Time at WIO: Since July 2013
Relevant Experience: I have been working in secondary and tertiary education roles as a teacher, tutor and manager for 20 years. The roles have been varied and include teaching PE and IT at a secondary school, lecturing HR at University, tutoring Adventure Tourism at polytech, developing an online Diploma in Tourism Management, managing a hospitality, beauty and hairdressing school (!!) and now… best of all GM of Whenua Iti Outdoors.
Favourite Pursuit: Fishing – with my 4 young boys!
Favourite place for adventures: Victoria Falls on the Zambia/Zimbabwe border.
Favourite piece of equipment: My passport!
Education Partnerships Manager
Time at WIO: Since July 2013.
Relevant Experience: I have been working in the New Zealand education sector since 2004, with a focus on secondary tertiary partnerships. My background is in project, business and operations management. I can pretty much organise my way around anything!
Favourite Pursuit: Caravan camping with family and friends.
Favourite place for adventures: With my family it has to be Cable Bay campsite (so far), but my heart belongs to Punakaiki, West Coast.
Favourite piece of equipment: Glass of red wine.
Safety & Programme Manager
Time at WIO: Since August 2015
Relevant Experience: 28 years (eek!) working in the outdoors.
Favourite Pursuit: At the moment, road biking and hunting (but not at the same time!!!).
Favourite place for adventures: Top of the South Island NZ, West Coast of Scotland, the Australian Outback and the Pyrennees (I couldn’t make my mind up!).
Favourite piece of equipment: My frying pan (I’m Scottish after all).
Time at WIO: Since 2003
Time working in the outdoors: 25 years
Favourite Pursuit: Kayaking, rockclimbing, mountain biking, photography (lots of the great images on our website are Johnny’s)
Favourite place for adventures: New Zealand!
Favourite piece of equipment: My bike and my camera
Time at WIO: Since January 2001
Time working in the outdoors: 22 years
Favourite Pursuit: Mountain biking. Lots of great riding in the Kaiteriteri and Nelson areas.
Favourite place for adventures: Love the Tasman and Golden Bay area. Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes National Parks are great venues for the family especially the Owen, Arthur, Cobb areas.
Favourite piece of equipment: Enjoying trying different mountain bikes. Converted to soft tails – there’s no going back!
Time at WIO: Since January 2015. When not working at WIO, I volunteer with Tides of Rites of Passage for young women, and on the board of Leave No Trace NZ as the Training Co-ordinator.
Time working in the outdoors: Since 2010 after a previous life as an Environmental Engineer. My favourite thing about outdoor education is imparting a strong sense of place, seeing students work together in a team to achieve more than they thought they could and having adventures underground!
Favourite Pursuit: Caving! but I also love spending time in the bush, permaculture, cooking and more caving.
Favourite place for adventures: The northern side of Mt Owen, Kahurangi National Park.
Favourite piece of equipment: My gumboots! I also love my climbing trad rack.
Joe William Dawson
Time at WIO: Since 2011
Time working in the outdoors: Pretty much started when I volunteered on the Journey Program with Dougal and Holly Officer in 2008
Favourite Pursuit: Changes over time but probably spend most time on the sea either in waka ama or sea kayak. But love a bit of white water and mountain biking is awesome too. And rocks are also a buzz: climbing them on the surface and exploring the underworld of cave systems are a great challenge. I love tramping too! Epecially above the bushline. In fact, lets just say, if it’s outdoors, no matter the weather, there is always some fun and adventure to be had.
Favourite place for adventures: There are many places in Aotearoa that are very special to me. Some of them too secret to mention here but if I had to name one playground that I just love it would be Anatori.
Favourite piece of equipment: Waka hoe. For sure.
Time at WIO: Since January 2016
Time working in the outdoors: Since 2005
Favourite Pursuit: Telmark skiing – free the heel, free the mind.
Favourite place for adventures: Rock of Ages Biv, Kitchener Cirque, Mt Aspiring National Park, its a magical place.
