Our staff

Our Stories

Full staff list

Head of Department

Barbara Emmitt
Campus Operations Manager bemmitt@op.ac.nz
  Alex Huffadine
Campus Academic Manager, Programme Manager, Natural Resources & International Market Manager alexh@op.ac.nz

Alex Huffadine has been teaching at the Otago Polytechnic for over 20 years. He heads the Natural Resources Group (horticulture, viticulture and pest management). He holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours), as well as diplomas in horticulture and teaching. Alex is an expert in the field of natural resources as a researcher, commercial cherry and summer fruit grower and high country farmer near Cromwell in Central Otago. Study horticulture or viticulture at Central and benefit from the wealth of Alexs knowledge and experience.

Publications and Research

Huffadine, A. (2008) NZ Tree Crops Association Conference, Cromwell.

Huffadine, A. (2008) NZ Tree Crops Association Conference, Cromwell.

View more research here


Gaynor Sutherland
Administration gaynors@op.ac.nz
Berny Raymont
Executive Assistant bernyr@op.ac.nz
Nicola Hansen
Adminstration nicolah@op.ac.nz
Melanie Kees
Marketing mkees@op.ac.nz

Programme Managers / Coordinators / Professors

  Jo Brun
Programme Manager, Hospitality & Business Admin jbrun@op.ac.nz

JoAnne holds the position of Programme Manager, Hospitality, but has worked in various roles at the Otago Polytechnic over the years. Her qualifications include a National Diploma in Adult Education and Training (Level 5). JoAnne originally trained and worked as a computer programmer, before she and her husband moved to Central to establish a vineyard with a tasting room attached, offering al fresco dining. Jo loves working as part of a very skilled and dedicated team of people who have a passion for teaching and learning. She enjoys the challenges and opportunities her job affords her, but her greatest satisfaction is knowing she has made a positive contribution in helping students to achieve their study goals.

  Steve Henry
Centre for Sustainable Practice steveh@op.ac.nz

Steve Henry is a specialist educator with over 20 years experience. As a Senior Advisor with The Natural Step, he has been working to embed sustainable practices into businesses and local government over the last 10 years.Steves approach focuses on enabling people and organisations to reconcile their true purpose with delivery in a sustainable future, and creating practical pathways from here to there. Steve has developed a number of practical and applied training approaches for sustainable practice, and over the past 10 years has enjoyed working with hundreds of people in many organisations to deliver and refine the method. Steve is currently the programme director at the Centre for Sustainable Practice and is based in Turangi.

Publications and Research

Henry, S. (2011) See website www.shapingourfuture.org.nz , established March 2011.

Skinner, H., Newham, C., Henry, S., Faircloth, J., Johnstone, S., Kiuru, S., Parker, G., Johnston, S. (Team Central Otago) (2009) Shac '09 Challenge, Shac '09 Symposium, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin. 19 - 21 November. Supreme winner (new build) and commended for innovation.

View more research here

Henry, S. (2009) Keynote to NZ Community Boards Conference, Christchurch. 19 - 21 March. 450 attendees. I was invited to give this address, following my work with several local government bodies, to help understand the models being used in Sweden to implement more strategic sustainable development.

Henry, S. & Mann, S.

(2010) EECA Biofuels & Electric Vehicles Conference, 21 April.

Henry, S. (2008) Australain campuses towards sustainability Conference, Christchurch. 1 - 3 October.

Henry, Steve (2009) Post-secondary International Network (PIN) Annual Conference. March 2009. 1-hour presentation, The Heritage, Christchurch/Queenstown.

Henry, S. (2011) Otago Polytechnic Centre for Sustainable Practice Speaker Series, Queenstown 17 June & Wanaka 10 June.

  Peter Bilous
Programme Manager, Avalanche Safety & Snowsport Instructing pbilous@op.ac.nz

Peter is the Programme Manager, Avalanche Safety Snowsport Instructing. He is qualified in Mechanical Engineering and Business Economics, but changed career path after many years to work in the mountains as a ski instructor, patroller and guide before moving on to teaching. Peter has completed a New Zealand adult teaching qualification. He is a fully qualified national and international (NZSIA and ISIA) Telemark Ski Instructor Examiner and past National Divisional Director, Technical Director and NZSIA Executive Committee Member.Peter has been well recognised for his efforts in the field of teaching. He was cited for an Otago Polytechnic Teaching Award in 2009 and the Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching National Award in 2011. Peter is also very active in the area of mountain and avalanche safety. In fact, risk management is central to his teaching he teaches all clients and students to understand the risks posed by the mountains, and how to mitigate those risks.


