Our Team

All  our guides are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about Kapiti Island and conservation. They are local  Coasters and stay with Kapiti Explorer each season. A guide is also on the Island with the passengers for the whole day and all guides have current first aid certificates.

Robert Hawke

Robert began his working career with the Forest Service and worked  as a Forest Ranger in both  exotic  forests and the native beech and podocarp forests of the West Coast. Over 10 years with DOC in the Wellington Visitor Centre provided the springboard to complete the Great Walks and explore remote bush areas and inspired his love and knowledge of the NZ outdoors. Robert also worked as a relief ranger on both  Matiu Sommes  and Kapiti Island. He is a member of the Forest and Bird Society and the Parawai Tramping Club.

Brenda Brosenberg

Brenda has a  B.Sc. (Zoology/ Psychology) & a Post Grad Dip (Primary Teaching) and  has been guiding on Kapiti Island for over 5 years. Her early career has seen time with the Department of Conservation Youth Corp group, stints on the off shore Islands of Cod Fish and on Stewart Island as a volunteer for the Kakapo program. She spent time working as an observer for the Ministry of Fisheries on foreign vessels, watching and recording the interaction of  seabirds. The bush has always been a special place and Brenda considers it a privilege to see the island move through its annual cycle.

Dave Banks

Dave has a BSc in Zoology from Victoria University and his early career focused on marine biology with Fisheries Research, NIWA and  in the Fishing Industry.  Other roles have included Field Operations Manager at QE11 National Trust and manager at Nga Manu Nature Reserve. Dave sees the role of guide on Kapiti Island as the perfect blend of work and interests and looks forward to sharing the experiences on Kapiti Island with visitors.  In his personal time, he is a keen trail runner, tramper and amateur biologist. Dave has a special interest in rare NZ plants and native orchids.

Alastair Pain

Alastair has lived and loved the outdoors all his life, an interest cultivated by living on the doorstep of Khandallah Reserve in Wellington as a child.  With the curator of the Natural History Museum as a neighbour, his frogs, tuatara, gecko’s and glow-worms inspired a love of our fauna and flora. Alastair has a long association with The Forest & Bird Society, visited and volunteered in many sanctuaries and has tramped extensively in NZ (and still does). At his family home in Te Horo, he & family have created an environment so they may enjoy the dawn-chorus - the benediction of nature. Alastair says “there are few things so sublime and enriching for the  psyche as a visit to the Kapiti Island Nature Sanctuary”.

Rochelle Huriana Hopping

Rochelle is of Ngati Raukawa, Irish, Scottish and English descent and has always had a keen interest in flora and fauna, geography and early Maori and European history.A passion for "growing things" led to training in biodynamic growing methods and Rochelle ran a successful business growing vegetable crops for the organic market supplying wholesalers from Auckland to Christchurch. For the past 6 years she has been a guide for visitors to  Kapiti Island. She cherishes this position & loves sharing her knowledge of the bush, the birds and the history of this incredibly special place.