Whenua Iti Trust
Whenua Iti Trust Inc. is a charitable trust with a volunteer board who govern the operational arms of the organisation: Whenua Iti Outdoors and ExpedNZ.
Our board members are selected for their commitment to our kaupapa, governance expertise, community knowledge and sector specialisations.
Phil Sharpin, Trustee
Kia ora koutou - As a semi-retired educationalist, I am delighted to be able to bring my 30 years’ experience in secondary/tertiary education and training to the Whenua Iti Trust (WIT). My relationship with the Trust and Whenua Iti Outdoors began about 1990, when I was the local manager of Skill NZ, and has continued almost without a break to the present. In August 2017 I joined the Board as a trustee. What motivates me to support and be part of WIT is my strong belief in the power of the outdoors to change young (and not so young) lives for the better. I’m a family man and my wife, Trish, and I are lucky enough to have all our children and grandchildren currently living in NZ.
Cheryl Heta, Trustee
The Whenua Iti Challenge Course I completed was one of my life changing moments that I will be forever grateful for. So when asked to be part of the Whenua Iti Board, it was in a sense "Mana" and an opportunity for me to give back to an Organisation that will forever have a special place in my heart. At the time I was a single Mum aged 48 raising two boys and in order to grow gorgeous boys you need to be a good, positive healthy Mum - Whenua Iti helped me do this. On the course we were asked to think about our goals. One was getting a good job and run a marathon at 50 in Paris. I did both! I am now a 56yr old, still healthy and positive, employed by Rabobank NZ for 7.5yrs, with only one goal that I wrote down all those years ago left to achieve.
David Ross, Trustee
My career has been focused on equipment, clothing and rights for outdoor and sports industries and I have enjoyed building business throughout Europe, NE Asia, North America, Russia and Australasia. Specific experience includes international market development, distribution, marketing and product management. More recently, through my leadership position in a Crown entity, I have been engaged in conservation, sustainability, tourism and public - private partnerships. With a passion for wild places, I enjoy rock climbing, ski touring, hiking and rotary aviation. I have been fortunate to have climbed with many great people in stunning parts of the world and am proud to be involved with the outstanding team at Whenua Iti Outdoors.
Eli Grace-Webb, Trustee
Raised in the Nelson area, I recall fondly the many adventures I had exploring the nature that abounds us and the confidence it instilled. Passing similar experiences on to my kids these days, makes me realise just how important Whenua Iti Trust is to the rangatahi and community it serves.
Qualified in law, economics and finance, I bring to the Trust my experience of more than 15 years as an economist advising governments, businesses, regulators and other organisations across New Zealand, Australia, and Asia. I am truly privileged to work alongside my fellow trustees, whom are both passionate and wise, as we look to further the vision of the Trust.
Amy Dalton, Trustee
Kia ora koutou, Ko Amy Dalton toku ingoa. I was born and raised in the Tasman region where I was lucky enough to experience a range of outdoor opportunities this region provides, this is where I developed my interest in the environment and the protection of it. I have worked in secondary education since 2006 and I first got into teaching as I wanted to be a Environmental Education teacher for an organisation that delivered education outside the classroom. However, I started working in a secondary school as a Science, Biology, and Environmental Education teacher and realised I enjoyed working alongside youth. In 2017 I took a break from teaching and gained employment with Whenua Iti Outdoors in the home team. I was drawn to Whenua Iti Outdoors as my own values aligned well with the organisation and their approach to education.
My currernt role is back in secondary education but now in the in careers space, where my team and I get to provide opportunities for students to help them with their future pathways. In this role I get to see first hand the positive impact Whenua Iti Outdoors has on our Rangatahi who attend courses. I feel privildeged to be able to join the board as a Trustee and look forward to working alongside my fellow trustees.
Whenua Iti Trust Staff
Nicki Bensemann, Minute Secretary
When I look back at the life changing learning times in my life, they are mostly centred around opportunities for ‘Experiential Learning’ in the outdoors. Times when I was really challenged and pushed outside of my comfort zones. These have included Outdoor Pursuits Centre, a Spirit of Adventure sailing voyage and more recently a trip to rural Nepal and trekking in the Himalayas. It is a desire to share this learning, to see and encourage others push into hard spaces, learning to become the best version of themselves, that gives me such a huge amount of satisfaction. As a teenager moving into the district I became aware of Whenua Iti Outdoors (WIO) and at various times my 3 now teen boys have all benefited from the programmes run here. As a newcomer to the position of Board Minute Secretary I consider it a privilege to be able to offer my enthusiasm, skills and 30+ yrs experience as a Chartered Accountant, Trustee and Board Secretary to this team.
Social Impact Report
As part of an on-going evaluation process we find ways to measure the impact of Whenua Iti Outdoors. You can read our findings in this report.
Interested in Getting Involved?
We are always open to new ideas as to how use our programmes to support positive change within our community. If you have an idea to run past us, don't hesitate to get in touch!
Want to find out more about a programme or have a question for us? Talk to one of our friendly team - we're happy to help.