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; Bronwen Lehmann

Bronwen joined us in August 2007 after nearly a decade of instructional experience in a number of different organisations. Her background, that also includes teaching at a secondary level, has been in pursuit of passing on her passion for the use of the outdoors as a teaching tool for life skills.

Based on the Island throughout the week she is responsible for not only the educational validity of the camp but also ensuring all operational and logistical requirements are met.

Bronwen aims to ensure that all clients have an experience to remember and is motivated to make the organisation of camp as effortless as possilbe. Please do not hesitate to contact her with any questions you may have or to request assistance, when organising your stay with us.

 

Maintenance Coordinator; Rob Scanlan

Rob joined our team in May 2014; however his ties to Rangitoto and Motutapu are much more historical. As a member of one of the original Islington Bay bach families he has spent over 35 years holidaying on the island and exploring the surrounding land and coastline.
In more recent times Rob has spent time living and working on Motutapu Island as a farm hand with Motutapu Farms Ltd and as a summer Ranger for the Department of Conservation. 
 
However Rob is not just a handy man who keeps the MOEC facilities and grounds to the high level expected of our clients; he is a man of many more talents. Rob has owned his own trucking firm and spent many of his working years within and around the education system; for six years he worked on programmes with youth at risk and another four years ran an English language school.  In his younger years he was also a representative for Auckland in both codes of Rugby.
 
So find Rob if you need something fixed and if you where the one to break it you can appease him by coming armed with coffee and a biscuit (white with no sugar). 
 
 

Senior Instructor; Gavin Bensemann

Gavin became a part of the MOEC team in the winter of 2011. With years of experience, including running his own outdoor company 'Adventurous Minds' with wife Stacey, Gavin  has a vast knowledge of all aspects of the outdoor industry.

He has a relaxed and easy going nature, but do not be fooled as behind the facade is a brain that is ticking over at 100 miles an hour. His ability to observe and process what is happening is priceless when managing the risk  within the activities and developing personal training schemes for all our instructional staff.

Gavin is also very creative and with a few guidelines as to what activities you wish to partake in and an indication of the aims and objectives of your camp, he will design a programme that will not only suit your needs but ensure you have an experience to remember for a lifetime.

 

Head of Central Plateau & Resident Instructor; Adam Boyd

Adam joined us in the second half of 2014 and slid seamlessly into life at Motutapu Outdoor Education Camp. A graduate of the AUT Diploma of Outdoor Recreational Leadership, Adam grew up in Auckland using the Hauraki Gulf as his playground. 
 
He started his working life as a chippie, however saw the light and decided to jump industries into the outdoors; an ideal combination in a staff member here at MOEC as not only is he great with clients he can fix any damage they do to!
 
Adam takes his job and the safety of his clients seriously; he is always seeking new and better ways to improve his understanding of an activity. He is meticulous in ensuring sessions are not only safe but also fun for each member of his group. His well-mannered demeanour, quick sense of humour and insatiable appetite for fun, is something clients of all ages respond well to. 
 
His appointment to lead the programmes at Central Plateau in 2017 was hard fought but we know this step up will not only benefit the groups he works with and the programme we offer, but also challenge Adam to take his skills and experience to that next level by passing it on to the next generation of staff and clients.
 
 

Instructor; Emily Ward

Emily joined the team in early 2016 and with her out-going nature and endless energy she fitted into the team like a Tui in a Kowhai tree.
Before arriving at MOEC she honed her trade by working overseas in Canada for two years, while also satisfying her passion for snowboarding and climbing.
 
 Her friendly and perpetually happy personality makes all her clients (no matter their age), lose track of time and emerge themselves in the experience of the moment, while her innate ability to make people feel special gives confidence to those challenging themselves to step outside their comfort zone to try somethign new and exciting.
 
 

Instructor: Jessica Earle 

Jess joined the team mid-2016 fresh out of Aoraki. Her enthusism, tenaciousness and cheeky streak have meant she has quickly adapted to the realities of working life as an outdoor instructor. She is a quick learner and has put this trait to great use, swiftly picking up the skills needed to instruct on a variety of our activities.
 
Jess's creativity means she is always looking for new ways to adapt her sessions to ensure understanding and high levels of fun are had by all, so be aware if you have the previlage of working with Jess you never know what's going to happen!
 
 

Instructor: Mark Belcher

Mark joined MOEC mid-2016 and has quickly adapted to island life, making himself a valuable asset in both his core instructional role as well as the secondary maintenance requirements of all staff.
 
Mark's ability to assess a situation and easily adapt his sessions to ensure maximum safety is something rarely seen in young, new instructors. His need for understanding means he is always seeking methods of best practice. But don't let his quiet demanour fool you, behind that calm exterior is a mind working at lightspeed and these technical tendancies as an instructor ensures all his clients leave with improved skills and understanding of the activity they have experienced under his guidence. 

 

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.