Meet the bunch of outdoor adventure-loving good sorts who work with us.

This whānau of misfits are passionate, fun-loving, ‘life’ adventurers who love to serve all those people with whom we are privileged to rub shoulders with.



Providing industry standard qualifications  since 1987.



We maintain a high standard for all our staff.


*Senior instructors


Our team are trained and fully qualified in advanced first aid.



Chief Executive Officer


Our main man, Tim, has more than 30 years experience in outdoor pursuits. Tim is an accomplished kayaker, climber, skier and he will often be found adventuring locally and abroad in the mountains or on the water getting “big air” (well, so he says) on his kiteboard. He also thinks he’s a pretty good surfer (and Kelly Slater look alike but we know better).

The father of four doesn’t see his role as a job but rather a lifestyle – he says the Trust is in his DNA – and his family have always been part of the adventure.

Tim's Experience & Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Arts in Geography
  • Diploma in Secondary School Teaching
  • NZOIA Rock 2, Bush 2, Alpine 2, Kayak1 and Sea Kayak 1 instructor
  • NZOIA Rock 1, Abseil 1 and Kayak Leader assessor
  • NZOIA technical sub-committee convenor
  • New Zealand Rafting Association member, Grade 5 Raft Guide, Grade 3 Trip Leader
  • Certified in Pre-hospital Emergency Care for Ski Patrollers and Outdoor Recreational Personnel
  • 2013 NZOIA Tall Totara award recipient for excellence in outdoor leadership


Training and Safety Manager


Mark is a keen tramper, skier, rock climber, mountain biker and kayaker. He has kayaked many rivers in both the North and South Islands and his sea kayaking experience includes the Marlborough Sounds, Abel Tasman National Park, Bay of Islands, Great Barrier Island, Fiordland and Alaska.

Mark is married to Diana and they have two sons, James and Caleb.

Mark's Experience & Qualifications
  • NZOIA Sea Kayak 2, Kayak 1, Rock 1, Alpine 1 and Bush 1 instructor
  • Certified in Pre-hospital Emergency Care for Ski Patrollers and Outdoor Recreational Personnel
  • New Zealand Rafting Association member and Grade 2 Guide



Christchurch operations manager


Andy’s extensive experience as a youth worker, youth work trainer and teacher (in mainstream schools and alternative education with an outdoor focus) led him to his current role.

He particularly enjoys seeing the great outdoors work its magic on people as they learn, grow and discover more about themselves in community.

Andy's Experience & Qualifications
  • Diploma in Youth and Community Work
  • Bachelor of Parks and Recreation and Tourism Management
  • Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning
  • NZOIA Bush 1
  • NZOIA Rock 1 (lead endorsement)
  • NZOIA Mountain Bike 1
  • Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (PHEC)


Auckland Operations Manager


Jeff trained with us as an outdoor instructor in 2006 but it took 10 years for him to return! In that time he got married, had three children and became a teacher. He is a keen tramper, caver and fisherman, and is always up for a bit of exploring.

He loves to see other people realise that they are actually capable of achieving things they didn’t think were possible for them. He and his wife, Helen, also enjoy great coffee and exploring kid-friendly cafes for their three children, Joelle, Charlotte and Elise. Recommendations gladly accepted!

Jeff's Experience & Qualifications
  • Bachelor in Primary Teaching
  • Diploma in Biblical Studies
  • Certificate in Outdoor Recreation Instruction
  • NZOIA Bush 1
  • NZOIA Rock 1
  • NZOIA Cave 1


Auckland Operations Assistant


Anita first joined the trust in 2010 as a Field Instructor and has returned in 2018 as part of the administration team. She shares her time between working here at the Trust and working as an Early Childhood Teacher.

She is passionate about caring for our environment, learning about and incorporating Māori language and culture, facilitating sustainable learning principles and her Christian faith. She also keeps us on our toes by keeping things organised and making sure things run smoothly.

Anita's Experience & Qualifications
  • Bachelor in Sport and Recreation (Outdoor Education)
  • Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE)
  • Diploma in Te Ara Reo Māori


Christchurch Operations Assistant


Jo loves working with people and has worked in a variety of roles including youth work, research, support work in schools and school administration. She loves to relax with coffee in hand and dog by her side on the beach.  Jo is married to Rich with two teenage boys. They love travelling together and exploring the outdoors, especially in the mountains skiing or mountain biking, or at the beach chasing the waves.

