Our team


Jay Bhula

Operations process administrator



Jay started his career at Contact Energy in metering services and was employed there for 10 years until made redundant due to outsourcing along with 100 others across 10 teams affected.

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After that he worked on temp and fixed term contracts at MBIE, State Services Commission, LINZ, MPI, ACC and the Ministry of Education. All these roles have consisted of admin, managing inboxes, data migration, process improvements and process documentation. Working in databases and attention to detail is Jay's forte. 

He comes from a competitive sporting background with representative hockey and numerous indoor and outdoor cricket titles. He was always supported and encouraged for his sporting ability by close friends who have represented New Zealand in hockey, indoor/outdoor cricket, rugby, football and golf. 

In Jay's spare time you will find him on road trips, doing things around the house and getting into cooking. In the past couple of years he has been getting into food art and plating great food for parties as well as any place that has employed him.

He is a diehard supporter of our country's major sports teams - Black Sticks, Black Caps and All Blacks - but whenever it's NZ vs India sorry to say he swings towards India…

Butch Bradley

Butch Bradley

Executive director

Iwi: Rangitane, Ngāti Rarua, Ngāti Kinohaku

Butch is in his second term as a director with Skills Active, having also held the position of operations manager from 2006 to late 2008, providing him with a sound knowledge of the organisation and its industries.

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With a media and executive management background, his communications and strategic planning skills are put to good use in organisational development. He has been active with iwi development in the top of the South Island, having worked as the CEO for an iwi organisation.

Butch has worked in and held a range of directorships with commercial and community organisations which include; Basketball NZ, Te Ara a Maui, NZ Māori Tourism, Tasman Rugby Union having also served on the top of the south Regional Lotteries committee for over 10 years. Currently he consults to World Travellers.

Helenah WEB

Helenah Broughton

People and culture coordinator



Tēnā koutou katoa
Ko Kapakapanui toku maunga
Ko Waikanae toku awa
Ko Te Whānau a Maruhaeremuri toku hapu
Ko Wairuru toku marae
Ko Te Whānau-ā-Apanui toku iwi
Ko Whitiora toku mātua,
Ko Sarah toku whaea
Ko Helenah toku ingoa
Tēnā tātou katoa

My name is Helenah, I was born and bred in Wellington. I was awarded the Tokoweka scholarship at Victoria University, where I studied Human Resources and Marketing.

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Throughout my career I have grown a passion for fostering positive workplace environments. I believe that a positive workplace creates positive effects in your work life and beyond.

Last year, I took a break from working in HR and lived in Paris for 9 months. I worked in marketing and was living the 'Emily in Paris' lifestyle. Prior to this I worked at the Lion Foundation and CCDHB doing HR.

Chauntelle Brown Web

Chauntelle Brown

Kaitohutohu | Bicultural advisor

Hawke's Bay

Mobile027 492 5501 Email

He mihi atu ki a koutou i tēnei wa  
Ko Te Whakapunake o te Matau a Māui Tikitiki a Taranga te maunga  
Ko Te Wairoa Hōpūpū Honengenge Mātangirau te awa  
Ko Hinemihi te Marae  
Ko Te Poho o Hinemihi te whare tīpuna  
Ko Ngāti Hinemihi te hapū
Ko Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa te iwi  
Ko Takitimu te waka  
Ko Chauntelle Brown tōku ingoa 

Chauntelle Brown is Te Mahi Ako's kaitohutohu tikanga rua.

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She spent more than seven years working in a regional sports trust, developing programmes and events for schools, and helping community organisations to access sport and recreation funding.  A love of learning, community, and growth – these are all things that drive Chauntelle. Her gifts in all these areas are interwoven with her Māori identity and worldview. 

Having grown up on and around her ancestral marae, and learning the stories and tikanga from her elders, she’s passionate about sharing mātauranga Māori with both Māori and tauiwi (non-Māori). 

In her role she will be working with Te Mahi Ako staff to build their confidence and capability as Te Tiriti partners, and help them advocate for Māori values and approaches.  

"A huge part of my role is to build and strengthen Māori capability by embedding and honoring Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles across our organisation, with the intent to make it the norm, to be influential and inspiring for others to embrace te ao Māori, tikanga Māori, and matāuranga Māori. This is not a role, this is an honour.

