Nordic Walking New Zealand - be taught by a certified European professional





Nordic Walking NZ is establishing a network of approved Nordic Walking leaders and instructors across New Zealand. To join our passionate team of teachers please get in touch with our Teaching Academy via email or phone: 0800 669 269.






Northland is home to Nordic Walking New Zealand . You can walk with us from Kaitaia to Whangarei and the Tutukaka Coast to Warkworth.

Robyn Skerten

"We are so fortunate to live on the Tutukaka Coast, getting out and about all year round, keeping our bones strong, with a variety of beautiful walks, on low tide days we are at the beach, on high tide days we are in the bush or farm walking."

Robyn trained as a Nordic Walking Instructor in 2010, having previously had her own Physiotherapy practices in Rotorua and here on the Tutukaka Coast. She describes exercise as being the best medicine and now she enjoys being able to help people be proactive in terms of their fitness.

Robyn has plenty of experience in exercise prescription so in addition to just walking her classes include exercises for warming up, technique and cooling down stretches, all with an emphasis on Alignment, Balance and Co-ordination.

There are two group sessions on a Wednesday, the first group for those who like to take a little longer and enjoy the scenery and the second for those who like a good workout! Personal sessions are offered on request.

phone: 09 4344060,

mobile: 021 784 653





Barbara Faust

Barbara is a Nordic Walking Master Trainer and a REP (Register of Exercise Professionals) registered Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer.

She immigrated to New Zealand from Germany in 2006 with over 8 years of experience in Nordic Walking and 15 years of teaching Presentation skills, Communication and Group dynamics.

Barbara learned Nordic Walking in Europe from prominent trainers and has worked with many different target groups including rehab classes, senior citizens, enthusiasts and normal trainers.

She goes back to Europe once a year to catch up with latest developments in Nordic Walking and to renew her licence as Nordic Walking Master Trainer in order to provide high quality training to her clients and instructors.

mobile: (021) 299 88 40



Anja Hueskens

Anja works as a translator and was looking for a fitness activity, preferably outdoors, which can be done in all weathers, anytime and on practically any terrain, and which offered more than regular walking. Anja was introduced to Nordic Walking during a family visit in Europe and immediately took to the sport.

Nordic walking not only increases cardiovascular fitness, but also strengthens muscles, improves coordination and increases the thoracic mobility of the spine, among other things. More importantly, it’s FUN! There are several techniques that can be used, depending on your mobility, fitness level, the terrain and your own interest.

Anja became a Leader in 2010 and is very much looking forward to introducing others to the sport and developing skills for those who’ve already discovered the fantastic outdoor activity that is called Nordic walking.

phone: (09) 4328616 or (021) 510012
Facebook: Nordic Walking Bream Bay


In Auckland you will find several instructors. All listed instructors are qualified Nordic Walking Leaders through NoWaNZ.


Chrissie Wright

Chrissie enjoys living in Mt Eden because of the Family orientated focus in the community, and with the beautiful One Tree Hill and Cornwall Park on her doorstep it offers fantastic recreational opportunities.
Chrissie Qualified as a General Obstetric Nurse in 1982 and has since worked in Hospitals, Rest Homes, and Clinics in Palmerston North, Nelson, Auckland and the UK.

Currently she is working for a group of Urologists in private practice doing clinic and theatre work and over the past 5 years has also been involved in research.
Chrissie became interested in Nordic walking after being introduced by a family member who recognized its benefits for a back injury. Although she is new to the sport Chrissie decided at her first taste that it was something she wanted to do more of, and to be able to offer it to others was an added bonus so decided to become a leader.

NZ Registered General Obstetric Nurse 1982
British Nursing Council Registered Nurse 1983
Dale Carneigie Course and Team Leader 2001
Nordic Walking New Zealand Leader 2009

mobile: (021) 210 1709

Christine Scott

An avid outrigger canoe (waka ama) paddler, Christine was looking for a complementary fitness activity that:
- Was outdoors
- Could be done just about anywhere, anytime
- Exercised multiple muscle groups
- Enhanced cardio-vascular health
- Reduced strain on certain joints and muscles
- Was a great break from corporate stressors
The answer - Nordic Walking.

Taking like a "duck to water" to the sport, Christine decided to become a Leader so that she could share her love of the sport and the outdoors with like-minded people. She is particularly keen on taking walkers around the many magical trails of Parnell.

Christine is a transplanted Canadian whose work life centres around Corporate and Not-For-Profit governance, and consulting to large businesses on strategy, marketing and leadership.

mobile: (021) 496 332

Ewa Bancer

Ewa, originally from Poland, came to NZ in pursuite of new challenges and adventure. Enthusiastic tramper and cyclist, she found nordic walking a fascinating activity which can be shared with people of different level of outdoor experience. 'Auckland parks and beaches are the ideal places for walking with the poles. The intensity of workout may vary from a gentle stroll to the heart pumping exercise. After long hours at the desktop there is no better way to clear mind and energise the body.

