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Ski Trainers

Meet our team of Instructor Training Cardrona ski trainers! Our highly-qualified team of ski trainers will help train you to achieve your NZSIA ski qualifications – some of them will even be examining them!

Dave Taylor

Dave grew up skiing the edge deep powder of Scotland. He came to New Zealand & Cardrona in 1998 & went through the NZSIA system, becoming an Examiner in 2002. He was on the NZSIA national Demo Team for many years & recently was a selector for the current Demo Team. He is now the head ski trainer at Cardrona. An inspirational skier, DT appears in many of Cardrona’s promotional skiing shots.

Yolinde Magill

Yoyo (AKA Yolinde Magill) is a born & bred kiwi chick -a rare breed in the ski industry! She grew up skiing at Cardrona and loved it so much that she became an instructor during her school years. After missing out on a job at Cardrona, she taught in Queenstown where she worked her way to becoming a trainer & examiner within the NZSIA. She's done back to back winters between Switzerland, Canada & the USA before being heading back to  Cardrona in ’07, where she now runs ITC.

Yoyo was a selector for the NZSIA technical team and the NZSIA demo team for 2018/19, plus she sits on the NZSIA ski committee, and is the NZSIA Northern Hemisphere Ski Manager, travelling between China, Switzerland, Japan and NZ…not busy at all! 😉

Matt Lewis

Matt has been at Cardrona since 1989 & is a passionate skier. He has worked at Crystal Mountain & Winter Park in the US, both mountains offering him the steep, off-piste gnarly terrain that he loves to ski. Matt is a level 3 examiner for NZSIA & has been on the NZ Interski team three times. We have some great photos of Matt in our ski school uniform from the mid-90s, & he still rips around the mountain at the same speed!

Bob Irwin

Bob’s been teaching skiing since 1979...yes that's longer than most of our trainers and you have been alive! He has more than 60 seasons teaching skiing under his belt!

Bob's long list of accolades include representing Australia at Interski and being a member of the APSI Technical Committee for 5 years. Through experience across Austria, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and North America, he also gained top-level qualifications from 4 different nations! Bob also made the “Top 100 Ski Instructors of America” in Ski magazine - twice!

Bob previously held roles as Training Coordinator at both Falls Creek, Australia & Breckenridge, USA. Bob was the Ski School Manager at Treble Cone for 4 years before joining the team at Cardrona in 2006 and becoming an NZSIA examiner.

Martin Bennett


Martin has worked 20 winters at places all around the world including Cardrona & Porter Heights, NZ, Squaw Valley, USA, Zakopane, Poland, Southampton Alpine Centre, UK, and Niseko & Rusutsu, Japan.
He has worked at Cardrona for 6 seasons as an Instructor, Supervisor and Trainer, plus he is a current examiner for the NZSIA where he runs exams in NZ, China, and Japan.
Martin splits his year, living between Lake Hawea in the NZ winters, and Niseko in the Northern Hemisphere winters.

Scott Palmer

Kia ora - meet Scott Palmer! He has been teaching skiing since 2009, having first trained through ITC in the Otago Polytechnic programme in 2008. Since then Scott has worked at Cardrona and heads to Park City, USA for the Northern winters.

Over the years Scott has broadened his knowledge by achieving his children’s, freestyle, snowboarding and adaptive certifications. Now he works as an Instructor and Trainer at Cardrona and looks after Cardrona's adaptive programme. Scott is also an active Examiner with the NZSIA!
When he is not working, he can be found ski touring and exploring new lines in the mountains he loves all over the world.

Jon Gass

Jon started skiing at the age of 4 & knew when he left school there was no other career for him. He has been teaching since 2001 & has spent seasons in Canada, Switzerland, & France. He became part of the team at Cardrona in 2009 and split his time between Cardrona & Courchevel in the 3 Valleys until recently. He now spends all year in Wanaka, enjoying summers with his 2 young children. He is an NZSIA & BASI examiner. Jon was with us in China in 2016 when we ran our first ITC course in Wanlong. He was selected on the 2019 Interski team to Bulgaria and is a current member of the NZSIA Ski Committee and Demo Team. 

Mark Magill

Mark is a Caniwi (Canadian now living in NZ). He has taught skiing for over 30 seasons in Canada, USA & here at Cardrona. Mark works part time for our ITC programme & Snow Sports School & is a NZSIA examiner.

Yusuke Inoue

Yusuke was born and raised in the powder capital of the World...Japan! However, the grass is always greener, so in 2006 he moved to Europe to ski some icy groomers, went to Canada to learn English for a year and stayed in Europe for 8 years.

In 2015 he moved to New Zealand to train for his Level 3 with ITC, and has been working for Cardrona ever since!

During this time he has become a member of New Zealand Technical Team and on the 2019 Interski Team in Bulgaria.

He finally found the middle ground and now splits his year working at Cardrona, NZ and Far East Snowsports in Niseko, Japan. This lifestyle allows him to pursue his other passion of travelling - so far he has visited 87 nations across the world.
His current goal is to share his passion of skiing and teaching skiing, and also increase his number of countries visited to over 100!

Scott Messer

Scott is a NZSIA & BASI examiner. He runs the Adult Ski School at Cardrona & works back to back coaching for TDC in Val d’Isere during the Northern Hemisphere winter. Through his role in the Snow Sports School, Scott is the person that organises shadowing for our ITC candidates. The relationship between our Snow Sports School & ITC is fundamental to our training at Cardrona & sets us apart from other training programs.

Rachael Milner

Rachael grew up skiing in Scotland. After university she followed some friends to NZ where she happened to get a job instructing at Cardrona – that was in 1992! From there she went to teach for one season in the States. After doing back to back winters for 25 years, she has finally realised that this is her “real job” & snow sports has given her the opportunity to travel the globe. Rachael has worked at Crystal Mountain, Vail & currently teaches in Park City during her “holidays” from her full time job at Cardrona. Rachael is our Snow Sports Centre Manager.


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