  Tracey Hames
English Language Lecturer THames@op.ac.nz

Tracey Hames is a lecturer in the English Plus programme teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Much of her teaching work takes place outside the classroom, as she undertakes a variety of leisure activities with students in the local area. Tracey holds a degree in linguistics and has previous experience as an English teacher.Tracey has travelled widely and feels at home in many different countries and cultures. The emphasis in her lessons is on language comprehension and production, rather than reading and writing. She teaches practical language skills that help students broaden their horizons.

  Gary Smith
Senior Lecturer, Programme Coordinator, Sports Turf Management GaryS@op.ac.nz

Gary Smith has been Otago Polytechnics Sports Turf Management Programme Manager since 2002. He holds a Diploma in Sports Turf Management and a Certificate in Adult Teaching. Garry is a passionate and enthusiastic sportsman.A highly qualified sports turf specialist, Gary has more than 30 years in the industry. His career has taken him around the world, managing championship golf courses and being involved with several New Zealand Golf Opens and One Day Cricket Internationals.

Publications and Research

Smith,H. van Dyk,S. and Mann, S.
(2008) Proceedings of the Twenty First Annual Conference of the National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications. ISSN 1176-8053. 4 - 7 July.

  Roger Gibson
Lecturer, Horticulture and Viticulture rogerg@op.ac.nz

Roger Gibson is a parttime lecturer in Horticulture and Viticulture at Otago Polytechnic. He teaches soil science and plant physiology to Diploma students in both Viticulture and Horticulture. Roger holds a Master of Applied Science with first class honours in plant and soil science and a Bachelor of Science specialising in botany. He is a keen viticulturist and owns Lowburn Ferry vineyard near Cromwell.Roger has more than 20 years of international experience as an ecologist and specialises in soil fertility and the relationship between soil, plants and animals.

  Trevor McNamara
Lecturer, Horticulture trevorm@op.ac.nz

Trevor McNamara has been a lecturer in Horticulture at Otago Polytechnic since 1999. He currently teaches Growsafe, a course which enables participants to apply agrichemicals safely and accurately. Trevor has a Certificate and Diploma in Horticulture, a Certificate in Adult Teaching and Test Certifiers Certificate under the HSNO Act.Trevor manages the Polytechnics 25 acre orchard facility on Bannockburn Road in Cromwell, where he teaches students the practical aspects of the Horticulture programme. He is actively involved in New Zealands olive oil industry and produces and markets his own label, Poverty Gully extra virgin olive oil, from his Bannockburn property.

  Raewyn Paviour
Senior Lecturer, Capable NZ Facilitator, OSTC Operations Manager RaewynP@op.ac.nz

Raewyn Paviour has been a lecturer at Otago Polytechnic since 2005. She currently teaches the Level 4 National Certificate in Horticulture (Viticulture), and Level 5 Diploma in Viticulture, as well as managing the Polytechnics vineyard and its Pinot Noir wine sales. Raewyn is also the Operations Manager for the Otago SecondaryTertiary College and facilitator for Capable NZ in the Central Otago region. She holds a Bachelor of Viticulture, obtained while gaining onthejob experience at one of New Zealands leading wineries.Raewyn originally moved to Central Otago to take up the position of Viticultural Technical Advisor. In this role, she fostered excellent relationships within the wine industry, particularly with local grape growers and winemakers.

  Jo Wakelin
Principal Lecturer, Horticulture jwakelin@op.ac.nz

Jo Wakelin has been teaching horticulture at the Otago Polytechnic for the past 23 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in botany, as well as an Adult Teaching Diploma. Jos passion for horticulture extends into a range of areas. She is a member of the International Plant Propagators Society and has a keen interest in learning about, and teaching in, a number of horticultural areas. These include propagation, xeriscaping and water demand management education ecology and propagation of local natives vegetable gardening, composting, plant selection and weed identification.

