Our People

Simon Manning



Simon spent his early years in Belmont, Petone and Lower Hutt, being educated at Belmont Primary, Wilford and Waterloo Schools prior to Hutt Intermediate and then Hutt Valley Memorial Technical College.

Simon's grandparents died when he was at College and from that point he knew that the funeral profession was where he wanted to be. Simon managed to obtain a part time position with a company in Wellington and upon leaving school started permanently with that company.

After 9 years with that company, in 1989, he decided to open Harbour City Funeral Home. Simon is a qualified embalmer and funeral director, and has taken on roles to encourage and train people who like himself choose the funeral directing role to serve others.

Within the funeral world Simon is leads the New Zealand Funeral Directors response in disaster situations. This specialist work has seen Simon deployed in Nauru, Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, and The Netherlands.

Simon is a keen Rotarian and has taken on various roles within Rotary including the role of District Governor for the Lower North Island. Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self, fits well with who Simon is.

Simon mixes his time between Wellington and the Kāpiti Coast, anyone who knows Simon, knows he loves his role as a funeral director. Making a difference and helping others is what it is all about for Simon.

Brad McAneney

Funeral Director


Brad attended Campion College, a Catholic Coeducational College before moving to Auckland to study Social Work. He graduated in 1999 with a bachelor of Social Work from Massey University. He joined the funeral industry in 2001 as a trainee embalmer and now holds both the National Certificate in Embalming and the National Certificate in Funeral Directing.

Brad enjoys both the embalming and funeral directing roles and holds customer service as a high ideal. "Our role is very flexible, some families want us to take care of all the finer details, while others are very hands on. I enjoy the diverse types of people that I meet and being of assistance at a time that can be very stressful for families."

Ruth Lacombe-Post

Funeral Director

Ruth Website

After a personal experience in her late teens, Ruth aspired to help others in the same way a funeral director supported her. Knowing she needed to gain life experience first, the following years proved invaluable through having to run a home from a young age, a 2 ½ year move to the Himalayan Mountains in India and loads of travel to foreign places in between.

Ruth returned from overseas to care for a family member. She later joined Harbour City as a Funeral Director in early 2014 equipped with a cultured balance of life skills, compassion, a zest to learn and the want to serve her community. She enjoys a good laugh, values people from every walk of life and has a humanistic approach as problems are opportunities to learn.

Ruth is happily married and outside of work loves tending to her ‘as close to India’ slice of life in Ōhau. 

Lisa Mansfield 

Funeral Director

lisa website

Lisa Mansfield was born in Lower Hutt. She attended Puketiro primary school in Maungaraki, went to St Oran’s College in Lower Hutt and then studied at Victoria University in Wellington. Apart from four years spent living in Melbourne, Lisa has always resided and worked in the Hutt Valley.

Lisa has had a variety of service based employment, but after some pivotal life experiences she found her vocation as a Funeral Director and started work with Harbour City Funeral Home in 2011.

In February 2016 Lisa graduated from Weltec attaining the New Zealand Diploma in Funeral Directing.

Kevin Eising

Embalmer and Funeral Home Assistant

Kevin HCFH

Kevin was born and raised in Wellington with his parents and five siblings where he attended school with his twin brother in the Hutt Valley.

Kevin has a broad range of employment history from hospitality, high-end fashion, property management to working with exotic animals. From a young age Kevin has always had an interest in the funeral industry, more specifically embalming, so there was only one answer when Kevin was offered a role here at Harbour City Funeral Home as a funeral home assistant.

Kevin has been with the company for few years and is now seeing himself moving into an embalming role alongside his assistant role. Kevin really enjoys looking after and caring for families loved ones.

Outside of work Kevin enjoys social gathering, gaming, movies, learning the ukulele and spending time with family, friends and his much loved pug, cats and lizard.