Ewa lives close to the Cornwall park, her favourite spot for nordic walking classes.

mobile: (027) 247 2082

Mary Anne

Looking for something more challenging than regular walking, Mary Anne discovered Nordic Walking when travelling through Switzerland in 2005.

Back in New Zealand and using her Nordic Walking poles on the beaches she had so many people ask what she was doing she decided to train as a Nordic Walking instructor.

Also a registered Personal Trainer, Mary Anne is passionate about encouraging people to become more active and to look after their health.
She leads walking groups at Takapuna and Kohimarama which are open and free to all who have completed an introductory course. Being a breast cancer survivor herself classes are free to those who have experienced breast cancer. Having used Nordic Walking to stretch and strengthen her upper body, Mary Anne now loves to fly on the flying trapeze!

Bachelor of Education
Diploma of Teaching
Personal Trainer - AUT - REPS Registered
Nordic Walking Instructor - NoWaNZ

mobile: (021) 121 5562

Marilyn Palmer

Marilyn trained as a registered nurse in New Zealand and has worked in several countries. She has retired after 14 years as a public health nurse in New Zealand and is keen to start on a new journey with Nordic Walking.

Exercise has always played an important part of her life. She has run half marathons and was a black belt 3rd dan chief instructor in the martial art of Shaolin Kempo, She holds a black sash in Chen style Tai Chi and has studied the graceful art of Mulan fan dancing. Marilyn had surgery on her knee, and realized that age was (just !) starting to catch up with her. She saw an ad for Nordic Walking, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Confucius says "journey of 1000 miles starts with the first footstep" , so Marilyn is looking forward to meeting new friends and walking in a safe environment.

mobile (021) 752 556

Ann Sandness and Nicole Hilton

NoWaNZ qualified Nordic Walking leaders in Auckland include Osteopaths Ann Sandnes and Nicole Hilton.

Osteopaths are primary health care practitioners that use osteopathic manipulative therapy to improve health and wellbeing. Osteopathic treatment targets musculoskeletal complaints and dysfunction by improving the alignment and motion of joints and their adjacent structures (muscles, ligaments, tendons) and therefore improves the efficiency of the musculoskeletal system, decreases the likelihood of injury, joint wear and tear, and disease.

Working in conjunction with their osteopathic practise in Takapuna, Ann and Nicole run Nordic walking classes on the North Shore. As osteopaths they see a wide range of people, and they believe that Nordic Walking is an excellent way for people to improve and maintain their levels of fitness, strength and flexibility.

phone: (09) 488 9310


In Hamilton you will find us often at the Lake

Margaret Thomson

Having spent a lot of years as a dentist, I decided that I would benefit from a change in direction. While pondering my future I kept coming back to working with people, and health and fitness, which have always been strong interests for me.

An article in a newspaper about Nordic Walking attracted my attention, primarily as a means of keeping my fitness while I visit family in Scotland. On reading more about the benefits of this sport and noticing how it, very quickly, was reducing tension in my neck and shoulders, I began to see how well it fitted with some other areas that I was considering as a new career.

Once I started Nordic Walking I was hooked and was keen to pass on the benefits to others. Hence I became a leader.

mobile: (027) 2471885





In Palmerston North and Ashhurst

Bev Wickenden

I am a Health Care Assistant in Palmerston North, working both in the Residential and hospital wings of a Rest Home. I am married with one son and two grandsons.

I found Nordic Walking by reading about it in a magazine at the Doctors one day, then found several more articles. The more I read the more interested I became. I contacted Barbara and 3 of us went up to the Hawkes Bay and did a Starter Course. From there I have become more & more interested and can see many benefits for people of all ages, especially those who have injuries orneed stability when walking.

I am currently doing my Care of the Aged Certificate.

mobile: (027) 279 5548




In Hawkes Bay there are four instructors, all are qualified Nordic Walking Leaders through NoWaNZ.

In Hastings and Havelock North Nordic Walking is coordinated through Core Studios, Hastings.

Marya and Cityfitness cover Napier.

Core Studios (formerly Pilates Studio) has found that Nordic Walking complements pilates very well. It adds cardio-vascular conditioning to create a balanced exercise program. With it s postural focus Nordic walking works the limbs in extension (behind the line of the body). We spend most of our time in forward bending movement patterns, Nordic Walking maintains an upright carriage and opens up the chest using posture and core control and in so doing reverses the forward position of shoulders and spine.

