Our People

Current Tararua REAP Staff

Tararua REAP (Rural Education Activities Programme) Incorporated is controlled by a Governing Board and day to day operations are supervised by the Manager.

Wendy Lansdown
Board Chair 

Wendy started her REAP journey in 1988 when Helen Tennant, the General Manager of Southern Hawkes Bay REAP (now Tararua REAP), offered her the Early Childhood Education Coordinator position but Wendy decided to decline due to pregnancy. In 2003, Wendy became the Strengthening Families Coordinator, and had roles as the Parent Education Support Coordinator, Incredible Years educator and started the first Autism Support Group. Wendy finished her time as a staff member in 2013 but returned to the Tararua REAP Board in 2017 and has been there ever since. Wendy is now our Chairwoman.

Wendy has always loved lifelong learning, which is why she is so passionate about REAP. It is a holistic service that supports families, which is especially important in our small community. Wendy has a passion for the community and a desire to be a part of something bigger. As Chairwoman, Wendy aims to flexibly and responsively support staff to deliver the services that Tararua REAP offers.

 Claire Chapman
 REAP’s General Manager

After 22 years working for Primary (formally Agriculture) ITO Claire is thrilled to have the opportunity to lead Tararua REAP. Whilst her and her husband live “just over the hill” in the beautiful Pohangina Valley, Dannevirke is very much home and where lots of family and friends reside.  Claire enthusiastically leads her team of REAP staff with the aim to help build strong, confident and educated communities.   Claire values this rewarding work as REAP continues to make a positive difference in peoples lives by supporting lifelong learning from early childhood though to adult education programmes.   But that is not all!  Claire ensures Tararua REAP is closely connected to the heart of the Tararua, through partnerships with other community organisations and an open door policy for general public to share ideas or ways REAP can further support them.

Kerri Verwaayen
Financial Manager 

Kerri supports the Tararua REAP team by making sure the financial matters are all taken care of  including the wage payment.  She performs Treasurer  duties for the Tararua Community Youth Services.  Kerri lives on a farm and looks after the administration and finances, and is the main calf rearer… just for some physical activity!


Alyshea Bell   Alyshea Bell, Strengthening Families Coordinator
Strengthening Families Coordinator

As the Strengthening Families Coordinator, Alyshea helps families work through the ‘red tape’ stuff with government and community organisations so that they can sort through their concerns and life’s challenges with the right support they need. She doesn’t profess to know everything that’s available, but makes it her mission to find out to learn and grow. When she isn’t promoting the Strengthening Families process she enjoys spending time with family and friends, walking the dogs, 4×4 and discovering new spots especially within the Tararua District to explore.

Haley Butcher

Parent and Whānau Support Person

Haley joined Tararua REAP in April 2019. Haley has been working as a qualified Teacher in the early childhood sector for the past 10 years. Haley is a mother of five beautiful children and two moko that she dotes on. Haley grew up in Dannevirke and has a genuine passion for the community she calls home and the people within it. Haley is excited to take this new opportunity to support whānau in the Tararua district and work alongside an enthusiastic team devoted to enhancing positive outcomes for people in the community.


Rose Bertram 
Early Childhood Education Coordinator

Rose has a range of Education qualifications from Edith Cowan University, Perth Australia.  This role offers Rose wonderful opportunities to support ECE and primary teachers, whānau/parent and other organisations throughout the Tararua community with professional development, opportunities to network and achieve personal and professional goals.


Lynley Densham 

Lynley is our Receptionist who answers your phone calls and is the first person you see when you walk into REAP.  She enjoys greeting everybody when they walk through the door and making them feel welcome, and supporting the REAP team whenever needed.  She enjoys the diversity of people and children who walk through the REAP doors, and prides herself on making sure they leave knowing they have had a great experience, and are happy to return!  Lynley grew up in Dannevirke, and has recently returned after 30 years, and is enjoying being part of a small, strong Community again.


Leah Sargent
Office Administrator

Leah is our Office Administrator and helps our team with Adult Education, Budget Services and Reception duties.  Leah offers a inviting smile at reception and is ready to assist staff or REAP attendees whenever needed.

Leah loves spending time with her friends and family.



Rebekah Charlton-Pullin 
Funding, Marketing and Communications Coordinator 

Rebekah supports the Tararua REAP team with many back-office aspects of service delivery, from funding applications to course promotion.  She performs Secretary duties for Strengthening Families, The Local Management Group and the Tararua Community Youth Services.   Rebekah also teaches yoga in Dannevirke and is a partner in Club SuperCue Limited which delivers Strength and Balance Classes for older adults online and in the community.



Deanna Veerkamp
Coordinator/Financial Mentor

Deanna is the Budget Services Financial Mentor and supports people who are in financial hardship or those who want to improve their financial situation.  Deanna works one on one or in small groups and teaches the basics of competent money management.  Deanna is family orientated, she enjoys gardening and interior design.  Deanna has a big heart and is the first female White Ribbon ambassador in the Tararua Region.



Tararua REAP Board

The current Board Members are:

From the Left: Wendy Lansdown (Board Chair), Liz Gunson (Deputy Chair), Donna Milner, Sue Berry, Stephen Paewai, Sharyne Wimsett (absent)