Eva Rippon

Funeral Director

Eva web

Eva was born and raised in Auckland where she completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and English. She always knew she wanted to be a Funeral Director and has spent time gaining experience in the Auckland area prior to taking a break from the industry to travel and build on her life experience. 

In 2017 Eva spent two and a half months walking the length of the South Island (roughly 1,400 kilometres) along the Te Araroa trail. Upon her return she joined a thriving doctor’s surgery in Auckland where she spent some time working as a Medical Receptionist. It was here that she became a master at administration, and she realised just how rewarding it was to be able to help people in their time of need.

Eva’s desire to help others has seen her join the Harbour City team as a Funeral Director. She had to leave her Scottish Terrier puppy back in Auckland with her parents, but she has no regrets about moving to Wellington, which we believe is a great place to bring up a puppy.

Outside of work Eva likes to frequent cafes, learn New Zealand sign language, hike, garden, bake, peruse op-shops and read books.


Danny Langstraat


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Born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Danny arrived in the Hutt Valley in 1983. He attended Hutt Intermediate and finished his schooling at Hutt Valley High School in 1992.

In February 1993 Danny started with Harbour City Funeral Home, Kilbirnie on a three month trial period and decided to stay on. Danny completed the Embalming course in 1995, achieving the top theory and top overall student for that year. In 1997, he became fully qualified by completing the Funeral Directors Course and attaining the Diploma in Funeral Services.

Since starting in 1993, Danny has had numerous roles within the company, periodically moving to and from other branches to fulfil those roles. In 2004 Danny became a Company Director and Shareholder.

Danny currently resides in Lower Hutt with his wife (Janelle) and their young daughters Petra, Skylah, April and Melody.

Jordan Goss

Funeral Director 

Jordan Website2

Jordan was born and raised in the Hutt Valley, where he attended St Matthew’s Primary School and Parkway College, completing his secondary schooling in 1999.

From an early age Jordan had an interest in the funeral industry.  While at college he was given the opportunity to spend time doing work experience in a local funeral home, from this experience he knew the industry was for him.  In 2009 Jordan took up a part time role with Harbour City Funeral Home, which very quickly became a full time position. 

Jordan graduated from Weltec in 2013 with a National Diploma in Embalming, and then in February 2016 with a National Diploma in Funeral Directing.  Jordan holds the highest qualifications currently available in the funeral industry.

Having spent time living in the Hawkes Bay working as a Funeral Director and Embalmer, Jordan has recently returned home to Wellington and Harbour City Funeral Home.  

Christine Batey

Funeral Director

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Christine was born and raised in Rotorua where she attended St Michael’s Primary and John Paul College. After spending a year working as a Trainee Funeral Director she then made the big move to Sydney, Australia where she spent the last 6 years as a Funeral Director, working in Sydney has allowed Christine to take care and assist many different cultures and religions. 

After spending a few months in the UK, Christine and her Husband Liam along with their two boys Troy and William made the move to Wellington to be closer to family and give their boys a good old Kiwi upbringing. 

Christine joined Harbour City Funeral Home as a Funeral Director, Christine’s caring and genuine nature allows her to connect with bereaved families when they need it most. Having experienced personal loss allows her to empathise with those who she meets.  

Margy Bliss

Funeral Director

Margy Web

Originally from the Mighty Manawatu, Maungaraki has been our home since 1994.

After travelling extensively and living in the UK for 5 years it was time to come home and settle into family life with Matt, our 3 children and our 2 dogs. Music has always been a huge part of my life. Playing Mandolin and guitar, singing and performing all over, with my family alongside me, has given me such a sense of loving life and doing what makes us happy.

It seemed a natural progression from being so involved with music both personally and professionally - as a vocal tutor in Ss Peter & Paul School, then going into elder care, and onto doing rhythm workshops for dementia patients and dealing with families, to now being given the opportunity to help families through, what I found to be the toughest time in my life .. losing someone you love. My own parents passed far too young  .. so I get it .. and if I can ease other families journeys in their final farewell just a wee bit, then that can only be good thing.

