Geoff Chapple - Founder
In 1994, journalist/author/musician/playwright Geoff Chapple wrote a piece for the Sunday Star-Times outlining a proposal for a walking trail to run the length of New Zealand. This suggestion was not new, though previously had been discarded as unachieveable. Geoff and a group of willing people who shared the vision formed the Te Araroa Trust shortly after and set about raising publicity, and funds, for the concept.
In 1998, having plotted, negotiated and mapped a route Geoff set off to walk the North Island - reporting his progress regularly with internet updates, this was one of New Zealand's earliest blogs!
Come 2002 Geoff again hit the trail, this time through the South Island - coinciding with the signing of an MOU with DOC to develop Te Araroa through the Southern Alps.
Geoff saw his dream realised in 2011 when Te Araroa was officially opened by the Governor-General, coinciding with the release of the magnificent publication Te Araroa: A Walking Guide to New Zealand's Long Trail.
Geoff stood down as CEO of Te Araroa Trust in 2012, and was shortly thereafter awarded an ONZM in recognition of his achievements.
David McGregor - Chair
Trevor Butler - Deputy Chair
Rob Wakelin - Chief Executive Officer
Rob commenced as CEO of Te Araroa in April 2012, from a background in sports administration.
Rob had two years as General Manager of Rugby League Northland (2010-12), re-establishing the game there following the NZRL re-structure and was previously with Piha Surf Life Saving Club where he was General Manager for four and a half years.
Prior to that Rob worked for the Waikato Rugby Union as their Community Rugby Manager (2004-06)having earleir been with Wellington RFU as their Club Rugby Administrator (2002-04).
Rob has a BA in Geography and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Sport Management.
Rob was awarded the Sport Waitakere Administrator of the Year award in both 2008 and 2009 and won the Waitakere Enterprise Young Business Person of the Year award in 2009.
Rob reckons his love of walking started very shortly after he attempted to discover a love of running....