"Times have finally changed for the betterment of our people, and our tūpuna would be weeping tears of joy.

"Me eke ngā ngaru o te wā, ki te kore ai, ka kai rehutai. You’ve got to move with the times and if you don’t, you’ll be left behind."

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Anthony Cox

Chief financial officer


Mobile027 5780977 Email

Anthony joined Skills Active in April 2020, early in the Level 4 lockdown. He is a chartered accountant and has considerable experience in senior management roles.

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He describes himself as a lifelong learner and the opportunity to join the Skills Active team seemed a good fit in facilitating the learning of its industry trainees.

In his spare time, Anthony enjoys the outdoors. Exercise these days is mainly walking, but he has previously included a number of racquet sports, soccer, golf and a bit of skiing. An avid music fan, his tastes lie predominantly in the 70s and 80s, and although travel is currently limited to New Zealand, he looks forward to restrictions being lifted, as he still has a few countries on his list.

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Maren Frerichs

Chief executive officer


Phone027 446 9032 Email

Maren joined Skills Active in 2016 and has a keen interest in the impact of sport and recreation on personal development, health and wellbeing.

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While Maren has worn a number of hats in the health sector including research, government advisory and management roles, her passion is for the New Zealand outdoors and for grappling.

Maren has 15 years' experience in martial arts and teaches womens' Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and self-defence in Wellington. When she is not on the mats she is escaping the city to explore the wilderness with her husband Glenn and their little boy Leon.  

Stephen Gacsal

Stephen Gacsal

Board member

Stephen is the registrar of the NZ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) with direct responsibility for the operation and growth of the register, including financial management, strategic direction, and managing key organisational relationships. REPs is the industry owned not for profit register with over 3000 exercise professionals, and 200 exercise facilities registered.

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Stephen has experience working with a range of organisations, from small owner-operators (the backbone of New Zealand businesses) through to large national entities. He has a hands on understanding of the needs and challenges facing small non-profit organisations, and how to support their growth through investment into workplace based education and standards.

As a past chair of the Skills Active Exercise Advisory Group, Stephen has a clear understanding of the value and importance of workplace-based training, and the ability to drive, promote an encourage its growth. 

Stephen is also a director of the International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPs) which is actively driving the international development of standards for exercise professionals. With the growing pressures on health budgets globally due to health conditions such as obesity, mental health, type 2 diabetes, and an ageing population, Stephen's ICREPs directorship role is important to ensure that the exercise industry worldwide has robust qualifications, and recognition, to offer effective solutions to these burdening health challenges.

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Andrew Gunn

Board member

Andrew is not directly involved in any Skills Active Aotearoa sector and brings an independent perspective to the governance board, as well as his experience in this bi-cultural organisation to the two board committees Titiro Anga Whakamua and the Audit & Risk.

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Andrew brings his strong business experience and strategic planning skills to the governance group.  Andrew was a past director on the Industry Training Federation board (the peak body for ITOs) and is the learning and development manager for Financial Advice New Zealand Inc.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting and economics, and a Master of Business Administration from Canterbury University.  


Wanda Hart

Operations process manager


Mobile(04) 916 8744 Email

Wanda joined Skills Active in March 2013. She has been involved in the fitness industry for over 15 years, where she has worked on the gym floor, managed and even owned a gym. She has enjoyed every minute of it.

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Wanda received her National Certificate in Exercise in 1994 and has been in the fitness industry ever since. She is a member of the Register of Exercise Professionals and has continued her education and upskilling.

Wanda completed numerous certificates with Skills Active before starting in her current role, and is now enjoying being part of the team that helped with her fitness career. 


Wez Hind

Senior developer


Phone04 916 4382 Email

Wez joined Skills Active in 2017, having previously provided software services to the company as a contractor since 2011.

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He has a software analysis and development background and currently builds and maintains many of our back-end and front-end systems.

He is passionate about improving useability of our services, and providing clients with what they need to get their own jobs done with the minimum of fuss.

When he's not at work, Wez mostly spends time with his family, but when rare opportunity presents he can be found playing an instrument, or reading and writing science-fiction.

