Te Araroa Trust and strategy


Our people

Executive director

Matt Claridge 

Matt has worked in sport, recreation and public safety roles with experience across not for profit and commercial partnerships. Previous roles include CEO of organisations such as Water Safety New Zealand and The Tomorrow Project and more recently, General Manager at Nuku Ora (Sport Wellington).

Contact Matt


Geoff Chapple

In 1994, journalist/author/musician/playwright Geoff Chapple proposed a walking trail to run the length of New Zealand. This suggestion was not new. Before, people had discarded it as unachievable. Geoff and a group of willing people who shared the vision formed the Te Araroa Trust shortly after. They set about raising publicity, and funds, for the concept.

Geoff saw his dream realised in 2011 when Te Araroa officially opened.

Geoff stood down as CEO of Te Araroa Trust in 2012 and received an ONZM in recognition of his achievements.

Read more of Geoff's early Te Araroa adventures

Te Araroa Trustees

David McGregor (Chair)

David is a resource management specialist. He has extensive experience in central and local government relations. He was a senior partner for Bell Gully. He has advised on many of Auckland's the most significant resource management issues. He is a Member of the Order of the British Empire and received the New Zealand Commemorative Medal in recognition of services to his country.

Trevor Butler (Deputy Chair)

Trevor has been a Te Araroa Trustee since 2006 and is the current deputy chair. He convenes the Trust’s Operations Committee. He is a Chartered Professional Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers NZ. He has a strong interest in sustainability and community development, and recreational development projects that help regional employment.

Kim Ollivier

Kim's career spans civil engineering, regional government, computing and GIS systems.  He has installed and supported geographic information systems in over 50 organisations, including 20 NZ councils. His consultancy focuses on GIS applications and software development. He specialises in internet mapping tools, cadastral and services mapping, data translation and analysis.

Lorraine Thomson

Lorraine is an independent director of a technology company and a research institute.  She is a member of the Institute of Directors, an ArcAngel investor and a member of Global Women.  She published and edited New Zealand Fitness and Travel Digest. She wrote her first book The French Way, trekking the 40-day El Camino de Santiago.  As well as walking this 800km iconic pathway in Europe, Lorraine has run marathons and tracked and cycled other long trails.  She holds the Pacific Asia Travel Association, Gold Award for Travel Journalism.

Celia Wade-Brown

Celia was the mayor of Wellington between 2010 and 2016.  She held many roles with the Wellington City Council, Wellington International Airport and Walk21. She was the president of Living Streets Aotearoa for 7 years.  Celia has first-hand experience of Te Araroa, having walked the full length of the trail.

Jan Sedgwick

Jan Sedgwick is a communications professional. She has more than 35 years experience in media, marketing and public relations. She was made a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of NZ in recognition of her long-term contribution to the industry. Jan is a councillor on the Waikato District Council. As a senior councillor, she holds many portfolios both within the council and the wider community. She is also an advisor to the Dept of Corrections panel. Jan's skills include clarity in communications, financial acumen, effective governance and risk analysis and management.


Te Araroa Strategic Plan

Te Araroa Trust’s strategic plan identifies five focus areas.

  • facilitating a high-quality experience for walkers
  • improving trail infrastructure
  • strengthening relationships with stakeholders
  • clearly communicating trail information to walkers, and
  • securing the sustainability of the trail and the Trust through partnerships and new funding streams.

Te Araroa Trust 2019-2022 strategic plan

Page last updated: Aug 18, 2022, 6:16 PM