Our committee

PRANZ is led by a dedicated team of volunteers, who are committed to supporting NZ’s Packrafting Community.

The committee is made up of a Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and general committee members.

Chair: Brendon Nevin

I grew up in Wellington so my first river trips were on the Hutt River, mostly in tyre tubes. I progressed to the other rivers around the Lower North Island. Packrafting seemed synonymous with adventure. Made for linking routes, sports, land and water without being tied to anyone. I wanted to open up the map to new missions… and then proceeded to spend way more time than I thought on roadside rivers!

photo of David Stephenson

Treasurer: David Stephenson

Originally from Yorkshire, I arrived in Wanaka with my girlfriend in 2017 and it was such an awesome place we never left. My background is in data analytics, and after a stint of purchasing at Cardrona Ski Resort I now work for Mons Royale doing data-ry stuff. I was first introduced to packrafting when a friend took me down the West Matukituki. It was so good, within a week I was demonstrating my excellent budgeting skills by spending my whole winters savings on an inflatable boat. To reassure you, I do have a masters in Maths and Physics, so I’m usually pretty good with numbers. Now, packrafting is my go-to summer sport (ski touring in winter) so I’m keen to get involved, learn heaps and offer what I can!

General Member: Tom Waters

Seems to be lacking a boat.

General Member: Matt Kneesch

Matt has yet to provide a bio but boy does he look relaxed!

General Member: Deane Parker

Deane has a history of commercial rafting and kayaking having developed and operated adventure tourism businesses in Murchison and Hokitika. Now a farmer, father, and filmmaker, packrafting has featured in several of Deane’s Laurel award-winning films. A passion for connecting the community and sharing knowledge has led Deane to PRANZ and a desire to promote safe packrafting.

General Member: Dave Cassidy

I was introduced to paddling by the OUCC when I was a student, and it immediately set me on the path to a lifelong passion for recreating on rivers. I fortunately get to spend a lot of time on the water through my work as an outdoor instructor / teacher, and I always love going on river trips with friends and family. Over the last few years I have added packrafting to my quiver of paddlesports because it unlocks new ways for me to explore rivers. I think the sport has great potential for enabling new paddlers to discover the joy of river journeys and I have an interest in contributing to the promotion of safety and skill development within the packrat community. 

General Member: Helen Nugteren

A newcomer to the committee who is yet to provide a blurb.

Helen lives in Arthurs Pass and has been a regular at PRANZ events for a few years.