Meet Our Team
You will always be made to feel welcomed at Hope Rising Farm. Immediately you will feel that you are among friends who care.
All the team are genuinely caring and compassionate, everyone is valuable to them. A relationship of trust is nurtured, and new skills are developed with much support and encouragement.
Dedication. Caring. Passionate.
Office manager, Buddy, Event Coordinator
Maria was born in England, and came to New Zealand in 1987. For 22 years she lived on a 3500-acre sheep and beef farm but recently downsized to a lifestyle block. She competed on her own horses for many years and worked extensively as a groom for a top 3 Day Event competitor while in the UK. She is an experienced Administrator, and has many years of working with the public, and organising public sporting events. She is passionate about making a difference in the lives of the vulnerable children and women that are struggling in our communities and looking forward to seeing many more lives changed at Hope Rising Farm.
Rachel founded Hope Rising Farm in 2012 and since then has supported students, as well as working in Buddy training, animal care, communications and everything in between! She has recently taken a large step back to focus on marketing. Rachel is a connector and is always engaging with people around her, supporting others and making new friends. She has an un-ending passion for helping young people and women. Rachel won volunteer of the year in the 2022 Volunteer Excellence Awards!
Programme Manager, Buddy and Arts Therapist
Eve joined us initially in 2014 as a general volunteer, then left to study and later returned to us with a Master's in Arts Therapy and became a Buddy. Eve loves the way the farm provides a unique mix of creativity, animal experience and time in the outdoors. Eve's enthusiasm is infectious, her ready smile and can-do belief in her students encourages them to try new things.
Assistant Equine Manager and Buddy
Heidi has been working with horses for over ten years, riding and educating young horses, chasing beef cows on the farm and teaching lessons to a variety of students. She volunteered at Waikato Equitherapy (riding for disabled) and eventually became the Assistant Centre Coordinator for 4 years. She has a couple horses of her own and rides both English and Western depending on what she's doing. Heidi's favorite thing about teaching is seeing students' confidence grow in themselves and in their relationship with their horse.
Equine and Farm Manager and Buddy
Rosie has been a volunteer with Hope Rising since 2016. Over the years she has helped with equine training and being a Buddy. From a young age she rode horses for other people, however didn’t get the opportunity to purchase her own horse until she was an adult. The many years of riding horses on behalf has given Rosie a vast knowledge and a lot of experience in the equine industry. She has also worked along side a farrier, and handled young and troublesome ponies around the Waikato. Rosie is inspired by seeing the change in young people as they discover relationship with animals.
Alan was born in South Africa and emigrated to New Zealand in 2006 with his wife Lizette and two boys. Their boys have since left home and joined up with partners, which gives Alan and Lizette a bit more freedom around home and holiday time. The whole family love fishing and go out as often as they can. They enjoy the outdoors and go tramping and biking all over the country. Alan says he is a people leader that leads by example and loves to see teams grow and succeed. He is an experienced electronics engineer and has been managing teams and projects in Local Government, Health, IT and Aerospace sectors for more than 20 years and completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Management at Waikato University Business School in 2012.
Dedication. Caring. Passionate.
Hope Hand - Horses
Hi my name is Mikayla. I'm homeschooled. My interests are horses and lots of other type of animals. I became a volunteer in 2020. I love volunteering. Everyone here is great and you get to do things you've probably never done before.
Hope Hand - Horses
Hi, I'm Keisha. I'm homeschooled and I've had animals around my whole life. I love building strong relationships with them. I also enjoy helping people and the community. At Hope Rising I am able to do this and there are always smiles mixed in!
Hope Hand - Farm
Hi, I'm Mark. I joined Hope Rising in early 2021 as a buddy. I've had lots of different life experiences including engineering, nursing, tutoring at the YMCA and coaching youth rugby. I love walking alongside the youth at Hope Rising Farm and giving them the opportunity to build confidence whilst learning new things.
I’ve been volunteering my Marketing skills to Hope Rising Farm since Dec 2022. We now have a great platform in place and I'm eager to see where our strategies plans will take them. Born in the UK, my career concentrated on senior marketing positions for corporations. Since moving to New Zealand 18 years ago. My passion in NZ has been directed towards horses, we moved to our farm in Ngaruawahia for over 8 years.