Our People


Geoff Chapple

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.

Click here to read more of Geoff's early Te Araroa adventures.



Te Araroa Trustees

David McGregor (Chair)

David is a resource management specialist with extensive experience in central and local government relations and previously a senior partner for Bell Gully (retired). As a legal adviser to many of Auckland’s regional governance authorities, he has advised on the most significant resource management issues related to the Auckland region’s strategic planning and infrastructure and in particular its transport needs.


David holds a number of elected, voluntary and honorary posts in a diverse range of government, charitable and community organisations which reflect his diverse interests. These include as Chairman of the Ranfurly Trust, Settlor Trustee of the Little Barrier Island (Hauturu) Supporters Trust and Advisor to the Auckland Conservation Board. He is a Member of the Order of the British Empire and was awarded the New Zealand Commemorative Medal in recognition of services to his country.


Throughout his legal career, he has had extensive involvement with the New Zealand armed forces, and he is currently a Judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court, Chairman of the War Pensions Appeal Board and a Trustee of the National Army Museum.


Trevor Butler (Deputy Chair)

Trevor has been a Te Araroa Trustee since 2006 and is the current deputy chair, and convener of the Trust’s Operations Committee. He is a Chartered Professional Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers NZ, and has tertiary qualifications in Civil Engineering and Business Administration.


Trevor currently holds the position of managing director of Frame Group Ltd, an Auckland based consultancy team that specialises in the design and construction management of recreational walkways, tracks, cycleways and associated visitor facilities in parks, reserves and conservation land throughout NZ. He is a recognised authority on recreation trail development and has participated in the development of standards and providing training to the parks industry in this field.


His previous experience includes a range of civil engineering projects, production forestry, and wood technology. Since 1987 he has been involved in the inspection, assessment and design of tracks and visitor structures on many of the high profile Department of Conservation walks and visitor sites throughout New Zealand, the design for several of the NZ Cycle Trail Great Rides and also providing advice and design on some international recreation sites. He provides advice to several city and district councils on recreational development of their parks and reserves.


Trevor is an active outdoor recreation participant in tramping, mountaineering, cycling, kayaking and skiing, and he has visited several recreational walking sites internationally. He has a strong interest in sustainability and community development, and the structuring of recreational development projects to facilitate regional employment and use of local renewable resources as well as encouraging people to lead active, healthy lifestyles.


Jennie Langley

Jennie is a Director of her public affairs and issues management consultancy, JL Associates Ltd and has worked both in house and as a consultant in New Zealand and overseas.


She is currently involved in a variety of not-for-profit organisations and as government appointee on the Tourism Growth Partnership Panel and the New Zealand Council of Legal Education.


She was previously with the New Zealand Hotel Council for ten years as Chief Executive Officer then Independent Chair, representing the interests of international chain and independent hotels in this country.


Jennie has been a Director of the New Zealand Tourism Board, Positively Wellington Tourism, the New Zealand Wool Board, Opus International and a member of the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee.



The Right Honorable Paul East CNZM QC

Paul was educated at King's College, Auckland and the University of Auckland.


Prior to becoming an MP, Paul was a lawyer and barrister with East Brewster, a Rotorua-based legal firm, from 1973 to 1978. Paul also engaged in local politics as a member of the Rotorua City Council, which has now been subsumed into the Rotorua District Council.


Paul is married and has three daughters. Paul was first elected to Parliament in the 1978 election as MP for Rotorua, and retained that seat until he opted to become a list MP in the 1996 elections.


Paul served in a number of ministerial roles, including those of Minister of Defence and Attorney-General in the fourth National government. When Jenny Shipley replaced Jim Bolger as leader of the National Party, Paul was one of the minority who remained aligned with Bolger.


In the 2005 Queen's Birthday Honours, Paul was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Parliament and the law. He was appointed a member of the Privy Council in 1998. In 1999, he resigned from Parliament to take up the position of New Zealand High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in London. He was replaced in Parliament by Alec Neill, the next candidate on National's party list.


As Attorney-General, Paul advocated on important international issues, including a case brought before the International Court of Justice in 1995 on behalf of New Zealand against France's nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean. Paul also headed the development of an advisory opinion to the UN General Assembly on the legality of nuclear testing in 1995. Paul was awarded the status of Queen's Counsel (QC) while Attorney-General.


Standing down in 2002 as New Zealand High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Paul changed course and became the independent chairman of the Charity Gaming Association (Inc.) (CGA), which is the industry organisation for charitable trusts that operate electronic gaming machines ("pokies") to raise funds for community purposes. In 2008 the CGA's members operated 75% of non-club gaming machines in New Zealand and generated $250 million worth of grants for worthwhile community purposes.


Kim Ollivier

Kim started his career in civil engineering. After some years overseas he returned to New Zealand to work in regional government, on buildings, roads, water and sewerage systems. He moved into computing full time as the manager of PrimeShare, an engineering computer service bureau, applying computers to engineering problems, which led to GIS systems.



Since 1989 he has installed and supported Geographic Information Systems in over 50 organisations including 20 District and Regional Councils throughout New Zealand. In 1996 he set up his own consultancy based in Auckland with a particular focus on GIS applications and software development. He has specialised in innovative internet mapping tools, cadastral and services mapping, data translation and analysis. Outside of his mapping work, Kim enjoys walking and spending time with his grandchildren.



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 [New Zealand’s most influential leaders].  Formerly a magazine publisher and editor of New Zealand Fitness and also Travel Digest, she has recently authored her first book The French Way, trekking the 40-day El Camino de Santiago.  In addition to walking this 800km iconic pathway in Europe, Lorraine has run four marathons, trekked from one side of England to the other along Hadrian’s Wall and cycled both the 160km round Lake Taupo event and the 300km Alps to Ocean trail.  She is the holder of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, Gold Award for Travel Journalism [business article] and is currently studying for the Master of Business Administration degree at Auckland University.



Celia Wade Brown

Celia has a very strong local goverment background having been the mayor of Wellington for six years, between 2010 and 2016.  In ad to this Celia has held a number of roles with the Wellington City Council, Wellington International Airport, Walk21 and she was the president of Living Streets Aotearoa for 7 years.  Celia has first hand experince of the trail having walked the full lengh of the trail.



Mark Weatherall - Chief Executive

Mark comes to us with over 20 years of experince of working in the not for profit sector, having held CEO and Senior Management roles with Surf Life Saving New Zealand, Canoe Racing New Zealand and Poverty Bay Rugby. Mark comes from a very outdoor orientated family, having grown up in Otago around the ocean, lakes and our back country. Feel free to contact Mark on mark@teararoa.org.nz