Our People, ō tātou

Our friendly staff are here to help and will try their utmost to ensure that your whole experience from booking and planning through to your departure from the island (and everything in between), runs as smoothly as possible.

 

Facility Manager: Duncan Watson

With a background in corporate business, Duncan has been with the Motutapu Outdoor Education Camp since 2005. Based on the mainland in Auckland, Duncan not only oversees all the bookings but also has the thankless job of finding funding for various projects and overall ensuring all aspects of the camp runs effectively. But don't let it be said that Duncan is all paperwork and finances, he is also a very accomplished sailor and regualrly competes in sailing regatta's that are both inshore and offhshore based. Duncan is also involved in the wider outdoor industry; this included being an elected member of the Outdoors New Zealand Board from 2011 - 2016.

 

Operations Manager: Kim Matheson

Kim’s passion and work history provide an excellent platform for her island based role as Operations Manager. Her contributions and knowledge base stems from previous experience in education, property valuation and project management combined with her own passion for the outdoors. She finds providing top quality customer services rewarding in this unique environment and natural wonderland. In her down time she enjoys water sports, bushwalking and enjoys playing a few tunes on her guitar. She is dedicated to conservation and is a nature lover at heart.
 
 
 

Maintenance Coordinator: Roger Humphis

photo coming soon!

Roger brings with him a toolbox and passion for seeing children extend themselves and grow through experiencing the great outdoors in a safe camp environment. With extensive building maintenance experience centred on safety and compliance, and his experience in camp management and practises, he brings more than a hammer and nail to the table. Like any kiwi bloke in his downtime he enjoys the great outdoors.

 

Senior Instructor: Marni Brown

After spending the last 10 years in the US doing everything from instructing to directing at summer camps and outdoor education centres in California and Colorado, Marni graced us with her presence in 2018. She has made a huge positive impact as our senior instructor. With enough energy to outlast the energizer bunny, (and burps to put a trucker to shame), Marni ensures camp runs smoothly and is enjoyed by all. When not at MOEC, Marni can be found skiing the pow, or playing ultimate Frisbee. Safety is first, but fun is not far behind.

 

 

Head of Central Plateau & Instructor: Zanna Hammat

After studying Outdoor Education in her homeland of Australia, Anna with a Z managed a school camp facility on the rainy west coast of the south island. She made the change in December 2017 to this beautiful sunny island in the Hauraki Gulf (when she's not down working in Central Plateau). She's always moving between Island life and Central North Island, changing her office from teaching kids how to sail to taking them through caves and over the Tongariro Crossing. Don't let her country of origin put you off, there wouldn't be any better person in our team to handle this position than her. We are very lucky to have a woman like her on our team. 

 

Instructor: Hannah Power 

Rock, water, fun, and sun loving. Anna with an H is a dashing 22yo woman with a passion for making others have an extra special outdoor experience. She’s got years of experience in rock climbing, kayaking, and a whole mess of other outdoor activities which is backed up by her diploma in outdoor instruction and management and her NZOIA qualifications gained at Ara Timaru. If she’s instructing you, you’re having a good time.

 

Instructor: Ben Sheppard

Equally at home high in the mountains or reading a book in the shade beside the waves, Ben, AKA "Shep", hails from the Cascade Mountains of America's northwest coast. Here he learned to love swimming in cold water and apprenticed with mountain goats to learn their ways. Tall like the trees of his homeland and with sufficient beard to pass for a mossy boulder when seated, Ben has a passion for both the outdoors and biodiversity. Previous seasons have seen him working as a rock climbing and backpacking guide in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. Wherever he goes Ben loves learning the names of the trees and hearing people's stories around the campfire.

 

Instructor: Catalina Burch

Catalina hails from the strange but wonderful state of Florida in the US. A woman of mystery, she has many hidden talents including the ability to speak seal, breathe underwater, and sleep through anything. She has been working in the outdoor industry for the last 5 years guiding tramping trips, managing outdoor trips, and guiding/teaching SCUBA diving. With a degree in Biology and Art, she loves to look for weird and interesting creatures in the outdoors. Always down for an adventure, in her free time she enjoys rock climbing, surfing, skiing, and goofin around! 

  

Instructor: Ollie Smith 

Hailing from the mediterranean country of Britain, Ollie loves traveling to different places and is truly passionate about educating outdoors and loves seeing the positive impact it has on people. When he's not teaching and entertaining, you can find him dangling from a rope, prancing up mountains and playing in the water. Achievements include but are not limited to: half marathon finisher, first recorded human to make a hat out of burdock leaves and Simon Pegg look alike. 

 

Instructor: Shannon Atkins

Shannon is originally from the UK and has spent her career inspiring young people to enjoy being outside and away from the stress of textbooks. Having spent the last five years getting lost (and sometimes stuck) around the world, she accidentally fell in love with outdoor education. Most recently she lived and worked in California, mainly teaching students how to shoot arrows and throw tomahawks, but had to sometimes wrangle rattle snakes and run scared from mountain lions (spoiler alert: they do chase you). When She's not teaching, she likes to hike and climb rocks to see how badly she can blister her feet and fingers, and she always ensures she is within smelling distance of a Nando’s.

 

Instructor: Sonia Jane Murray

Sonia is a perfect example of the impact our instructors have on students here at MOEC. After coming here in year 12 as a student herself, Sonia was inspired to explore this industry and has recently just finished her Diploma in Sustainability and Outdoor Education. She now comes to us as an instructor to inspire more kids in the same way she once was! Her passions involve exploring in the mountains and splashing about the ocean. Her favourite spot that she has explored so far has to be Angelus Hut in Nelson Lakes.

 

 

Instructor: Stan van Merkestein

That moment when you realize your childhood is over, never really happened to Stan…He is as resilient and active as his curls, and he is been using that to inspire, teach and instruct people for half his life in several different outdoor settings, mainly in Europe. From playing outdoors as a child, to professionally using the world as his playground with a Bachelor's degree in Outdoor Management. When Stan is not working at MOEC you can find him in, on, or below the (frozen)water. We found him guarding a Dutch beach and shipped him to the other side of the world to give you the best outdoor experience you’ve ever had! So remember: Always give 100 percent...unless you’re donating blood.

 

Cadet Outdoor Instructor & Maintenance Assistant: Connor Healey

Having just finished his diploma in adventure tourism at Toiohomai Institute of Technology in Rotorua, Connor joins our team eager to get rockin' and rollin' in the industry. You'll either find him outside soaking up the sun, being adventurous and kicking back with friends or he'll be somewhere peaceful with a book at hand. He's been told he's an overgrown 17 yr old with facial hair and his charismatic smile will be enough to keep you cheerful every day!

 

 

 

 

But Wait there is more...

We also hire instructors on a contractual basis and bring them in when extra staff are required. All our instructors whether permanent or contract, must go through a rigorous selection and training regime. They are assessed and appraised regularly on both theoretical and practical aspects of each activity, ensuring that best industry practice is maintained in all areas.

 

Want to join our awesome team?!?!

We are always looking to add more fun faces to our MOEC family! See our job vacancies page for more information!

 

 

photo and bio coming soon! 

 

Kim’s passion and work history provide an excellent platform for her island based role as Operations Manager. Her contributions and knowledge base stems from previous experience in education, property valuation and project management combined with her own passion for the outdoors. She finds providing top quality customer services rewarding in this unique environment and natural wonderland. In her down time she enjoys water sports, bushwalking and enjoys playing a few tunes on her guitar. She is dedicated to conservation and is a nature lover at heart.