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.


Jocelyn Brewer

Training support administrator


Phone(04) 916 4383 Mobilejocelyn@skillsactive.org.nz

Jocelyn has a background in administration, customer service and retail roles. She is one of those annoying 'people person' types and enjoys engaging with people from all backgrounds.

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She's originally from the Kapiti Coast but has lived in Lower Hutt for ten years with her husband, two young kids and a crazy old cat.


Bridie Bright

Resource designer and publisher


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 advisor and moderator


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.


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 Cooper

Learning support advisor

Christchurch and South Canterbury

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 is passionate about education and helping people achieve their goals. She has a Bachelor of Health Science and is currently working towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Sport Management.

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


Ben Corcoran

General manager, projects and partnerships


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.

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Anthony Cox

General manager, People and Finance


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 Dorrington

Audit administrator


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 Dorrington

Industry development advisor - aquatics, community recreation and performing arts


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 Frerichs

Chief operating officer


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.  

Aimee web

Aimee Froud

HR advisor and board secretary


Phone(04) 916 4396 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 boyfriend and life in Wellington to go travelling.

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While on her travels, she came across an Instagram post saying that WECare Worldwide was looking for staff in Sri Lanka and, after having seen the sheer number of street dogs while travelling there, thought moving to a tropical island might be a good thing to do. 

18 months later, Sri Lanka very much felt like home, though she is now in NZ while Covid sorts itself out. Aimee is the besotted dog-Mum to a total dreamboat in Wellington called Sadie and a total menace in Sri Lanka called Sherlock; she is also the very proud human-Aunty to Rosie Grace.  She's very pleased to have joined the lovely Skills Active team for the next six months and looks forward to being part of the whānau.

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

Programme and resource developer and industry development advisor - outdoor recreation


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 Gillespie

Resource Development manager


Phone(03) 443 7751 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 berry farmer, gardener, skier and mountain biker.


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 Handscomb

Learning Solutions administrator


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 Hart

Data Coordinator team leader


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. 

Graham web

Graham Hill

Chief executive officer, Qualworx


Mobile021 806 090 Email

Graham joined Qualworx in April 2020, with a background in strategy, sales and commercial relationships, and governance. He has many years of senior management experience, most recently as general manager commercial at Federated Farmers New Zealand.

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Graham's passion comes from a desire to support individuals to reach their full potential. He sees this fitting well with both the Qualworx and Skills Active business philosophies.

In his spare time, he enjoys surfing and being outdoors, riding his motorcycles, and spending time socialising with family and friends. Graham and his partner love to travel, and last year spent time in Italy, primarily Florence. With the travel restrictions now in place, they are both looking forward to seeing more of New Zealand.


Wez Hind

Web developer


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 comes from a software analysis and development background and currently specialises in PHP, MySQL and JavaScript in both back-end and front-end capacity.

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

New business account manager


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, sales, music and language education. 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.

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Pete is driven by a passion for adventure and growth. In 2017 he quit his office job, sold everything and bought a one-way ticket to Ireland to pursue music and explore. He made his way around Europe for three years, independently releasing his music on Spotify and gigging everywhere he could. He settled for a time in Germany where he became fluent in the language and forged his second home (Bochum), before returning home to New Zealand in 2020. Pete is an actively competitive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner and coach and says his ”third home” is arguably in the gym.

Pete is beyond excited to be a part of the team, especially given it’s focus on biculturalism, and is ready to tackle language number 3, te reo Māori.


Donna Hooper

Resource developer


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



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.


Todd Maddock

General manager, Delivery


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. 


Jim McKendry

Resource developer


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 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 McLaren Noble

Marketing and Communications team leader


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.

Korelli web

Korelli Mulitalo

Learning support advisor

West Auckland, Northland

Mobile021 563 035 Email

Korelli joined the Skills Active team in August 2021. He comes from a tertiary education background, having spent eight years teaching youth and adults and two years leading education projects.

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In Korelli's previous position he managed a range of workplace communication programmes (individually tailored) with different employers in different sectors, using Employer-led Workplace Literacy and Numeracy funding (EWLN) from TEC.

In this role he worked closely with the food processing, manufacturing, civil construction, healthcare and horticulture industries. 

What motivates Korelli in his mahi is helping people to grow and succeed. He has qualifications in Adult and Tertiary Teaching, and in Adult Literacy and Numeracy (Vocational). And in his earlier days he was a competitive swimmer and played waterpolo at representative level.

Korelli loves to travel with his wife (not recently thanks to Covid), and loves to spend time with family and his beloved Frenchies, Pacha and Loki.