Joseph Pilates wrote;" if your spine is mobile at 60 you are young, if your spine is immobile at 30 you are old"

Nordic Walking will help keep your spine young through postural alignment, shoulder mobility and movement through the core, all principals which fit beautifully with Pilates.

Jacqui Evans

I found Pilates through rehabilitation of a lower back injury, now Nordic walking is the balancing cardiovascular exercise I needed. I love the pleasure of giving people functional movement patterns to enhance their daily lives, both Pilates and Nordic Walking do that. Both forms of exercise have postural principals as well as the simplicity to incorporate them into everyday living.

Giving people greater mobility and the knowledge of their bodies is what keeps me passionate about my teaching.


Floor Level 1 - Pilates Institute of Australasia
Chek Exercise Coach - Paul Chek

Nordic Walking Leader - Nordic Walking NZ

Diploma of sports science - Otago University (near completion)

phone: (06) 878 2475

Nici Haliburton

Having sat at a desk for many years as an accountant, Pilates and Nordic Walking have improved my posture and I have less migraines.
Nordic walking adds the cardio element of my fitness program whilst maintaining postural alignment and Pilates principals. I am passionate about teaching people exercise that can change their life and body, giving them body awareness and the ability to use these principals everyday!
I have changed my career path to become an instructor and fitness professional again.

Havelock North is a great place to Nordic Walk!!

Floor level 1 - Pilates Institute of Australasia
Personal Trainer - Netfit Australia
Fitness Trainer - Auckland Institute of Technology
Sport Massage - London School of Sports Massage
Nordic Walking Leader - Nordic Walking NZ

phone: (06) 878 2475

Marya Hopman

Marya Hopman is our local champ for Napier. She has been teaching Nordic Walking in Hawkes Bay since 2006 and has developed a huge passion for the sport.
Marya's first exposure to the sport’s roots was in the 1980s when she attended a cross-country skiing camp in Austria with the Dutch cross-country skiing team.
Later her father-in-law became an avid Nordic Walking instructor in the Netherlands and her husband trained as a Nordic Walking instructor in late 2005.
More by accident than intention Marya discovered the benefits of Nordic Walking for herself and due to increasing interest and demand became qualified and offered introductory courses, beginner classes and walking groups.

The sport also perfectly complements her other interests in nutrition, weight management and skincare as an Associate with Usana Health Sciences.

phone: (06) 835 7058 or (021) 452 172



In Nelson and the Tasman Districts there are several instructors, all are qualified Nordic Walking Leaders through NoWaNZ.

Jacqui Sinclair is based in Richmond, Sam Gentry in Tahunanui, and Michelle Alexander in Motueka.


Jacqui Sinclair

Jacqui was first introduced to Nordic Walking, when a colleague suggested that as a Practicing Physiotherapist she should be offering Nordic Walking to her clients.

At her first lesson, Jacqui could immediately see how Nordic walking could be used for a wide variety of clients to mobilise and strengthen their bodies while maintaining good postural alignment. While recovering from knee and back injuries herself, she experienced an improvement in her own strength when walking daily with poles.

Jacqui enjoys the step by step approach to learning NW, and how people are empowered to gain knowledge of their bodies, as they see the benefits of enhancing normal patterns of movement for greater health and fitness.

Nordic walking perfectly fits Jacqui's other passions for teaching health, both as a Physiotherapist and as Nutritional Cleansing Coach.

New Zealand Registered Physiotherapist DipPthy (Otago) NZRP,MNZSP
Diploma in Holistic Pulsing (DipHP)
Hot Yoga of New Zealand. Level 1 Teaching Certificate (200hrs)

phone: (03) 544 1645

Michelle Alexander

I first saw Nordic walking whilst in Spain. Originally from Auckland I left for adventures overseas in 1999. 10 years later leaving travel and a career in yachting behind me I returned to settle in Motueka, which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful areas in the world.

It was on my return to New Zealand that I tried Nordic Walking and knew it was for me! It’s ideal for enjoying the outdoors whilst getting a great overall work out and reducing stress and tension in my back.

Wanting to share the many benefits of a healthy lifestyle I am studying towards my Personal Instructor Certificate and Classical Pilates Instructing.

Come join me Nordic Walking in Paradise!

phone: (03) 528 0252 & (021) 2459955




Christchurch with its many parks, beaches and hills offers everyone easy access for walking. "People can walk here, so why not put poles in their hands so they can get thrill of this exercise?"

Penny Yeoman


Penny is physiotherapist with 27 years of experience in Hospitals, Private Practice and the Community. She has worked with all ages in NZ, Australia and the UK and is now based in Christchurch. She is married with 4 school age children.

