It is our people which makes the Trust so special. Our crew not only look after the young people on their voyages, giving them an experience of a lifetime, but also during summer, share their enthusiasm and passion for the work we do with our tourism guests. Behind the scenes there are our Trustees and a small group of people (who are mostly part time) that keep the organisation ticking over. Most of them are multi-skilled, picking up what needs to be done as and when required. All of us are united in our respect for the ship and how she has the ability to change lives.
He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?
He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people
Senior Master and Bosun
Tim (aka Sticke) is Bay of Islands born and bred having lived most of his life in Russell Kororareka. Educated at Bay College his career has involved being a Department of Conservation ranger, pest trapper, driving the White Ferry Waimarie, and many other varied activities. He is a keen surfer and often found at beach when the waves are up. He has been with the Trust for four years and has taken on the role of Bosun, looking after the ship’s maintenance needs.
Ethan has been involved with the Trust since 2015. At the age of 15, he became a trainee on one of the youth development voyages. He discovered a passion for the ocean and sailing. Shortly after his voyage, he applied to volunteer aboard during the summer tourist season. He was a volunteer crew from 2015 to 2017. Ethan was then offered a cadetship and on-going training for 1 year to work towards his skipper’s ticket. This was fully funded by the Trust. In October 2018, he attended his final examinations and gained his SRL Skipper’s ticket. He is now a member of the core crew aboard the Tucker.
Jane has been involved with the R. Tucker Thompson since 1998, initially as a business mentor to Russell Harris when he owned the ship. When she moved to Russell in 2000, she continued working with him assisting with administrative and business management functions. In 2006, she helped Russell transfer the ship into a Trust, and since then has been the Executive Trustee, a title which really means means keeping the ship afloat financially. She has sailed on board for a number of offshore voyages, in 2002 and 2005 down the West coast of Canada and USA and in 2006 from Rarotonga to Tonga.
Sales & Operations Manager
Kyra hails originally from France but is a Canadian citizen who is now a New Zealand resident. She and her husband sailed away from Canada in 2011. After spending 16 months in Mexico, they crossed the Pacific on board their 60 year old strip-planked yacht Nyon and arrived in New Zealand in November 2013. They continue to live aboard and spend as much time as possible sailing in the Bay. Like most of us, Kyra is capable of turning her hand to most tasks, she is a “Jill of all Trades”, an asset when working for small not-for-profit organisations back in Canada and now in New Zealand. She joined the Tucker in 2015 and is the Sales and Operations Manager for the Trust. She’s a creative individual, artist and writer as well as an avid sailor. Her hashtag is #lifeonagypsyboat.
Wayne joined the Trust as a trainee in December 2012 and is our longest serving crew member. He completed his Skipper’s training last year and this year is stepping up to the role of Master in Training. Of Ngati Porou descent, he hails from Gisborne. He has previously worked on fishing boats but prefers living in the winterless north as going to sea is much warmer than in the southern ocean. He has earned the respect of many sail trainees who have benefited from his care; he is a mean cook with boil up corned beef and roast pork as his signature dishes.
Estelle was born in Saint Malo, France, a city famous for its maritime heritage. She grew up on a little farm by the sea and has always had a strong connection to the sea. She worked on a two-masted brig in the Baltic Sea. In 2015, she participated in her first Tall Ships’ race, from Lithuania to Poland. Since then, she trained as a sailing instructor, completed her deckhand certificate and volunteered on traditional wooden boat refit programmes. She sailed in the Mediterranean Sea, parts of the Atlantic, the North Sea, the English Channel, and now the South Pacific. Estelle joined the Tucker in the summer of 2018.
Youth Programmes Manager
Sophie job-shares our youth programmes with Pauline, and looks after the admin side of the youth development voyages. A young mother of two girls, Sophie started her career with the R. Tucker Thompson as Deckhand. She then progressed to Master, where she was responsible for being skipper for tourism sailings as well as the youth development voyages. She therefore knows the ship and how the Trust operates extremely well. With two young daughters to look after, Sophie works mostly from home, juggling a number of roles to ensure that berths are filled with the right type of students on any given voyage.
Shelley officially joined the Tucker team over three decades after being at the Mangawhai launch in 1985, though she has followed the progress of the ship ever since that fateful day. She lives in Kororāreka – Russell and has worked as a shoemaker, sports coordinator, museum curator and heritage gardener. She is also a volunteer ambulance officer in her spare time, when not out on the water waka ama paddling. She volunteered as a Tucker crew member one summer, and is very happy to now be part of the shore team.
As a child, Chynna was very adventurous- always caught up in her imagination, she spent many days at the beach. She was very in tune with the ocean and grew up doing surf lifesaving club, adventure racing, and many other sports. She even had Moko the dolphin as a swimming companion for many years. He was a huge influence on her career path. In 2014, Chynna took an 8-week trip to Australia, volunteering at the dolphin centre in Bunbury Perth. In 2016 she completed a Marine and Eco-tourism course through Northtec, Kerikeri – this course taught her a lot including how to sail.
