Ian – I was born and bred in Auckland and my New Zealand ancestors date back to the mid 19th century when fencible soldiers received a paid passage and land to venture downunder. The tiny two roomed fencible cottage occupied by my great great grandparents (and their eight children) is actually on display at the Museum of Transport & Technology in Auckland – quite different to the luxury of Waipoua Lodge! I love the environment and having lived most of my life in the city to now live in this beautiful remote area is simply amazing. Looking after these wonderful old buildings, coupled with developing the grounds, is a challenge which keeps me very busy when I am not being front of house and looking after our delightful guests.
Fran – I was born in Dorset, England, but my great grandparents came to New Zealand in the mid 19th century with my father being born here in 1911. He was an early aviator and ended up in England shortly before the war. My mother was born in India where my grandfather owned an engineering factory for tea processing equipment. With dual nationality, I grew up visiting New Zealand regularly and have always felt more of a kiwi than not. I moved here permanently in 1987 and met Ian in 1998. My absolute passion is cooking and the lodge has given me the wonderful opportunity to develop my skills and create a range of a la carte dishes for our guests to enjoy, plus develop my cooking school initiative.