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Callum Knight

Communications advisor



Tēnā koutou katoa
Ko Matahourua te waka
Ko Puketoi me Kupukokore ngā maunga
Ko Mataikona me Owahanga ngā awa
Ko Pāpāuma te Whare Tipuna
Ko Pāpāuma te Tipuna
Ko te Hika o Pāpāuma ngā Marae
Ko te Hika o Pāpāuma te hapū
Ko te Hika o Pāpāuma te iwi
Nō reira
Ko te whānau Wright ahau
Ko Callum tōku ingoa

Callum joined Skills Active in May 2024. His communications experience is broad, ranging from daily briefings editing during the height of the pandemic to sales and marketing for New Zealand’s preeminent Māori publishing house, Huia Publishers.

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An alumnus of the IIML, Te Papa Tupu, the Prime Minister’s Scholarship programme, and Toi Tipu Toi Rea, Callum denies any allegations that he may be a workaholic. In his free time, he’s usually freelancing as an audiobook producer, on a photography mission, or working on his latest writing project.  


Kirsty Knowles

Board member

With approximately 20 years of experience in the aquatics and recreation industry, Kirsty is an experienced industry professional, with a passion for supporting Skills Active and our sectors.

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As a director of Community Leisure Management (CLM), board member of Recreation Aotearoa and trustee of Community Leisure Charitable Trust, a delivery partner of Aktive’s in the Counties Manukau region and AROORA programming in Te Tai Tokerau, Kirsty is directly involved in business development, governance and strategic planning. Furthermore, Kirsty has a strong skill set specialising in operations, health and safety, human resources, aquatics and facility management.  

In her spare time Kirsty can still be seen running around the netball court and coaching her daughter's netball team.

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Todd Maddock

General manager, Operations


Mobile027 233 1031 Email

Todd joined Skills Active in March 2018. While Todd has a broad range of experience across his career he had a desire to move into a role in the sport and recreation, health, wellbeing and personal development sector. Skills Active was an excellent fit.

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He has a history in endurance sport, completing Ironman NZ, and representing New Zealand in his age group at the World Champs for triathlon. When not at work, he'll probably be on the trails. 


Emma Maidment

Administration assistant


Phone0508 475 455 Mobile027 192 6159 Email

Emma joined the organisation in 2022. She comes from an administration background and previously worked as a librarian. Emma loves to help people and solve problems, and when not at work, you'll find her hanging out with whānau and practicing her drawing abilities.

Harataki WEB

Harataki Manihera


Hawke's Bay

Mobile027 808 0629 Email

Ko Kahurananki te maunga
Ko Ngaruroro te awa
Ko Ngāti Pāhauwera rāua ko Ngāti Kahungunu aku iwi
Ko Ngāti Poporo te hapū
Ko Harataki Kahungunu Manihera tōku ingoa
Ko te Kaihautū ahau
“Nāku te rourou, nāu te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi”
No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātau katoa.

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My name is Harataki Kahungunu Manihera and I’ve been given the amazing opportunity as the new kaihautū.

I was born and raised in a marae settlement called Bridge Pa, a small community just outside of Hastings.

I was raised in a big whānau of 14 and though we didn’t have much financially or materially we were nurtured and loved by our mum to appreciate life regardless of what hand we had been dealt.

Having left school at the tender age of 14 because of a particular mathematics teacher having a view and expressing it to me that I was a dumb fella, I rushed home and told dad. He looked at me and said, “You’ll be out working with us then in the shearing shed.” I relished this opportunity and then funnily enough at the age of 30 I started my educational journey, eventually completing formal studies at Palmerston North Teacher Training College.

After a four-year stint in the classroom, I left and worked for the Ministry of Education for 18 years in Special Education in severe and challenging behaviour, as a specialist in behaviour and then into a manager role. I left then worked for four years at the Ministry for Primary Industries in the Customary Fisheries Team working alongside iwi and hapū with their Te Tiriti of Waitangi settlements specific to customary fisheries. And in 2022 I joined Skills Active Te Mahi Ako as their kaihautū.

I am married to my amazing wife of 43 years with five children and 10 mokopuna in tow ????

No reira rau rangatira ma, ko tēnei taku whakapapa.

Huri noa, huri noa

Tēnā koutou, tena koutou, tēnā tātau katoa.

Julie Web

Julie McKiernan

Finance administrator

Phone(04) 916 4370 Email

Julie joined Skills Active in August 2013 as the office assistant. Since joining she has completed two Skills Active qualifications - the National Certificate in Recreation and Sport (Core Skills) and Business Administration and Computing Skills Level 3.