In February 2017, she became one of the core crew aboard the R Tucker Thompson. With the knowledge she has accumulated and her training on the R Tucker Thompson, she and her fiancé have recently purchased a 33 foot yacht in the hopes of one day sailing it offshore.
Tiaho was born and raised in Ruakaka, a small town on the east coast of Northland. He is of Maori heritage and a descendant from the tribes of Ngapuhi, Ngati Rarua and Ngatiwai. Throughout his childhood he has lived around the water, with the ocean no more than 20 meters beyond his backyard. Tiaho started his “Tucker” adventure as a trainee on a youth voyage. He continued by volunteering over the Summer of 2017-18 and received the Tucker Lewis Volunteer Award for his work. Soon after, Tiaho was accepted into the cadetship programme aboard the Tucker and is working toward completing it this spring.
Pauline job shares the youth programmes role with Sophie, responsible for liaising with schools and community groups explaining how our youth development voyages help students to make positive changes in their lives. She’s had wide and varied career in a number of roles but is above all an educator. She has taught Outdoor Education,Tourism and been Project Island Song’s Educator on their Floating Classroom. She’s also worked with the Department of Conservation in a number of community liaison roles as well as run her own adventure kayaking business. Pauline is also a very experienced sailor having spent three years sailing from Borneo to the Caribbean via Cape of Good Hope on board junk rigged yacht, Zebedee.
Magnus has worked as a relief deckhand for the Tucker for the past couple years. He grew up onboard his father’s yacht Balaena, a 42ft Gaff Cutter and over the years he sailed her in Patagonia, the Antarctic, Canada, Europe, Africa and the Pacific. After studying in Christchurch for three years, he sailed her to the Antarctic, and a year later across the Pacific from Chile to NZ. After this first trip to the Antarctic he continued to return to South America and spent the next 8 summers working on two different yachts making many trips in the Antarctic, Patagonia and South Georgia. All Supporting Film Projects, Scientific work and expedition teams. He and his partner now own a Kayaking Expedition Company in the Bay of Islands.
Former stockbroker and merchant banker, he has held Directorships with Force Corporation Ltd, Northland Health Ltd, Northpower Limited, SKYCITY Leisure Limited, Elders Norstock Limited (Chair), Northland Port Corporation Limited (Chair) and former Chairman of Airwork Holdings Limited. He is Chair of N3 Limited and FMCTV Limited He is a keen surfer and enjoys golf
Of Ngapuhi and Te Arawa descent, Kelly is focused on strengthening whanau and community. Responsible for the Early Learning Ministry of Education Project she established Te Kohekohe Drop in Centre for families with babies and young children. She has previously managed Foundation for Youth Development Programmes, Kiwi Can, Stars and is currently a mentor for the HYPE Youth Advisory Group in Kaikohe. Kelly has a legal background, and is also working for claimant groups to the Waitangi Tribunal Te Paparahi o Te Raki District Inquiry. Dedicated mother of two, she is Chair of Kaikohe West School Board of Trustees, and a Les Mills aerobics instructor.
Farmer, crop sprayer, ship and aircraft builder. With Tod Thompson, original builder, former owner and master of the R. Tucker Thompson before transferring the ship into the Trust. Holds Coastal Master’s certification, having sailed the R. Tucker Thompson around the world and in circumnavigation of the Pacific. Sailed to Mururoa with peace flotilla in 1995.
Bronwyn is of Te Rarawa, Ngapuhi and Te Roroa descent. She is the Principal Advisor, Strategy and Policy with Te Runanga o Te Rarawa, primarily responsible for Treaty Settlement claims, environmental matters, Iwi and Hapu planning. Community positions include Director with CBEC, Deputy Chair and Reconnecting Northland Steering group. An avid gardener and keen sailor Bronwyn is also a proud nana to three grandchildren.
Yachtsman, civil consulting engineer, former company director. Extensive sail training experience both on the water and as a Trustee Spirit of Adventure 1975-2006. Resident of Devonport, former President of the Devonport Yacht Club, former member of the Auckland Museum Trust Board & the Devonport Community Board.
Experienced company director/trustee. Chair of Northland Youth Development Trust and former Deputy Chair of Top Energy. Former Executive Director Fullers Bay of Islands, member NZ Tourism Board, Chair of Enterprise Northland and Destination Northland. Kerikeri resident.
Kim has more than 70,000 miles of ocean watch keeping experience on sailing ships including Bounty, Soren Larsen and Rainbow Warrior. Involved with the R Tucker Thompson since 1985, he sailed aboard for the circumnavigation. In 1987-1988 and skippered the ship to the Pacific Islands in 1993. He now operates his own sailing tourism business based in the Bay of Islands. Resident in Opua.