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Meet the Team

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Heidi Heyward


Heidi is proud to chair Te Ara Moana Trust working alongside a strong and pragmatic board.  Heidi has enjoyed a diverse career in both the private and public sectors.  She is an expert in system improvement and has been with Te Ara Moana since its inception in 2014.


Jenni Bedford


Jenni is a founding member of Te Ara Moana and loves planning and delivering programmes to tamariki in Porirua.  A highly experienced mariner who loves using her skills to help steer kids through life.

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Anna Gillon


Anna Gillon has been on the board for 2 years and brings to the table her skills as an experienced lawyer and mother of 5 children. She is supportive of the Te Ara Moana programme teaching practical sailing and water skills - but knows that much of the experience and learning for the young people will be deeper than that.


Mike Duncan


Mike has lived the last 67 of his 69 years in Porirua City. Porirua has one of the biggest coastlines of all cities in NZ and he still can’t swim. All six of Mike and his wife Christine’s children live and are raising their families (all 17 of their grandchildren) in suburbs of Porirua. A Porirua City Councillor, Mike says he has more than a vested interest in seeing Porirua kids get the opportunity to be the best they can at everything the city can offer them.

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Geoff Hayward


Geoff's childhood was spent on the water, whether fishing with his grandfather on his boat or sailing Sunbirds on local waterways. 
A resident of Titahi Bay and Wellington for almost 15 years, he has been a member of the Titahi Bay Community Group and is a former co-chair of the Titahi Bay Beach Festival.

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Deborah Stewart


With a keen belief in the power of charity and volunteer work, Deborah brings a wealth of professional skills to Te Ara Moana. A highly experienced mariner,  we are lucky to have Deborah on board with us, driving the funding arm!

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Melissa Nielsen


Kia ora.  I am a local resident of Titahi Bay and enjoy community, water sports and recreation.  I am an Educator, parent, and serve on two boards locally.  It is a great privilege to live in an area of natural beauty and I want every child to experience safe water activities so they develop confidence in the water and a passion for their environment.  It is a pleasure to help govern TAM and support Jenni and Dean is this fantastic community initiative. 


Dean Porter


Dean is a local Porirua sailor, he's been teaching learn to sail classes for a number of boating clubs and has worked at Ocean sports teaching kayaking and sailing.Dean says he is 'passionate about working with kids and seeing them grow their confidence in the sea'. Dean is an experienced ocean sailor.


Zena the Dog

General Dogsbody

With a keen sense of smell and solid sea legs, Zena is committed to water safety education at Te Ara Moana.  A valuable part of the team Zena can be counted on to brighten anyone's day. She is an expert in biscuit flavours and patting techniques. She also expertly models the latest in doggy flotation devices.

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