip Potter

IT developer

Wellington

Phone(04) 916 4382 Email

Phil has been in working in IT since he was 15, starting with fixing broken PCs and working his way up through to a fully-fledged IT guy. He has always had a passion for IT and has a very broad set of knowledge that always continues to expand.

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Originally from Wellington, Phil moved to the UK at a young age and after 20 years, decided to travel back to New Zealand. After settling back home, he joined the Skills Active team as the IT guy, supporting everything from the printer to the coffee machine.

Matt

Matt Powell

Learning support advisor

North Auckland and Central Auckland

Mobile027 413 0100 Email

Matt has been working in the health, fitness and community recreation industries for over 10 years in a wide variety of roles including personal training, group fitness and professional development.

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His passion for helping others sees him still teaching Les Mills Group Fitness classes on a weekly basis. Born and bred in the mighty West Auckland and a graduate of Kelston Boys High School, a passion for sport comes with the territory. 

During his downtime Matt can be found in the gym, coaching and personal training, as well as instructing a variety of group fitness classes. On weekends you will find him glued to the TV watching the NRL and supporting his beloved New Zealand Warriors.

Before moving to Skills Active, Matt managed a number of gym facilities as well as being Business Development Manager for Health & Fitness at CLM. Matt was also a Skills Active exercise assessor for over two years before joining the team. 

Amy Ramsay Web

Amy Ramsay

HR advisor

Wellington

Phone021 0848 7715 Email

Amy worked in hospitality making coffee for several years during high school and university. More recently after completing her studies she has been performing administrative and HR functions in a mix of small and large organisations.

Emma

Emma Ramsay Brown

Learning support advisor

Coastal Otago and Southland

Mobile027 640 0185 Email

Emma has spent the last 18 years in Dunedin, running an outdoor education and eco tourism company with her husband.

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Their company has trained many staff through Skills Active (herself included), so Emma jumped at the opportunity to come on board as a Skills Active team member to help other companies take advantage of the great training opportunities Skills Active can offer them.

Although her business has meant she spends a lot of time outdoors with clients, she and her husband and daughter still spend as much free time as possible camping, rafting, and hanging out in the outdoors. But she also admits that sometimes sitting by a lake reading all day works for her too.

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Alan Reynolds

Industry engagement advisor - exercise

Wellington

Mobile027 1800 1699 Email

Alan has been working across the fitness and exercise industry for over 15 years, having a varied background covering things like martial arts, pilates, and personal training.

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Having been with Skills Active for 11 years previously, he recently returned after a two-year break working at another ITO - adding to his experience within the world of New Zealand education and training.

Steve

Steve Richens

Southern LSA team leader and industry engagement advisor - snowsport

Queenstown Lakes, Central Otago and Fiordland

Mobile027 24 81 565 Email

Steve joined the Skills Active team in July 2013. Born and raised near Stonehenge, England, and with a BA Combined Honours in Sports Science and History, Steve has enjoyed an extensive customer service career in leisure and tourism both in Europe and North America. He now specialises in the thriving NZ snow industry!

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Steve and his wife Sadie moved to New Zealand in 2004 and are settled in Arrowtown with their boys Seth and Arlo. He is a proud volunteer firefighter and also helps to coach and promote youth sport in the region.

Go Highlanders!

Hinemaua web

Hinemaua Rikirangi

Board member

Hinemaua became a board director with Skills Active in 2020. She brings a strong background in strategic, commercial business development, governance, management, public sector, project management from concept to implementation and resolving complex business issues.

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Hinemaua has extensive networks and experience working with corporate, government agencies, Iwi and Māori organisations including Treaty Settlement entities across primary and commercial sectors.

She is a certified practitioner for coaching and mentoring, and a specialist coach and advisor to senior executives in cultural development. 

Angela Robinson Web

Angela Robinson

Learning support advisor

Wellington and Kapiti Coast

Mobile021 566 853 Email

Angela joined Skills Active in May 2019. Angela has been in gym membership sales and retention roles for nearly 10 years, and has worked as a group fitness instructor for over 15 years. She has also worked in employment support roles, supporting people coming out of prison, and spent five years in the recruitment industry.

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Angela’s passion is supporting people to reach their goals whether that be in fitness or employment, and she is a strong believer in education and ongoing learning as a pathway to success. She has studied continuously as an adult in psychology and mental health, and loves to learn!

Angela is still a passionate group fitness instructor for Les Mills in Wellington and loves to keep fit while helping others. She loves being active with her kids on the weekends, watching her beloved Phoenix Football team, and is a keen traveller.

Phil Seed web

Philip Seed

Learning support advisor

Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Waikato and Waipa

Mobile027 2389144 Email

Kia ora, nō Tauranga Moana ahau, ko Philip Seed toku ingoa, no reira, tēnā koutou katoa.

Philip is a born and raised “Mountie”. He spent many years fishing, doing bombs at the wharf, jumping off rocks and going to the beach.

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He completed a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation, then a few years later did the Secondary School teaching post grad, and had a small stint teaching, then back to the outdoors.

Phil has spent over 10 years working in outdoor instruction, training, team leading and some assessing. He recently spent a couple of years with Sport Bay of Plenty. He has also spent many years volunteering in churches, doing youth work, and helping educate and train people.

In his downtime you will find him at church, the gym, walks, movies, ten pin bowling, playing pool, eating kai, and with his whānau. In more recent years he has been exploring his own backyard and appreciating all that Aotearoa has to offer. Phil also describes himself as a bit of a funny ‘fulla’ and enjoys a good laugh!