She became interested in Nordic walking as a means of rehabilitation for her patients after shoulder, back and lower limb problems. She believes Nordic walking with its normal patterns of movement, offers a mix of fitness and realignment of the body. It can be undertaken by all ages and all levels of fitness. Postural correction comes naturally with this style of walking.

Penny is keen to offer Nordic Walking to a variety of groups such as workers (helping postural stresses) the elderly (helping their balance and mobility) those recovering from injury and others needing a great fitness programme.

Diploma of Physiotherapy. NZSP
Nordic Walking Leader-Nordic Walking NZ

mobile: (021) 256 7082



In Dunedin you will find several instructors. All listed instructors are qualified Nordic Walking Leaders through NoWaNZ.


Daniel Sela


Daniel is a Nordic Walking expert and covers the whole Otago region including Wanaka, Queenstown, Cromwell.

As a Personal Trainer and Registered Exercise Professional, Daniel operates his own gym in Dunedin. He has been practising Nordic Walking since 2002 and teaching since 2004 in Germany and since 2006 in Dunedin.

Daniel is a sport scientist with a degree from the German Sports University Cologne in Prevention and Rehabilitation. He has worked as a sport therapist in rehabilitation centres and is self employed as a Personal Trainer since 2003 specialising in Rehabilitation and Prevention.
Daniel started Nordic Walking as he was not able to go running after a knee injury. He enjoyed the benefits and started to pass on his knowledge on to his clients and groups of interested people. His clients range from heart and orthopaedic patients to athletes.

Diploma Sports Sciences (Prevention and Rehabilitation)
Nordic Walking B-Trainer (vdnowas)
Nordic Walking Walk in Balance Trainer
Polar Nordic Walking Instructor
Certificate Medical Training Therapy
Heart Sport Instructor

mobile: (021) 106 1662



Diane Rutter


Diane trained as an Enrolled Nurse in Dunedin in 1976 and continued nursing till 1991. She worked as a Physiotherapy Assistant for Otago District Health Board for 11 years before joining RATA South Ltd (Rehabilitation Assessment Team Aotearoa) in 2007.

Diane enjoys any form of exercise but getting out in the fresh air with her Nordic walking poles is fantastic. She became an instructor in 2009 after an introduction earlier in the year by one of the RATA staff members. It is great exercise with many benefits, incorporating those upper body muscles while giving you a great posture.


RATA South
Rehabilitation Assessment Team Aotearoa

phone (03) 4879698



Mark Shirley


Mark Shirley graduated from Otago University as a Physiotherapist in 2000. He has since worked in various community and hospital based rehabilitation teams in New Zealand and overseas.

Mark completed his Masters in Rehabilitation at the Auckland University of Technology in 2011.

He continues to maintain an interest in all forms of rehabilitation and has been using Nordica Walking as an adjunct to his Physiotherapy skills since 2009.

RATA South
Rehabilitation Assessment Team Aotearoa

phone (03) 4879698

mobile (021) 485 989





In Southland Stephenson Murray Physiotherapists from Invercargill is offering Nordic Walking.


Lindsay Stephenson & Judy Wheeler


Lindsay has worked as a Physiotherapist since graduating and for the past 23 years has been a Principal at Stephenson Murray Physiotherapists in Invercargill. Lindsay has a passion for rehabilitation incorporating exercise and self management.

Being a keen walker and skier Lindsay saw the benefits of Nordic Walking when Barbara invited her to take part in the taster course in Invercargill. She sees benefit for people rehabilitating from injuries to their shoulders, back and lower limbs as well as a means to encourage fitness, normal postural movements and muscle function for those people with chronic back pain.

Lindsay is keen to offer Nordic Walking as part of her physiotherapy programmes and also to other groups including work groups to encourage fitness and well being.

Dip PHTY, Dip MT, PG Dip Rehab,
MNZCP(Pain Management)
Stephenson Murray Physiotherapists
112 Don Street, Invercargill

Phone (03) 2186583




Through my work as a Receptionist at Stephenson Murray Physiotherapists in Invercargill, I was given the opportunity to participate in a Nordic Walking Taster Course. This was the first I had heard of Nordic Walking and was curious as to what it had to offer. I soon became aware of how beneficial Nordic Walking was to all ages and for many different reasons; including rehabilitation after injury or illness, fitness and weight loss, as well as just getting out and enjoying a fun new way to exercise.

I have now obtained my Nordic Walking Leader Certificate and together with Lindsay Stephenson, Physiotherapist, have started tasters and courses in Invercargill and am thoroughly enjoying it.

Stephenson Murray Physiotherapists
112 Don Street, Invercargill

Phone (03) 2186583