Playstation is also on the list to keep him happy, as well as exploring new places and soaking in nature. And he enjoys watching heavyweight boxing – go Joseph Parker!

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.

Pei Ying

Pei-Ying Pan

Data coordinator


Phone(04) 916 4385 Email

Pei-Ying joined Skills Active in August 2013 as the data coordinator for the Central/Southern Region. Prior to working at Skills Active, she was relieving at secondary schools and teaching piano from home (still does). Currently she holds a Master’s Degree in Music and a Diploma in Teaching and Learning.

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She was born in Taiwan and moved to Christchurch when she was 11, until moving to Wellington in 2011. Since being introduced to the fitness world a few years ago, she has become an avid HIIT trainer and is slowly adventuring into weight training.

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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


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.

Brent Perrin Web

Brent Perrin

Data coordinator



Brent joined Skills Active in 2021 as a temporary cover to help with the busy ski season. He has been in NZ since 2019, and has picked up typical traveller jobs whilst on the move (fruit picking, hospitality). It has been a while since he was in an office environment but it is nice to be back and it still feels very familiar. Brent's background is in law, specifically Wills, Powers of Attorney and Probate.

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Brent is from Carlisle which is in the very northwest corner of England though he has lived in Bristol for much of the last decade. He counts himself very lucky to have been in this part of the world during covid times. He has been travelling with his partner and spent a lot of time in a van exploring the South Island. They both fancied some city life and are now planning to be in Wellington until the end of their visas.

Brent really enjoys bouldering at indoor climbing centres, though this has been harder to do regularly whilst travelling. His main hobby these days is chess and he has been able to participate in competitions around NZ and has recently joined Wellington Chess Club.

Jess Persad Web

Jess Persad

Marketing advisor


Mobile021 246 1607 Email

Jess joined Skills Active in May 2021 and has always loved the variety of work that marketing offers. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Linguistics she started her career in marketing, over seven years ago, within the large-scale events sector. A few years back she shifted into the charity sector to help engage new audiences and fundraise for a variety of causes.

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Originally a city girl from London, Jess has been in Aotearoa since October 2019. She is enjoying a new found passion of tramping and the challenge of steep trails to reach a stunning view. She has a bug for travelling and is always looking for recommendations on where to explore next.


Jenni Pethig

General manager, Learning Solutions


Mobile027 448 5797 Email

Jenni has been involved in workplace training, qualification, standard and resource development for over 14 years with nine of them being with Sfrito and Skills Active.

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Jenni has worked with a range of Skills Active sectors and is passionate about increasing the value of recreation in the lives of all New Zealanders.


Matthew Phillips

Graphic designer


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

ICT assistant


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 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. 


Geeta Raman

Quality advisor and evaluator


Phone04 916 4386 Email

Geeta joined Skills Active in November 2018. She worked with another ITO for two and half years in the assessor support and moderation space, and her background is in adult education and training.

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Born and raised in Wellington, Geeta had an overseas stint for about eight years before returning home.

With three grown, self-sufficient children, her new spare time is spent reading, learning as much as possible (about anything) and trying out shows, events and cafes in Wellington whenever there is an opportunity. 


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

Portfolio manager


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 Richens

Learning support advisor and industry development 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.


Wayne Schlemmer

Quality manager


Phone(04) 916 8746 Mobile021 272 4548 Email

Wayne joined Skills Active in October 2018. He has been involved in adult education for 20 years, starting off as a workplace assessor, and later senior technical trainer in the mining industry.

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In more recent years his experience includes technical training for the railways, and working as a quality and moderation advisor for another industry training organisation.

He enjoys bush walks with his dog, the gym, and he very occasionally surfs.

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


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 Thomson

Salesforce functional consultant


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.


Carolyn Verhagen

Learning support advisor

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!


Nathan Waitai

Industry development advisor - sport and exercise


Phone(04) 916 8745 Mobile0272 473 468 Email

He panehe toki, ka tū te tangitangi kai!
Iwi: Ngāti Porou, Rangitāne

Nathan is the co-founder of Whānau Ora Fitness, a free community exercise programme in four Hutt Valley locations; a musician of 30 years; a proud koro of nine mokopuna; a loving dad of five, and an awesome husband.

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He worked as national facilitator for Ngā Taonga Tākaro (Māori traditional games) to 14 Māori health providers around Aotearoa for four years, based at Kokiri Marae.

He has a passion in whakawhānaunga (building and maintaining win/win relationships) which inspires him in his work helping to develop pathways and transitions through on-the-job qualifications.


Dave Watkinson

Adventure activities audit coordinator


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 Weerappulige

ICT technician


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


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