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Christine ‘Grover’ Worsfold - Director


A registered Teacher and highly qualified Outdoor Instructor, Grover brings over 25 years in the outdoor teaching profession to TOPEC. 

Grover has also worked as a technical expert for outdoor audits, assisted in writing specific outdoor NZ Activity Safety Guidelines and delivered Tourism Industry Association workshops for OutdoorsMark audits. She also currently assesses for Skills Active and NZOIA. Her extensive knowledge, experience and zest for life are integral to the quality and vitality of the outdoor education programmes at TOPEC.

Kate Guthrie- Office Manager


Kate recently joined the TOPEC team, bringing a depth of experience to her role as Office Manager. She has a varied background in Emergency Management and administration across both public and private sectors. Kate is passionate about making a positive difference in the work she does and is always trying to support the team in making TOPEC a memorable experience for our students.


Outside the office, you’ll find Kate either enjoying the outdoors, mountain biking, horse riding, or walking with her dogs. When she isn’t in the outdoors, she is most likely enjoying some down time baking, crocheting, or finishing a puzzle.


Colleen Frederickson - Operations Assistant

After completing the Level 4 certificate in Business Administration & Technology at Te Pukenga/WITT, Colleen found herself joining the team here at TOPEC. She is a “behind the scenes superstar”, helping ensure things run smoothly.


Born and raised in New Plymouth, she loves her community. In her down-time she enjoys immersing herself in the fantasy worlds of video games, along with being a cat mum to her tuxedo cat Towzer.

Josh Kirby - Lead Instructor

Josh came to TOPEC at the beginning of 2016. He arrived with a Diploma in Outdoor Adventure from Whitireia Polytechnic. Josh loves sport, playing basketball and volleyball, and is passionate about rock climbing and being

in the bush. He has qualifications in Bush and Rock from NZIOA, PHEC,

and is a Grade 3 Raft Guide.

Josh is a vibrant, involved member of the community. If you are ever looking

for Josh around the TOPEC grounds, he can usually be located by his loud singing voice.

Don Paterson - Senior Instructor


Don was the Assistant Director of TOPEC back in the 90’s.  He has worked various roles over the years for Hillary Outdoors, the last as their Training Manager.  Don is a Teacher, and an award holder and assessor for many of the NZ Outdoor Instructors Association (NZOIA) disciplines.  He has recently been awarded Life Membership of the Association awarded to a member who personifies the very best combination of an excellent instructor/guide, a high achieving personal performer, and an outstanding contributor to the work and promotion of the association.


In his infrequent spare time, he remains competitive in orienteering, mountain biking, and adventure racing.  Other times he will be kayaking, climbing, mountaineering, skiing, taking photos, or sharing himself with his family and grand children





Rachel Vickery - Instructor

A registered teacher, a love of the outdoors and a passion for working with kids, Rach joined the team early 2023. Growing up, TOPEC was a place Rach grew to love and always aspired to work for; attending as a student multiple times during high school and then again as a volunteer instructor. 


Rach has worked alongside tamariki and rangatahi for well over a decade with experience worldwide, including summer camps and cruise ships. She brings to TOPEC her silly campfire songs, a kete of knowledge in large group games and a desire to continue learning wherever she goes. She is currently working towards obtaining her Outdoor Leadership (level 4) qualification.


When Rach finds spare time, she enjoys volunteering in the community, spending time with her whanau and getting out for outdoor missions!

Steve Nicholls - Instructor

Steve is an outdoor instructor who's all about his love for nature. With years of experience and a bunch of qualifications, he's all set to guide folks through the great outdoors. Safety's his priority, and he's bug on making sure everyone learns useful skills while having a blast. When he's not teaching, you'll find Steve out exploring the rivers and skiing in the mountains. He's passionate about nature and loves sharing that enthusiasm with others.

Zoe Harvey - Instructor

Zoe completed a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation, majoring in Outdoor Education and Sport Management. She then set off to travel Europe, popping over to Norway to work as a Sea Kayak Guide.

Zoe’s love for the ocean brought her back to New Zealand and eventually back to do what she loves most in her hometown, working with youth in the outdoors. She has qualifications in bush, rock climbing, sea kayaking and white-water raft guiding.

Kerryn Jansen - Instructor

Kerryn developed a passion for the outdoors through adventure racing. She followed this interest by studying Outdoor Instruction and Management, and then went on to work and experience the outdoors in various parts of New Zealand doing a range of different activites.


Having returned home to Taranaki, Kerryn started at TOPEC in 2023. She inspires others to appreciate nature, to learn while pushing themselves in growing their comfort zone and trying new things, and supporting their teammates in an outdoor environment. She is qualified in bushcraft, rock climbing, kayaking and rafting. 


Whether it's playing hockey, hiking through forests, paddling down rivers, scaling cliffs, or skiing mountains Kerryn loves an adventure in any outdoor setting, and recently found a greater appreciation for the ocean too, enjoying body surfing and learning how to SUP surf.

Bailey Ryder - Instructor


After completing our Level 3, 4, and 5 programmes, along with gaining his raft guide grade 2, NZOIA Rock 1, and Sea Kayak Leader, Bailey now works here at TOPEC. He always brings along a massive contagious smile, a great energy that rubs off on everyone he meets, and everything is always ‘sweet as’. Bailey loves the beach and bush and is always out surfing or hunting.


His passion is to grow our tamariki, inspiring them to reach their full potential while developing their skills, creating confident, strong, and communicative leaders that will thrive in our schools, community, and future workplaces. Sweet as! 🤙🏼


Matthew Richards - Instructor

Matt is now employed at TOPEC after completing our level 3, 4 & 5 courses, as well as gaining NZOIA qualifications in raft, rock and sea kayak. 


He enjoys showcasing the outdoors to people who haven't experienced it, seeing tamariki grow in themselves while pushing their comfort zones to reach their potential, and allowing them to become future leaders.


Matt is an avid mountain biker, alongside trying to spend as much time as he can hiking on the maunga, rock climbing and exploring what our awesome region has to offer.

Jayden Dravitzki - Instructor

Jayden first came to TOPEC in 2021 completing our Level 3, 4 and 5 courses while also picking up NZOIA qualifications in Rock, Sea kayak and gaining Raft Guide Grade 2. Jayden loves to bring his energy and yarns into the outdoors and loves to inspire the next generation to push themselves out of their comfort zone. 


Jayden found his passion for the Outdoors through a background of sport and loves to spend his spare time playing Rugby, Cricket and Golf on the weekends. 


You’ll spot Jayden around TOPEC rocking his KFC hat, and having heaps of fun

Alan Sarten - Instructor

Alan has been part of the TOPEC operation for a long time. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in and around Taranaki. He is a Grade 3 Raft Guide, has qualifications Bush and years of rock, and caving experience.


Alan is a Taranaki Dairy Farmer and this comes across in his instructional style – cheesy jokes and a down-to-earth approach.


Board of Trustees

Yvonne Shanahan - Acting Chair / Treasurer

Sam Moore – TSSPA Representative

Rachael Berndt


Kirsty Linnell

Phil Hewlett

Grant Robinson

Michelle Hofmans



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