My Iwi are Rongowhakaata and Ngati Porou

I always wanted to be a bushman. My father, Reg, and older brother, Regan, worked for the NZ Forest Service when I was growing up at Manutuke and I was fortunate enough to have spent some time in the Wharerata Forest with them. This is where my passion for the forestry industry comes from. Despite this passion my father wanted me to get an education. I left home in 1988 to attend the University of Auckland and now have a Bachelor of Arts degree. Following my studies I started in the bush as a pruner in Rotorua in 1993.

In the six years with Barlow Contracting Limited, I performed and learnt all the silvicultural operations- from the nursery through to operational quality assurance. On top of this I also learnt rural fire control skills including being a fire truck driver/operator, working with helicopters, and acting as a fire crew boss for two years.

In 1996 I became a Registered Forestry Trainer/Assessor with LFITB (later FITEC). In 1999 I left Rotorua and moved to Napier to take up a full time forestry trainer’s position with Carter Holt Harvey Forests. During the three and a half years with CHHF I learnt many things associated with forestry- education and training, corporate business systems, man management and communication skills, as well as extending my industry experience in forest harvesting and forest mensuration.

I returned home and started with Turanga Ararau in 2002. Initially employed as the Forestry Industry Liaison Manager I took over the helm of the Ruapani Forestry Centre from Ross Gregory in 2006. Under the guidance of Ross we have developed and maintained the high standards under which our forestry training and education programmes operate today. This has been achieved through innovative approaches to the learning being delivered and based on attributes such as honesty, integrity and professionalism. In doing so Turanga Ararau ensures that our programmes directly align to Iwi, industry and learner needs with many of our graduates directly contributing their success in the industry to our teaching, support and encouragement.

The personal journey that I have taken in the forestry industry provides me with the tools to help people looking to create a career pathway for themselves. I have been fortunate to have had many good people support me and help me achieve what I have achieved in this industry, in my educational background, my sporting career, and my family life. It is only right that I honour them by being there to help others looking to advance themselves in their lives- whatever pathway they may choose.