Publications and Research

Wakelin, J.M (2012) International Plant Propagators' Society Combined Proceedings, Vol.62, 2012

Wakelin, J.M (2012) International Plant Propagators' Society Combined Proceedings, Vol.62, 2012

View more research here

Wakelin, J.M. (2013) Joint LIANZ / NGIA Conference 2013 Not published

Wakelin,J. (2009)

Wakelin, J. (2009)

Wakelin, J. (2012)

Wakelin, J. (2012)

Wakelin, J.M. (2004) Not published Central Otago Campus
Otago Polytechnic
PO Box 16
Cromwell August 2004

Wakelin, J. (2009)

  Steve Holmes
Lecturer, Stonemasonry StevenH@op.ac.nz

Steve Holmes joined the Otago Polytechnic in January 2008 as the lecturer for New Zealands only fulltime stonemasonry course. Steve has a background in construction and was introduced to stonemasonry while working alongside stonemasons on barn conversions and renovating and remodelling stone houses in the UK. After gaining commercial stonework experience Steve chose to focus on contract stonemasonry and landscaping, and has worked on many stone structures contemporary and historic buildings, conservation projects, structural stonework and walls. Steve was attracted to Central Otago because of the regions legacy of stone buildings and the continuing demand for schist stone building and landscaping. Steve feels there is always something new to discover when you work with stone.

  Wayne King
Senior Lecturer, Horticulture and Viticulture waynek@op.ac.nz

Wayne King is a fulltime senior lecturer in horticulture and viticulture, specialising in pest and disease management and agrichemical application. He currently runs the Growsafe chemical handling programme which is a mandatory qualification for most people working in the primary industry. He has a Graduate Diploma in Rural Studies, a National Certificate in Adult Education, Diploma in Horticulture and a Test Certifiers Certificate under the HSNO Act.Wayne has more than 40 years experience in all facets of fruit production and has owned his own substantial pip fruit orchard for more than 20 years.

Publications and Research

McLaren G. F. & King W. A.
(2010) Report prepared for Key Industries Ltd., Auckland.
March. 8 pages.

King, W. (2008) Carbon Trading Seminar, Queesntown. 28 July.

View more research here

King, W. (2008) NZ Tree Crops Association Conference, Cromwell.

  Alexa Forbes
Sustainable Practice Advisor / Lecturer aforbes@op.ac.nz

Alexa Forbes works for the Centre for Sustainable Practice as a Sustainability Advisor and also serves as a Councillor on the Queenstown Lakes District Council. Previously she had a successful career in journalism, broadcasting and public relations. She completed her Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Practice in 2012.A member of the Institute of Directors, Alexa works to drive future focused change through community organisations and governance structures. She brings communication skills and a broad understanding of organisational development to the programme.

  William McDonald
Lecturer, Hospitality williamm@op.ac.nz

Hospitality lecturer William McDonald has worked at Central for ten years. He holds various cookery qualifications, including a Bachelor of Culinary Arts and a Certificate in Adult Teaching.William is an experienced chef and restaurateur who has worked in restaurants across the UK, Australia and New Zealand. He has participated in many competitions over the years and acted as team coach for many student competitions, including the Nestl Toque d' Or and the Trans Tasman Trophy. William enjoys helping students develop the skills they need to succeed in an exciting, fastpaced industry.

Jan Spriggs
Lecturer, Business Admin & Computing jspriggs@op.ac.nz
Jordan Gilmore
Lecturer, Bike Mechanics jordang@op.ac.nz
Angus Ross
Lecturer aross@op.ac.nz
Rachel Petrie
Lecturer, Horticulture rpetrie@op.ac.nz
Chris Smith
Lecturer chrissmith@op.ac.nz
Richard Leach
Lecturer, Automotive richardl@op.ac.nz


Sue McNamara
Catering Technician smcnam@op.ac.nz
Marie Griffin
Horticultural Assistant marieg@op.ac.nz
Kathryn Sutherland
Horticultural Assistant, Teaching Assistant kathryns@op.ac.nz
Andy Watherston
OSTC Agricultural Technician andyw@op.ac.nz