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.


 Claire Chapman
 General Manager

Claire is REAP’s newly appointed 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.  Whilst Claire was previously aware of REAP, she wasn’t aware there were so many opportunities available to support people’s learning and social connection directly through REAP staff and, importantly, through partnerships with other organisations in the community. Claire is looking forward to her future here at Tararua REAP.



Dave - AccountantVenkateshwar Rao Dama (DV)

DV began his employment with REAP in 2009 and is responsible for all matters relating to finance within the organisation. DV has always been interested in numbers and he says that this is the ideal role for him.  His particular interest is financial accounting and he has been able to utilise these skills not only with REAP, but also with other community organisations. DV has a passion for reading philosophy and taking part in community work.



Alice JonathanAlice Jonathan
Adult & Community Education

Alice began her role as REAP’s ACE Coordinator in 2013 and also works as a Whanau Support Worker/Mentor in which she now facilitates the Triple P – Positive Parenting Programme and is currently trained in delivery of the Incredible Years Programme. Alice is proud to be a part of the Tararua REAP team which has a strong awareness of community needs and also represents Tararua REAP for Hauhake – Cultural support advisory for REAP nationally. Adult Education opportunities are very limited in rural areas and Alice plays a key role in eliminating the barriers that stop learners from enjoying the benefits of life-long learning. In her spare time Alice loves spending time with her whanau and enjoys trying to be creative with cakes and other small projects, photography.




Alyshea Bell, Strengthening Families CoordinatorAlyshea Bell
Strengthening Families Coordinator

Alyshea is born and bred in Dannevirke and is new to the Strengthening Families Coordinator role. One of her first missions was to better understand ‘what is Strengthening families and how does it work” 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.



Jo Brown, Early Childhood Education CoordinatorJo Brown
Early Childhood Education Coordinator

Jo joined Tararua REAP in January 2017. She has a range of Education qualifications from Massey University which has enabled her to teach across all sectors and levels of education for 14 years. Jo is fascinated by young children’s growth and develop and how quality experiences help wire children’s brain for life. This role offers Jo wonderful opportunities to support ECE and primary teachers, whanau/parent and other organisations throughout the Tararua community with professional development, opportunities to network and achieve personal and professional goals. On a personal note, Jo loves all things sporty, outdoorsy, exploring New Zealand in the family camper van and living healthily. Closest to her heart are her family and the menagerie on the family’s lifestyle block.



Leah Sargent
Office Administrator

Leah started at Tararua REAP in June 2018, taking over Lovey who is currently on maternity leave. Leah is our Office Administrator, she is the first person you see when you walk into REAP. She loves to help everyone in the team with anything they need. Leah is also the Tararua REAP Board Secretary. Leah loves spending time with her dog, going four wheel driving and hanging out with her family and friends.



Tararua REAP Board

The current Board Members are:

From the Left: Roland Ellis, Wendy Lansdown, Stephen Paewai (Board Chair), Liz Gunson (Deputy Chair), Donna Milner, Sharyne Wimsett, Bill Taylor.