Jo's Experience & Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Physical Education
  • Diploma in Ministry Internship


Christchurch Instructor


Peter, who originally hails from the South Island of Australia, moved to NZ to study outdoor education back in 2014 and still hasn’t left!

He developed a love for the outdoors at a young age, influenced by family camping and fishing trips up into the highlands, though it wasn’t until the end of his schooling years that he really became hooked. It was Pete’s own outdoor education experiences that showcased to him nature’s ability to break down barriers and bring individuals together.

He loves all things outdoors and often struggles to juggle his many hobbies, and he will usually be found paddling down white-water rivers or climbing up a rockface.

Pete has a background in schools-based instructing and is a qualified outdoor ed teacher.

Peter's Experience & Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Sport and Recreation (Outdoor Education)
  • Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching
  • NZOIA Rock 1
  • NZOIA Rock 1 – Sport Climbing endorsement
  • NZOIA Sea Kayak 1
  • NZOIA Bush 1
  • NZOIA/WWNZ River Rescue 1
  • NZ Rivers Association member
  • Grade 2 Raft Guide
  • Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (PHEC)


Auckland Instructor


Joe joined as an instructor in 2022 after completing an internship with our Christchurch team.

Joe has a youthwork background, working in intermediate schools for four years, as well as leading a church youth group for several years.

In his spare time, Joe has been playing canoe polo for years, including reaching national level and playing for New Zealand men’s B team in the recent 2019 Oceania champs.

His degree in geography and psychology has given him a backdrop in people and places and inspired him to take his youthwork outside the classroom into the great outdoors. 

Joe says, “There is nothing cooler than having your work office in the one place you most love to be, the outdoors.”

Joe's Experience & Qualifications
  • Certificate in Youth Work
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Geography
  • NZOIA Bush 1
  • NZOIA Rock 1
  • Outdoor First Aid
  • Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (PHEC)


Auckland Instructor

After studying and working in the film editing industry, Nathalie found her call for the outdoors. She completed her studies at Tai Poutini Polytechnic, finishing with a Diploma in Outdoor Education and Instruction.

Nathalie has spent two seasons in the sunny, beautiful Abel Tasman sea kayak guiding, before spending the last two years doing contract work around Auckland. Nathalie has a passion for people, letting them experience the wonders of nature and seeing them push their boundaries.

In her free time, you’ll see Nathalie surfing, tramping, and editing films on the side.

Nathalie's Experience & Qualifications
  • Diploma in Outdoor Education and Instruction
  • NZOIA Leader Sea Kayak
  • NZOIA Bush 1
  • NZOIA Leader Rock
  • NZOIA Leader Abseil
  • Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (PHEC)


Christchurch Instructor

Patrick is originally from the small mountain town of Crested Butte, Colorado, USA. He grew up following many outdoor pursuits such as tramping, climbing, and snowboarding. 

He came to New Zealand in February 2020 and became “stuck by choice” due to COVID. After finishing university with a Bachelor of Environmental Management from Lincoln University, he to pursued outdoor education through gaining NZOIA qualifications.

Patrick is passionate about seeing the challenges of the outdoors grow students and push them towards their full potential.

 In his free time, Patrick is often seen at one of the many crags around the Port Hills climbing or enjoying some surf around Banks Peninsula and beyond.

Patrick's Experience & Qualifications
  • NZOIA Bush 1
  • NZOIA Rock 1
  • Pre-Hospital Emergency Care


Auckland Instructor

Oli joined the AdSpecs team at the start of 2022. He is a keen runner and loves to hit the trails on the outskirts of Auckland with his dog Kash as often as possible. Oli enjoys practicing yoga and generally loves all things to do with fitness. He has also studied Sport and Recreation, Personal Training, Physiotherapy and Youth Development.

Even though he isn’t a dad yet, the dad jokes come pretty naturally to Oli and his quick wit will have you laughing more often than it will have you rolling your eyes (he likes to think). Oli also loves trivia, quizzes and solving puzzles and riddles.

Oli's Experience & Qualifications
  • NZOIA Bush 1
  • Diploma in Sport and Recreation
  • Certificate in Personal Training
  • Certificate in Youth Development
  • Outdoor First Aid


Auckland Instructor

Kia ora! I have arrived at Adventure Specialties after studying a diploma in Outdoor Education at Hillary Outdoors. After figuring out that I had a passion for just about every aspect of the outdoors I have tried, plus a desire to bring people along and teach them what I love, I thought “Hey, I could be an outdoor instructor!” So here I am!

