Samuel Blight

Director Eco-Tourism NZ

Samuel has been with TPP since 1999. He has held various roles including teaching in the Business Computing Department, being a Dean of Faculty and more recently the Director of Strategy. During this time he was responsible for the Eco-Tourism suite of programmes at TPP as New Zealand was transitioned from Eco-Tourism as a distinct market to embedding it in its broader tourism offerings.

Samuel began his career in the private accounting industry after graduating with a Diploma in Business Computing. He continued his studies while working and most recently has been completing MBA papers with the Sothern Cross University and Manakau Institute of Technology.

As well as various private and public sector experience including business consulting in the areas of sustainability and business continuity he has been on the board of Credit Union Westland and served as Trustee to a local Charity.

A key part of his current role at TPP includes yearly development and implementation of the TPP Environmental Plan. He is also working with the local government council on the development of its environmental centre. Samuel is also guiding Eco-Tourism NZ as it develops its portfolio of training programmes for international tour guides and tourism companies.

Zane Smith

Zane has owned and operated many businesses across many sectors in the Tourism industry over the past 20 years. These vary from white-water rafting, Eco-Tourism guiding, cafés and accommodation and all were developed as strong Eco-Tourism products, where the ‘triple bottom line’ was always at the forefront of systems planning.

Zane’s tourism operational experience is a major point of difference from the general tourism development and marketing specialists. Zane has worked extensively internationally in adventure tourism & Eco-Tourism management positions which provides him with a world view of the tourism sector from his own personal and professional experiences.

He has been working on the Outdoor Leadership & Management, Outdoor Recreation and Eco-Tourism programmes at Tai Poutini Polytechnic since 1997 and has been involved in the Eco-Tourism programmes since their inception. He also has a strong role in the programme advisory committee for these courses.

Dave Ritchie

B Phys Ed Otago
NZRCA Canoeist of the Year 2006

  • Safety audits
  • Safety management plans
  • Risk management planning
  • Outdoor skills training
  • Guiding assessment and training

Dave is a highly-regarded outdoor recreation instructor and adventurer. He has extensive outdoor education experience in New Zealand and overseas, including New Zealand’s prestigious Outward Bound School and the New Zealand Kayak School. Dave currently runs the Outdoor Education department at Tai Poutini Polytechnic.

Jo Parsons

BSc in Ecology, University of Otago

  • Safety audits
  • Safety management plans
  • Risk management planning
  • Outdoor skills training
  • Guiding assessment and training


Jo has 13 years’ experience working a wide variety of outdoor education contexts. Jo sits on the NZOIA (NZ Outdoor Instructors Association) executive board. Jo is Programme Leader for the Outdoor Education department at Tai Poutini Polytechnic.

Ian Hooker

MA, University of Canterbury

  • Business viability assessments
  • Cash flow planning
  • Business plans
  • Marketing plans
  • Basic economics

Ian has over 20 years ‘experience in the commercial business environment. He has held a range of executive management positions including in marketing roles and as a foundation manager of a bicycle manufacturer. Ian has ten years’ senior management experience in polytechnics in New Zealand and five years as an Associate-Professor of International Business and Economics at Nanchang University, a leading university in China.