Meet the team at Thoughtplanters


Trevor Gardiner

Trevor Gardiner Trevor is the CEO of thoughtplanters. He has over 30 years experience in the arboriculture and horticulture industry, including 16 years with Asplundh in New Zealand, 10 years as the Manager of their New Zealand operations

Trevor has a wealth of knowledge gained from working at all levels of the arboricultural industry. I literally began my career in arboriculture working on the ground and left Asplundh with over two hundred staff working under me.

"thoughtplanters is a very exciting opportunity for me. At many levels the education industry is very similar to every other, but at other levels it is completely different".

Leadership training is also a passion for me. There are many people out there that have the energy but don’t seem to be able to direct it where it is needed.

Trevor is a Past President of the New Zealand Arboricultural Association and is currently actively involved in the Utility Arborist Association.

Read more about Trevor on LinkedIn


Mark Roberts

Mark Roberts Mark is the Academic Manager at thoughtplanters.  He is the clever one who writes and formats the bulk of the training resources.  He also makes sure our processes meet the requirements of the various standard setting bodies that govern the quality of teaching in New Zealand and the other countries we train in.

I believe in what we do, its all about giving people the why, giving them a reason – once they understand why, the what and how falls into place. Its just about training better thinkers.

Mark became involved in the New Zealand Arboriculture Association and at 33 became their youngest President. He moved his focus to the international arena where he became the first President of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) form south of the equator. Mark's role with the ISA means that he travels to the United States and others countries several times a year; there is really nothing glamorous about flying to the USA for the weekend, but when you try and tell people that they don’t believe you’.

Mark has over 25 years experience in the arboriculture industry working in England, Australia and New Zealand. He moved back to New Zealand from Australia and lives happily in Dunedin with his wife and two children.

I quite like beer, the taste more so than drinking it in large volumes. I’m always on the lookout for new beers and or limited edition brews.


Read more about Mark on LinkedIn.

Kent Thwaites

Kent lives in the Far North and brews a fine coffee. He is a keen surfer and believes in making a difference; ‘its great to be able to provide a sense of purpose for many of our trainees, there is a spark in all of them and all you have to do is find it and they are away.’ Kent is our opperations manager he works out the where, what and how – it's a juggling game, and he’s very good at it.



David James

Everyone needs a David James in their work place and we consider ourselfes very luck. David is an old school arborist, a long term trainer and a utility arborist guru. He is one of those people that seems to have more hours in their day than the rest of us; when he is not doing tree work (for David James Tree Services), growing grapes in Blenheim (the Sauvignon Blanc capital of the world), running the NZ National Tree Climbing Competition or representing NZArbor at the International Society of Arboriculture he delivers our line clearance training and any other aspect of tree work we ask of him.



Andrew (Andy) Neverman

Andy needs little introduction to those in the New Zealand and Singapore arboricultural scene. He is a qualified educator with creditability and we are privileged to have him on board.

Andy says that he loves the challenge of being a climbing arborist and a trainer because every day is different. Like many Kiwis’ Andy spent several years living and working abroad and now that he is back he still gets to work abroad - Andy carries out and / or oversees much of our training in Australia and Singapore.

He is married to Hayley and they have two daughters who enjoy riding horses on the family's small lifestyle block. In his spare time, Andy enjoys surfing, kayak fishing and just being at the beach.



Fiona Eadie

Fiona is one of those incredibly busy people who seem to manage more than is possible. When not training for us she is the Head Gardener at New Zealand’s only castle (Larnach Castle) or writing for industry magazines.

She is the author of '100 Best Native Plants for New Zealand gardens' (now in its second edition)  and has been in the running for New Zealand’s Top Gardiner.

She says that she loves plants and has worked with them in some way for most of her life. She loves the fact that training people is a double whammy as she can learn from the students' personal experiences as much as they can learn from hers.

Fiona and her partner Mick own a piece of land in Central Otago, which they call ‘The Paddock’ – it’s a place to sit back and indulge in the fine wine and great food the region has to offer.



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