Favourite piece of equipment: My cozy creek chair – its compact, amazingly comfortable, doubles as a half length sleeping mat and can be made into a splint if somebody breaks an arm or a leg.
Time at WIO: Since March 2016.
Time working in the outdoors: I have been playing in the outdoors since I was 4 years old and have recently decided to make adventuring my full time job, so officially, since December 2015.
Favourite Pursuit: Its a tug of war between rock climbing and tramping; but walking/climbing on steep crunchy ridges successfully combines the two. Multiday anything!
Favourite place for adventures: Wharepapa South, Kahurangi National Park, Whanganui, Taranaki, Tararua National Park – how do I choose!
Favourite piece of equipment: I love ropes and knots and shiny, dangling climbing gear. I also love a good sea kayak.
Time at WIO: Since the beginning of 2017
Relevant Experience: Diploma in Outdoor Adventure at Whitirea
Favourite pursuit: Anything in/on the ocean or bush especially multiday trips
Favourite place for adventures: So many!! Am fairly new to Tasman area – am loving exploring around here at the moment
Favourite piece of equipment: I quite like warm snuggly things to wear at camp or multiday trips!
Time at WIO: Since 2017
Relevant Experience: I’m very much new to the outdoor industry scene. About 3 years ago I did an introductory course in Australia and I just loved the course, I knew there is more to it.
Favourite pursuit: Yoga, rock climing, cycling and sea kayaking.
Favourite place for adventures: I have many in New Zealand, hard to choose one! Some are Kaikoura, Milford Sound and many more.
Favourite piece of equipment: Yoga mat, my road bike and climbing harness
Rob de Leeuw
Instructor & Professional Picnicker
Time at WIO: Since 2001
Time working in the outdoors: Since I can remember…I did a Whenua Iti Outdoors course in 1999 and have been working in outdoor based companies since then in the Top of the South.
Favourite Pursuit: Eating good food in the outdoors, oh, and sea kayaking.
Favourite place for adventures: The West Coast of New Zealand
Favourite piece of equipment: My Hanpresso, a compact hand held Expresso maker that has delivered thousands of high quality caffeine hits in remote places. it comes most places with me, and my trusty Arctic Raider sea kayak to take me to those places.
Time at WIO: Since 1997
Relevant Experience: 30 years in the outdoors.
Favourite pursuit: Mountain biking
Favourite place for adventures: North West Nelson (Top of the South)
Favourite piece of equipment: Day pack full of good ideas
Administration & Marketing Coordinator
Time at WIO: Since January 2016
Relevant Experience: Have worked in administration since 2000.
Favourite Pursuit: Spending time with my family – swimming in the river, bike rides and going to the beach.
Favourite place for adventures: So many! Lots of the South Island.
Favourite piece of equipment: Hammock and book.
Booking and Enrolment Coordinator
Time at WIO: Since July 2016
Relevant Experience: I have worked in education and administration in both the UK and New Zealand for more years than I care to remember. Other organisations I’ve been lucky enough to be part of include a wildlife charity, field study centre, schools and a scientific institute.
Favourite Pursuit: Having adventures with our kids
Favourite place for adventures: South Island of New Zealand – next on my list is Stewart Island
Favourite piece of equipment: A good old fashioned map
Time at WIO: Started late 2015
Relevant Experience: 25 years as a qualified mechanic and 8 years as a lifestyle block owner.
Favourite Pursuit: Waterskiing, fishing and diving
Favourite place for adventures: New Zealand!
Favourite piece of equipment: My Boat
Time at WIO: Since February 2016
Relevant Experience: 22 years of chefing and instructing whilst working in the super yacht industry, river guiding and outdoor ed.
Favourite Pursuit: Sailing, mountain biking, kite surfing, watching the sunrise and sunset.
Favourite place for adventures: Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Canada
Favourite piece of equipment: Flask full of tea, kite gear, camel-back pack, icebreaker thermals.
Pip Lynch, Chair
Rod Markham, Trustee
Claire Webster, Trustee
Tom Speers, Trustee
Phil Sharpin, Trustee
Jeannette Bent, Trustee