 I have spent time working as a ski Instructor, a teacher aide and volunteering my time into youth group and youth camps.

 In my spare time, I can be found hanging off my finger tips on a rock climb, bumbling down the rapids of a river in a kayak, climbing up or skiing down mountain faces, or somewhere in the bush. But above all I want to keep learning and enjoying creation.

Isaac's Experience & Qualifications
  • Diploma in Outdoor Recreation
  • NZOIA Bush 1
  • NZOIA Rock Leader
  • NZOIA Kayak Leader
  • NZOIA Abseil Leader
  • Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (PHEC)


Christchurch Instructor

Rebecca joined the Adventure Specialties team after completing a Bachelor’s degree in Sustainability and Outdoor Education. In her free time, she can be found white water kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, and exploring trails and hills.

Before venturing into the outdoors, Rebecca had a successful career as a ballet dancer, performing with an Australian ballet company. Her experience as a dance instructor sparked her love for teaching. It was during a trip to New Zealand that she fell in love with the outdoors and realised her true calling was combining her passion for nature with her instruction.

Rebecca's Experience & Qualifications
  • Bachelor in Sustainability and Outdoor Education (Ara)
  • NZOIA Rock 1
  • NZOIA Bush 1
  • NZOIA Kayak 1
  • Comprehensive First Aid
  • Level 5 Avalanche and Risk Management (Otago Polytechnic)


Auckland Trainee Instructor

Originally from North Waikato, I have grown up kayaking, tramping, surfing, sailing and climbing all around the North Island of Aotearoa.
After attempting to study at university, I decided to move to the UK and work in an Outdoor Education centre for two seasons, on the South Coast of England, where I did a good portion of work and travel all around Europe as well as Central and South America.
Home called me back, after landing an instructor role here at Adventure Specialties Trust. Here, I can share my knowledge of the outdoors and play a part on people’s stories. (P.S. I love to share stories over a good campfire!)
Sean's Experience & Qualifications
  • Outdoor First Aid
  • British Conoeing Paddlesport Leader (UK)
  • Yachting NZ Sail Coaching qualification L1, 2, 3
  • Scuba Advanced Oper Water Diver qualification



Adventure Therapy Manager


Amy is passionate about developing our services that focus on therapeutic change and personal development. She is a strong believer in the healing power of nature and therapeutic value of doing activity outside with others. She started her career as an outdoor instructor and has developed into the therapy side of things and is now fully qualified in both areas.

 In her spare time Amy likes to spend time with her husband, step-teenagers and toddler – preferably outside on some sort of activity that everyone enjoys! Or with her friends doing some exercise, usually walking or mountain biking in the hills.

Amy's Experience & Qualifications
  • Diploma of Outdoor Recreation Leadership
  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)
  • Masters in Counselling
  • NZOIA Kayak 1
  • NZOIA Bush 2
  • NZOIA Sea Kayak 1
  • NZOIA Rock 1
  • Pre-Hospital Emergency Care
  • 20+ years working in the outdoors
  • Chairperson of Adventure Therapy Aotearoa
  • Committee Member of the International Adventure Therapy


Christchurch Adventure Therapy Facilitator


Ko wai au?
Ko Te Tari te Kaumira, Uretane, Kā Tapuwae o Urihia ōku Mauka
Ko Waihoa te awa
Ko Waihao te marae
Nō Kāi Tahu te iwi
Ko Kāti Huirapa, Ngāti Nateatea, Kāi Taoka, Te Aitaka a Tapuiti ngā hapū
Nō Te Tihi p Maru ahau engari kei Taupō tōku kaika ināianei
Ko April Heath tōku ingoa

Tēnā Koe, My name is April Heath. I am of European and Māori descent and have whakapapa connections to many rūnaka across Te Wai Pounamu.

I am passionate about Te Ao Māori and our whakapapa connections. Since working in the outdoors I have begun to see the similarities with Māori worldview of te Taiao and the outdoor industry. I love exploring this relationship through my personal journey and in mahi contribution.

In the weekends you can find me mountain biking in the Port Hills, exploring the ngāhere or searching for a one of a kind item of clothing in the local opshops.

