Our Staff


Jeff Powley – Centre Manager                                                                          

Jeff is our Centre Manager and keeps things ticking over behind the scenes. He is a former banker and keeps all the staff in line by controlling their pay! Jeff is often the first point of contact for anyone ringing the Centre and as a local Peel Forest resident is often helping out with accommodation bookings and inquiries.

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.

Ben Necklen – Safety and Programme Manager

Ben came onboard our team in 2017, bringing a vast experience of coordinating and developing programmes and safety management plans with Scripture Union. Ben has been working in the outdoor industry since 2006 after completing a diploma in outdoor education and a diploma in teaching. He has always been passionate about seeing young people develop through outdoor education. Ben holds NZOIA Bush 2, Rock 1, Alpine 1 and NZRA Grade 3 Raft guide qualifications.


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.

PFOC Staff on end of season Rakaia raft trip