Discovery Managers

Sarah Whetter & Sally Cannan


Sally and Sarah met in Borneo as competitors in the British Military Fitness Kinabalu Challenge - a 5 day multi-sport team race, involving running, cycling, kayaking, rafting and which ended with a cheeky little climb up the 4095m high Mount Kinabalu. Turns out this wasn't to be the last event they forgot to train for.

Sally had entered the race as a Brit living in NZ, and Sarah as a Kiwi living in Britain at the time. They quickly realised a mutual passion for adventure challenges (preferably in costume but that's another story), a similar sense of humour which never let the truth get in the way of a good story, and soon became firm friends. They both had recently volunteered as staff members on Raleigh International expeditions - Sally in Costa Rica / Nicaragua and Sarah in India - and had also independently thought about the amazing benefits to Kiwi youth if the organisation was represented in NZ, and this shared experience super-glued the friendship.

With agreement and invaluable advice from Raleigh UK, they managed to gather support from four awesome trustees, as well as generous pro bono legal partners, who all agreed that the Raleigh experience would be just the tonic for our increasingly intrepid Kiwi youth. In April 2016 Raleigh NZ was officially born!

Aside from putting their hearts and souls into Raleigh NZ, Sarah and Sally also have day jobs to support their charity and adventure habits - Sally as HR Director for Frucor Suntory, a leading Australasian drinks company, and Sarah as National Operations Manager for Competenz, a not for profit ITO (Industry Training Organisation) which supports Kiwi youth into trade apprenticeships around NZ.


Trustees and Governance

Norm Hewitt


Norm was born and raised in the Hawkes Bay, and his rugby prowess started to shine through at an early age. Over a 14-year rugby career he played nearly 300 first class games and became All Black 938.  He captained NPC, Super Rugby and Maori All Black sides, remains an astute observer and guest commentator of rugby.

Today, Norm is involved in a wide variety of work across New Zealand. His main focus is working with communities and young people, and he was part of the initial team which wrote the Government Green Paper for vulnerable children.

He is currently contracted to E Tu Whanau, the Triton Hearing Group as their Wellbeing Ambassador, the Knight Frank Leadership and Cultural project, PCL Roading and contracting group Leadership project and the Air New Zealand Gas Turbines mentoring and leadership project.

He has worked alongside the RNZSPCA heading the “One of the family” Programme, Te Pou, Instep group in health and safety, NZ Army Alcohol Awareness project, Armstrong Motor Group leadership project, NZ Steel Taharoa Relationship initiative, CBRE property group leadership project, and the Downer group EDI telecommunications division. Norm is also currently the roving Wellbeing Ambassador for Air New Zealand.

Norm wrote bestselling rugby biography Gladiator: the Norm Hewitt Story (2001), selling over 30,000 copies in New Zealand, and he remains a popular public speaker.

In addition to Raleigh NZ, Norm supports a number of charitable organisations, including Books in Homes, the Cloud 9 Children’s Foundation, Tamaiti Whangai, Outward Bound Trust, and alongside his wife, is the patron of the Upside Downs Education Trust.

Neki Patel


Neki first became involved with Raleigh International in 1987 as a 19-year-old volunteer, when he spent 3 months in Chile building a bridge at Isla Tabo. He loved the challenge, the bringing together of international volunteers and the life long link to the community that he supported.

Fast forward 10 years and, as a chiropractor running a family focused clinic in Queenstown, Neki still felt as passionate about his Raleigh experience as he did when he first went to Chile. He believes New Zealand is a country with a pioneering ethos and willingness to help others, and this spirit inspired him to set up Raleigh NZ in 1997. With the support of a fantastic group of high profile trustees including Sir Michael Hill, Sir Edmund Hillary and Sir Howard Morrison, they sent go getting Kiwis on expedition across the globe for the next 5 years.

Neki is excited about Raleigh NZ being reignited once again, and having the chance to support more young New Zealanders discover their potential.

Sir Michael Hill


Sir Michael is a prominent New Zealand jeweller, entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded global jewellery retailer Michael Hill Jeweller in 1979. He was awarded the Ernst & Young NZ Entrepreneur of the year 2008, and promoted to Knight Companion of the NZ Order of Merit in 2011 for his services to business and the arts.

His combined love of music and supporting young New Zealanders led to creation of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in 2001, a biennial competition for emerging young violinists.

A keen golfer, Sir Michael also developed The Hills Golf Course, home of the New Zealand Open gold tournaments and an impressive open-air sculpture gallery.

With his wealth of experience across a number of sectors, in addition to the above achievements, he has written three books on how to succeed in business, and is very popular on the public speaking circuit.

Sir Michael was one of the original trustee’s when Raleigh NZ was initially launched in 1997.

Rob Grieve


Born and raised in Auckland yet being a 'non city boy' at heart, Rob spent his childhood not only making the most of the fantastic city life but also heading out to the extended family farms and experiencing all those things Kiwi kids love doing - driving around the farms, riding motorbikes and generally being in the outdoor environment as much as possible.

Throughout his university years down in Dunedin, Rob forged his way into the snow sports industry (basically living full time in Wanaka and not Dunedin!) and became a qualified ski instructor.

Travelling the world to teach skiing in Japan, Canada, the US while also here in NZ, Rob achieved the highest qualification possible, gaining the Trainer's Cert with the NZSIA. Despite continuing to train instructors and ski schools until 2007, in 2003 following a year working on the super yachts over in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, Rob also set up his bespoke, luxury travel design company (Kiwi Does It Ltd) specialising in the creation of high end travel itineraries and guiding clients around various parts of New Zealand, and the world.

Rob is super passionate about New Zealand, loves the ethos behind Raleigh NZ and is very excited to have the opportunity to support young minds from all walks of life in the great outdoors - an outdoors that will no doubt educate, inspire and encourage!