Something you should know about me is that I am always down for a laugh, a good joke and I enjoy a yarn over washing some dishes.

Ko au te whenua, te whenua ko au.

April's Experience & Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Education (Physical Education and Outdoor Education)
  • NZOIA Bush 1
  • NZOIA Mountain Bike 1
  • Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (PHEC)


Auckland Adventure Therapy Facilitator


Best known as “Instructor Rani.”

Rani initially started working for Adventure Specialties Trust in 2014 after completing a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation, majoring in Outdoor Education.

Why did he get into outdoor education? He says, “I love sports, especially hockey, but tried outdoor education at uni and found out that I was good at it and I loved hanging out with people, doing trips where you get to spend time with people. I loved finding out someone’s potential, seeing that lightbulb go off in someone’s head, like, ‘Boom! I can do this!'”

At Adventure Specialties, he got lots of experience in a variety of programmes and activities, like sea kayaking, rock climbing, canyoning, caving and hiking. After taking a break for a couple of years, he rejoined the team in 2021.

In his free time, Rani loves playing hockey and eating food. Good food. He is currently hunting for the best recipes for chicken wings.

RANI's Experience & Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Sport and Recreation (Outdoor Education)
  • NZOIA Kayak 1
  • First Aid


Adventure Therapy Clinician – Christchurch


Anneke has a firm belief in the healing and health that comes from connecting to Te Taiao, the natural world. Anneke is very excited to be working in this role as Adventure Therapy Clinician; to be going on outdoor adventures with people who are navigating significant challenges in their lives, and to be encouraging and facilitating the reflection that leads to wellbeing and self-development.

Anneke has a Masters in Social Work, and has years of experience as a Kaimahi Toko i te Ora (Social Worker) with previous roles supporting Rangatahi in fostercare, working with tamariki and their whānau in school communities, and in enhancing women’s wellbeing.

As mum to a seven and ten year old, most of her time outside of work is invested in whānau mini adventures, and exploring and appreciating this beautiful world that we live in.

Anneke's Experience & Qualifications
  • Masters in Social Work (Applied)
  • A Registered Social Worker
  • Outdoor First Aid
  • Member of Adventure Therapy Aotearoa


Adventure Therapy Co-ordinator – Auckland


Brenda is passionate about seeing young people reaching their full potential and living lives full of hope. Her background in the not-for-profit sector and working with youth led her to us.

Brenda enjoys spending time with her family and friends – mixed in with good coffee and conversation, movies, holidays, travel, walking and enjoying the outdoors.

Brenda's Experience & Qualifications
  • Graduate Diploma in Not- For-Profit Management


Adventure Therapy Clinician – Auckland


Emily has a passion for working with people in the natural environment. She has a background working as a youth mentor, sports coach and camp counsellor.

While having conversations during recreational activities, Emily noticed a great number of individuals struggling with their thoughts and feelings about themselves and others. She decided to integrate her love of working in the outdoors with a mental health qualification. Emily trained as an occupational therapist and went on to do her Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy.  

Emily’s training has given her the skills and knowledge to work with individuals experiencing a variety of complex issues including the following: anxiety, depression, emotional dis-regulation, loneliness, trauma, loss and despair, self-harm, social anxiety, self-esteem issues, identity, sexuality and gender challenges

Emily's Experience & Qualifications
  • Diploma in Sport and Recreation
  • Diploma in Fitness Training
  • Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy
  • Post grad Diploma in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy
  • Masters in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (provisional registration with PBANZ)


Christchurch Clinician

Gareth (aka Adventure Gaz) has a passion for making a difference to people’s lives, who are hindered in engaging and participating in meaningful activities in their community.

As an Occupational Therapist, he utilises a recovery- and strengths-based philosophy to assist individuals who are restricted in their ability to engage/participate in activities within their community and overcome these challenges. He strongly believes that participation in meaningful activity is a key determinant of health and wellbeing and using nature to achieve this can have a powerful effect on someone’s ability to connect within themselves and in doing so, their whanau and wider community.

As an Adventure Therapy Clinician, he uses outdoor education, mentoring and adventure-based learning to educate, empower and equip individuals to obtain a greater sense of self-awareness, confidence and gain positive decision-making skills. It is here he can use adventure activities as an intervention and combine his passion of outdoor education, nature and occupational therapy when working with individual to reach their greatest potential.