Toni web

Toni Smithies

Business services administrator

Wellington

Phone04 916 4384 Email

Toni joined Skills Active in 2019. She comes from a payroll and finance background and specialises in all things money.

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When she's not at work, Toni can be found at rehearsals for Wainuiomata Little Theatre's next production, and spending time with her partner and two children.

Toni also has a passion for travel and concerts.

Ryan web

Ryan Stark

Learning support advisor

Wairarapa, Gisborne, East Cape and Hawke's Bay

Mobile027 687 9552 Email

Ryan joined Skills Active in August 2021. He previously worked in the aquatics industry for seven years, having started out as a learn to swim instructor, which then led to becoming a lifeguard and then a lifeguard assessor - which then steered him in the direction of his current role as a learning support advisor.

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Ryan is passionate about helping people to obtain qualifications post-school, and he himself has obtained qualifications in the aquatics, horticulture, viticulture, and health and safety sectors.

His best times are spent with his 10 year old son, and he enjoys anything to do with water, including fishing, boating, kayaking, surfing, swimming and diving. Motorcycle riding is also up there. He is looking forward to supporting trainees on their learning journeys.

Craig

Craig Thomson

Salesforce functional consultant

Wellington

Phone(04) 916 4392 Email

Craig rejoined Skills Active in September 2012 after also working here from 1997 to 2002. He has worked in the ITO sector for over 10 years focusing mainly on information systems, data integrity and business processes.

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In his spare time, Craig also teaches photography to adults at Wellington High School in the evenings, works on various documentary photography projects, travels and enjoys gardening.

Lance Tomuri web

Lance Tomuri

Marketing and Communications manager

Wellington

Mobile027 1800 4388 Email

Lance first joined Skills Active back in March 2011, but left in 2021 to take a position as senior advisor, digital communications – brand, for a government department. He then worked as marketing and communications manager for a Māori health organisation.

But like many people that leave Skills Active, he eventually made his way back to the organisation, and the opportunity to build a new brand was a big drawcard.

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Outside of work Lance loves to play tennis and football. He enjoys catching up with friends, chatting with both his boys who now live on the Gold Coast, travelling and photography.

In 2020, Covid ruined plans to travel to Germany for a wedding, and then onto Egypt and Petra. Now that the borders are open...

carolyn

Carolyn Verhagen

Northern LSA team leader and industry engagement advisor - outdoor recreation

Central North Island and King Country

Mobile027 6738 460 Email

Carolyn joined Skills Active in August 2015. Her background is in outdoor education, and over the years she has been an enthusiastic caver, rock climber, tramper and kayaker. She enjoys sharing her love of the outdoors with others.

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Carolyn has a love of teaching and an enthusiasm for learning new skills. She lives in the beautiful Central North Island with her family, including her lovely dog. In her spare time you can find her at the gym, in the kitchen, out walking the river tracks or kayaking on the river... or reading!

Dave

Dave Watkinson

Adventure activities audit coordinator

Wellington

Phone(04) 280 9526 Email

With an extensive background in both safety auditing, and the outdoor sector, Dave brings a wealth of skills and knowledge to this position. He has technical expert skills in mountaineering, rock climbing with high ropes, and white water kayak/canoe/rescue.

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Dave has an affinity with adventure activity operators, which ensures the best fit of operator and auditor, and a cleaner audit process.

Originally from England, Dave was part of the United Kingdom's Adventure Activities Licensing Scheme, both as an operator, head of centre, and an inspector.

He was also a member of the working group that prepared British Standard BS8848 for overseas expeditions and field work, in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society and the Young Explorers’ Trust.

Jay

Jay Weerappulige

ICT technician

Wellington

Phone(04) 916 4382 Email

Jay joined Skills Active in 1998 after obtaining a National Diploma in Advanced Business Computing at CIT in Upper Hutt. He is responsible for the development and maintenance of student management systems, as well as all internal information systems, IT hardware and application software.

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Prior to Skills Active, Jay worked as a civil engineer in Sri Lanka for about 10 years. He is very passionate about cricket, and supports Sri Lanka and the Black Caps (in that order).

Kuruho web

Kuruho Wereta

Kaitohutohu tikanga rua - bicultural advisor

Wellington

Phone0508 475 4557 Email

Kuruho is of Ngāti Raukawa, Te Āti Awa and Ngāti Toa Rangatira descent. He has a passion for growing the use of te reo Māori, and has embodied this in the last few years through his work in the development of Māori board games. His background is supported by 15 years' experience in woodcarving, weaving and Māori arts.

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With mahi toi at the focal point of his life, Kuruho has pursued careers that stimulate him in environments which are diverse and full of natural wonder. He has spent the last decade working in the conservation and recreation industries across Aotearoa. He is excited about the positive change we can make as a nation, and is inspired by the challenges we have ahead of us.

Poipoia te kakano kia puawai

Nurture the seed and it will blossom

Ashton web

Ashton Williams-Dallow

Data coordinator

Wellington

Phone04 974 4328 Email

Ashton joined Skills Active in 2022. She was heavily involved in the performing arts scene in Ōtautahi, and followed that spotlight up to Pōneke, where she got her BA in Theatre, French and Management at Victoria University of Wellington.

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Since then she has qualified as a personal trainer, and enjoys spending her day doing what she loves most; training and helping other people find their own love for exercise. If not at the gym, you will find her actively involved in the Pōneke theatre scene. Ashton is excited to be a part of Skills Active, where all her facets of life meet in one place.