Our Staff

Simon Turner – Safety and Programme Manager
Simon comes from the UK, having worked over there in a variety of management and instructional roles, and also completed a Masters looking at family outdoor education. He joined our team in 2020 with a wealth of experience in a range of pursuits, including holding New Zealand qualifications in Rafting and Sea kayaking and British qualifications in High ropes, Rock climbing and Tramping. Simon is really passionate about outdoor education and the difference it can make in students lives.

Julie Grant – Operations Manager
Julie is in charge of the day to day field operations and staff training at the Centre. Originally from Dunedin, Julie came back to join our team in November 2016. She has spent around 15 years working in the outdoor industry both in New Zealand and overseas including working at Outward Bound both in New Zealand and Malaysia and as a tutor at Otago Polytechnic. She holds NZOIA Bush 2, Rock 1 with Sport Endorsement, Kayak 1, Alpine 1, Avalanche 1 and currently holds her grade 3 NZRA rafting qualification. She is also a NZOIA and Skills Active Assessor in a range of pursuits.

Jeff Powley – Finance Manager
Jeff worked at Peel Forest Outdoor Centre between 2014-2020 in both administrative and Centre Manager roles. He has come in May 2021, bringing his wealth of knowledge and experience. Previously a bank manager for Westpac, Jeff has a great handle on all aspects of finance.

Geraldine Xmas parade 2020 – our management team Simon and Julie on the raft


We have a large pool of seasonal staff that we draw upon. The success of each activity we run relies heavily on the ability, experience and professionalism of our staff members.  They are approachable, dependable, dynamic and efficient.

With many considerations and decisions to make each day (the weather, rivers, groups and other variables), they are asked to think on their feet, adapt to changing situations and above all else, ensure that the people they instruct are safe and having fun.

It is these factors that go into determining who we employ at the Centre – whether they are from a teaching background, a raft guide or a university graduate, each staff member is carefully selected by looking at their history, qualifications and ability in running activities.

Peel Forest Outdoor Centre works on maintaining a high standard of employees, with awards such as NZOIA, Skills Active and NZRA setting the benchmark. Most of our Instructors have at least 2 years’ experience in their chosen field, have graduated with a 2 year diploma and hold more than one professional outdoor qualification.

On-going training, site familiarisation, staff induction, appraisals and peer mentoring also ensure that high standards of instruction and safety are maintained.

We are more than happy to supply information regarding the staff working with your group if required.