Outside of work, he thoroughly enjoys spending time with family, friends and connecting with his local community. He has a keen interest in enhancing his own physical and mental wellbeing, which is achieved through activities such as camping, tramping, trail running, surfing, cycling, cooking nutrient-dense foods and being the best dad and husband he can.

Gareth's Experience & Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
  • Outdoor First Aid certificate






Keeping us on track! Kerryn comes from a not-for-profit background and loves to make a difference.  Her heart lies in the youth sector. 

She has three amazing teens who keep her busy and volunteers for Massey Swim Club.  In her spare time she loves to go tramping and visiting new places…




After spending 13+ years as a professional photographer (including three years as a military photographer in the Royal New Zealand Air Force), I upskilled into digital marketing and communications. I feel incredibly blessed to have stumbled upon Adventure Specialties Trust, where I can use my skills to help the team reach out to people in our communities who need help and support.

My work here ranges from graphic design to website updates to social media posts to photography to video editing and more. So much variety – I love it!

In my spare time, I love playing football (soccer) including a women’s league during winter and a social mixed 7-aside team during summer – I’m a bit obsessed! Plus yoga, rock climbing and jogging (I think it’s pronounced ‘yogging’).




Elizabeth comes from a background in the not-for-profit sector and is passionate about helping to change the lives of young people.

After many years in the UK, Elizabeth is thrilled to be back living in her home country of Aotearoa. She says it is a joy to be introducing her young family to all the opportunities available in New Zealand’s beautiful wilderness including skiing, cycling and sailing. 




Brian is married to Delia, the father of four adult children, and grandfather of four. As Chair of Adventure Specialties Trust (AST), you might assume that he must be a bit of an outdoors junkie, this would be stretching the truth slightly. But he is certainly passionate about seeing lives transformed, hanging with the AST whanau and the odd trip into the wild. 

Brian has enjoyed a varied career in telecommunications, IT, and more recently in the role of CEO for his own company. 

Brian  has been a supporter and a BIG fanboy of AST for many years.  Brian sees it as his huge privilege to support the multi-talented, passionate, dedicated team that makes AST such an awesome organisation and a force for positive change in our community.




Tanya has been involved with Adventure Specialties Trust since the early 90s, and did two stints as a full time instructor. She has worked with teenagers since forever, and is passionate about the way that the Outdoors challenges us and changes us in so many ways. Time in nature is good for the soul.

Tanya has been a Trustee since 2016. She is the Deputy Principal at a Montessori High School. In her spare time, you will find her hiking in the hills, biking tracks, skiing in the winter, or at the beach with her dog.




Bruce is world famous in Southland, hopefully for being a local outdoor instructor and leadership trainer for 25 years, but more likely for pioneering the iconic Paddles Up inter-school fun kayaking event that many teenagers have enjoyed since 1989.

His last proper job was National Director for SU Youth adventure camps, responsible for overseeing 30 adventure camps around NZ and for the training of 300 volunteer leaders.

Since stepping back from full-time outdoor education, he keeps his ‘hand in’ by helping on SU Youth adventure camps and rat/stoat trapping on the pest-free islands of Lake Manapouri and serving on the Adventure Specialties board.

He is married to Lois, an educator and has 3 adult sons and 7 grandies to keep him busy.

Bruce loves to cycle, kayak, sail and make things. His current project is an old Shadow microlight aircraft which he flies around the lower South Island.




There’s nothing Vincent likes more than skiing down a cliff-face and telling a good story, so his apres ski yarns are epic.

Vincent has degrees in science and arts and was once, very briefly, a science and maths teacher. Most of his career has been in journalism and media.

He is co-founder of Good and Idealog magazines, helped establish the Science Media Centre and now consults to businesses on climate change, technology and communications.

Married to Sarah and with four adult children between them, he is a long-time member of Cityside Baptist Church and has a strong interest in celebrating and restoring the Creation through conservation.



As a chartered accountant, Liam enjoys helping Adventure Specialties Trust reach its financial goals. He is passionate about helping businesses and not-for-profit organisations run as efficiently as possible while achieving top results – what he calls the ‘self-driving business’.

Unlike your typical accountant, though, he’s not afraid to get out there and get his hands dirty. Originally from China, he fell in love with the natural beauty of New Zealand’s many beaches, lakes, mountains and forests, and can be seen spending his free time tramping, wakeboarding and simply soaking in the stunning scenery NZ is known for.