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Julie is from the UK and has two daughters. She loves spending time with her family, just hanging out and having fun. Julie loves to help people.

Jessica WEB

Jessica Nanson

Operations process administrator



Jessica joined Skills Active in 2023. She previously worked in the printing industry for 6 years and completed a Level 3 Certificate in Manufacturing (Printing). She understands the value of work-based learning and the benefits it brings to learners around New Zealand.

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To relax Jessica enjoys reading a good book, developing her succulent garden, and spending time with family.

Profile Sam Napia

Sam Napia

Board chair

Iwi: Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kauwhata

Sam has an executive management and director background in both the private and public sectors, having served on boards across a variety of industries including advertising, fishing, and broadcasting.

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He has a Master of Business Administration with distinction from the University of Waikato.  Sam is involved with the Treaty settlement process for the country’s largest iwi, Ngāpuhi, and has extensive experience in working with Māori and non-Māori organisations alike. 

Sam currently works in local government, a sector with which he has been associated for more than 25 years.  His local government experience includes an overseas appointment as a council CEO in Australia’s Northern Territory.  Sam was elected to Skills Active’s Board in May 2007.  Sam has been involved with Skills Active since the incorporation of Sfrito.

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Jordan Pomana

Board member

Mā mua ka kite a muri
Mā muri ka ora a mua
Those who lead give sight to those who follow
Those who follow give life to those who lead.

Born and raised in Hawke's Bay, Jordan is a father of five and grandfather to one. He has 20 years' experience in basketball coaching and development and is the founder and coordinator of Kahungunu Poitūkohu - a kaupapa Māori holistic wellbeing program, utilising basketball as a way to connect with whānau and rangatahi.

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Jordan has a background within corporate services, wellbeing, health and safety, and event management. He has media experience through radio, podcasting and broadcasting in the National Basketball League via streaming and Māori television. 

Philip Potter

Philip Potter

IT developer


Phone(04) 916 4382 Email

Phil has been in working in IT since he was 15, starting with fixing broken PCs and working his way up through to a fully-fledged IT guy. He has always had a passion for IT and has a very broad set of knowledge that always continues to expand.

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Originally from Wellington, Phil moved to the UK at a young age and after 20 years, decided to travel back to New Zealand. After settling back home, he joined the Skills Active team as the IT guy, supporting everything from the printer to the coffee machine.

Shayne web

Shayne Ragg

IT administrator


Phone0508 475 455 Email

Shayne joined Skills Active in 2022. He is our IT administrator and previously worked in the sound industry. Outside of work, Shayne likes to read, swim, break his computer, and spend time with friends.

Hinemaua web

Hinemaua Rikirangi

Board member

Hinemaua became a board director with Skills Active in 2020. She brings a strong background in strategic, commercial business development, governance, management, public sector, project management from concept to implementation and resolving complex business issues.

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Hinemaua has extensive networks and experience working with corporate, government agencies, Iwi and Māori organisations including Treaty Settlement entities across primary and commercial sectors.

She is a certified practitioner for coaching and mentoring, and a specialist coach and advisor to senior executives in cultural development. 


Hania Tarabishy

Graphic designer


Phone0508 475 4557 Email

Hania joined Skills Active in August 2022. Born and raised in Syria, she first started her career in a leading marketing agency. Hania has been in design roles for nearly 10 years, and has worked with a wide range of industries and projects.

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When she's not at work, she enjoys baking with her boys, and going to fight classes.

Lance Tomuri web

Lance Tomuri

Marketing and Communications manager


Mobile027 2425 974 Email

Lance first joined Skills Active back in March 2011, but left in 2021 to take a position as senior advisor, digital communications – brand, for a government department. He then worked as marketing and communications manager for a Māori health organisation.

But like many people that leave Skills Active, he eventually made his way back to the organisation, and the opportunity to build a new brand was a big drawcard.

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Outside of work Lance loves to play tennis and football. He enjoys catching up with friends, chatting with both his boys who now live on the Gold Coast, travelling and photography.

In 2020, Covid ruined plans to travel to Germany for a wedding, and then onto Egypt and Petra. Now that the borders are open...