Our Auditors


Skills Active contracts auditors from a list or register of approved outdoor safety auditors. These individuals assess safety management systems against the benchmark audit criteria contained in the OutdoorsMark audit.

OutdoorsMark auditors are independent contractors to Skills Active.

OutdoorsMark auditors aim to achieve consistent, high-quality auditing standards, which enhance safety in the outdoor sector. OutdoorsMark auditors must maintain their currency in the necessary outdoor and audit qualifications, undergo training and moderation, and comply with a Code of Conduct covering areas such as confidentiality, inducements, and conflicts of interest. OutdoorsMark auditors may also perform consultancy work for clients, provided there is no conflict of interest when it comes time to audit the work. It is not uncommon for OutdoorsMark auditors, acting as consultants, to have their safety material audited by another OutdoorsMark auditor. This situation is managed by the OutdoorsMark Programme Manager to ensure impartiality.



Grant Davidson

Grant Davidson has been involved in the outdoor industry for 35 years, and has been auditing for DoC and OutdoorsMark for more than a decade.

Grant worked in instructional and management roles in the UK, North America and New Zealand, was previously chief executive of the Sir Edmund Hilary Outdoor Pursuits Centre, and started the Marine Centre on Great Barrier Island. He is now the chief executive of Skills Active Aotearoa.

His master’s degree from the University of Minnesota specialised in safety auditing and he brought these skills back to New Zealand to help create the first voluntary auditing scheme for outdoor organisations under Outdoors NZ. Grant then went on to complete a PhD in risk management at Waikato University.

Grant has previously held NZOIA Level 2 and assessor status in bush, rock, mountain and kayak disciplines.



Dave Watkinson

Dave Watkinson is OutdoorsMark’s adventure activities audit coordinator, and has technical expert skills in mountaineering, rock climbing with high ropes, and white water kayak/canoe/rescue.

Dave was part of the UK’s adventure activities Licensing Scheme, both as an operator (and head of centre) and an inspector.

He was also a member of the working group that prepared British Standard BS8848 for overseas expeditions and field work, in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society and the Young Explorers’ Trust.



Jill Dalton

Jill was involved with Outdoors NZ as an auditor in the first round of OutdoorsMark voluntary audits. Lead auditor qualified with a focus area of safety management systems document reviews and their subsequent surveillance for Dept of Conservation concessions, and Education Outside the Classroom audits.  Jill is involved with NZ Outdoor Instructors Assn as a past president, trainer and Bush 1 assessor and is a keen competitive orienteer.



Jamie Obern

Jamie Obern has been diving since 1988, instructing since 1997 and is a keen technical diver with an avid interest in cave and wreck penetration.

Jamie holds instructor ratings with GUE, TDI, DSAT, BSAC and PADI. He is New Zealand’s only GUE instructor, and only cave diving instructor, holding the TDI Full Cave Instructor rating.

He makes regular cave diving trips to Mexico, Florida, Europe and Australia, and is actively involved in cave exploration in New Zealand.  Jamie is also one of the few instructors in NZ who can teach Advanced Wreck specialty courses, and in addition to overhead environment courses, he is also qualified to teach open circuit trimix classes.



Peter Cammell

Peter Cammell is a registered pharmacist, former business-owner and mountaineer with 40-plus years’ experience, having started his climbing career on Mt Ruapehu, followed by Arthur’s Pass and the Nelson Lakes, then Aoraki Mt Cook.

Peter has spent time climbing in Europe and in East Africa, including Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya, and he summited Mt Everest in 2012.

Peter is an alpine and rock instructor, a trained mountain climbing guide, and a former president of the New Zealand Alpine Club.


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Mike Torr

Mike Torr comes from a background of technical and supervisory roles in the electricity sector. A passion for scuba diving led to Mike becoming a PADI instructor in 1998, and then opening a dive centre in 1999.

He owned and operated the dive shop and inbound dive tourism company for a number of years, in addition to his corporate work in the energy utility industry.

Mike is an experienced recreational diver and technical scuba diver, underwater photographer, and a keen snow skier.

He lives in Papamoa, where he drives rally cars in his time off, and continues to work as an independent project manager and consultant to the energy industry and health and safety consultant, in addition to his auditing work.



David Mangnall

David Mangnall has over 20 years’ experience working in outdoor education both in New Zealand and overseas, including eight years as training manager at Outward Bound.

He has a degree in recreation management from Lincoln University.

David holds NZOIA assessor Sea Level 2, and attestation for high ropes and zip line. He is also a technical expert in sea kayaking, ropes courses and zip line, and is a roving assessor for Skills Active Aotearoa.

Dave lives in Nelson with his wife and daughter.



Liz Penman

Liz Penman was originally a teacher of physical education, health education and outdoor education, and since 1992 has run her own business, Adventure Works NZ Ltd.

She has an immense depth of experience in working with diverse groups from the education, community and corporate sectors, incorporating adventure-based learning techniques and activities.

Liz is also a certified trainer with global adventure-based learning organisation, Project Adventure Inc. In this role, she has worked extensively with groups throughout New Zealand and also in Singapore, Korea, Japan, Italy and the United States.



Mark Austin

Mark Austin is a ski patroller and mountaineer who has climbed extensively in Canada, France and New Zealand.

His most memorable climb is an ascent of the West Ridge of Malte Brun with his wife.

Raised in Christchurch and now based in Queenstown, Mark started climbing in 1994 aged 20, and began guiding in 2007.

As well as reaching his IFMGA Mountain and Ski Guide status in early 2012, Mark is a qualified secondary school teacher.



Fiona McDonald

Fiona McDonald is an education outside the classroom (EOTC) consultant, project manager and assessor. She is a member of the Ministry of Education EOTC Reference group, and is the on boards of MSC and EONZ.

Fiona has previously worked as a teacher, head of faculty, and assistant and deputy principal at high school level. She strongly believes in the value of quality, integrated, cross-curriculum EOTC for students.

Fiona managed the MSC/EONZ/NZAEE Education Outside the Classroom project funded by Sport NZ, coordinating the development of professional development and resources to support teachers and other outdoor educators, and managed the production of MoE’s professional development and resources for Māori medium schools. She is currently managing the development of the EOTC Safety Management Plan template for schools.



Walter Speck

Walter Speck is the owner/operator of a guided hunting and nature tours operation, who arrived in New Zealand from Switzerland some 30 years ago.

Based at Lake Tekapo, Walter is a former accountant and army officer, and a founding member and now executive member of the NZ Professional Hunting Guides Association.

He has completed NZ Safety Council 2004 auditor training, and also produced the HSE management system for the Association.


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Andy Cole

Andy Cole is a mountain guide, and was an army mountaineering and survival instructor for many years.

After his army career, Andy worked as an Antarctic field trainer, and a leadership and personal development facilitator.

He has also worked as an aircraft technician and trade instructor, as well geo technician and rock blaster – there’s not much Andy can’t turn his hand to.

In his spare time, Andy loves to go ski touring and sailing with his two sons.



Greg McIntyre

Greg McIntyre is a former café owner, and now a mountain bike guide and the owner/operator of a mountain bike and heli bike guiding business. 

Greg is also a member of the Snowsports Instructors’ Alliance, and has many years of experience teaching both ski and telemark ski instructor, and is a telemark instructor and examiner, and ISIA certified.

He is a member of the NZ Telemark Inter Ski team, and an NZSIA executive board member.