Ettiene du Plessis

Funeral Director

Ettiene Web

Ettiene was born and raised in South Africa and has been actively involved in the funeral industry for about 10 years permanently and 4 years freelance prior to that.  His decision to become involved in the industry was determined by a very sad event in his personal life and he decided that being part of this very undermined and misunderstood profession in South Africa was one of the ways he could make a difference for people going through similar situations.  Ettiene sees this as his passion and not just another job or career.  

In his career as a Funeral Director he has been part of some high-profile arrangements in South Africa which included the legendary rugby player Joost van der Westhuizen who is an iconic name, even within New Zealand, going back to the 1995 Rugby World Cup and local icon ‘Jona Lomu’.

Ettiene, his wife and 3 children have decided that New Zealand is the way forward, not just personally, but to further his career as a funeral director and get more international exposure and experience.  His goal is to become a citizen of New Zealand and make this his home at Harbour City Funeral Home. 

Ettiene enjoys Motorsport, Golf and watching Rugby. Family time is very important to him.  He loves people and loves life.  He says; “we only have one life - and we must live it”.  “Where passion meets excellence”.

Sheryl Rodda

Account Manager


Sheryl has held an Accounts and Administration role with the company since October 2004.

She really cares about being able to help families wherever she can as they prepare for a funeral.  After the funeral, Sheryl is always happy to help our client family’s deal with banks, lawyers and agencies like WINZ and ACC for funeral grants when families are not able to, or the process just seems too difficult.


Geoff Botherway

Funeral Director 


Geoff joined the funeral industry in Hamilton at the completion of high school as a trainee embalmer and completed his qualification in embalming in 2002. 

Geoff moved to Wellington and joined our company in 2003. He completed his funeral directing qualification in 2004 and now holds the National Diploma in Funeral Services.

Geoff loved the variety the role provides and has a passion for helping the local community.

Geoff’s spare time is shared between spending time with his family (wife Rachel, three daughters and their Staffy Rocco) and his love of sport, especially rugby. You will find him on a Saturday playing for the local Poneke Rugby Club.

Sarah-Jane Clark


Sarah web

I am from the UK and have been employed in the funeral profession since 2001. I always knew I wanted to work in funeral service from an early age.

I started my career as an arranger. I gained a huge amount of knowledge from dealing with bereaved families and achieved a lot of satisfaction helping people at such an important time.

I enrolled on the British Institute of Embalmers course in December 2012 and obtained my Diploma in Embalming in June 2015.

I relocated to Wellington with my Partner Matt and dog Gabby in April 2016.

I look forward to my new life and career with Harbour City Funeral Home.

Emma Quayle



Emma graduated from Massey University in 2010 with an Honours degree in Visual Communication Design, and also gained membership into the International Society of Typographic Designers. Membership is awarded to practicing designers who demonstrate, through the quality of their work, their commitment to achieving the highest possible standard of visual communication.

Emma is very passionate about her design work, with technical strengths in typography and graphic design. “I strive to achieve consistently high level results that meet requirements to the best of my ability”.

Frank Milne

Crematorium Operator and Funeral Home Assistant

frank web

Frank came to the funeral industry in Wellington for the first time in 2007 from having worked in pastoral work for 15 years and supporting people in the community.

He moved to Wellington after having spent time in these roles in various locations around the country including Northland, Otago, Wellington, Gisborne, and Rotorua.

Since then Frank has had a couple of different roles within the industry, being a funeral director from 2007 - 2010. He then took on the role of casket trimmer and car valet part time while working in a mental health support worker role for a private NGO. He now is working with the funeral home as the Crematorium Operator and funeral home assistant.

Frank has been married to his best friend, Sandra, for 30+ years. They have two sons and a grandson. He enjoys time with his wife, sons and grandson; watching movies, going fishing, doing a cross-fit class 3 times per week and biking (mainly to work at this stage).

Frank and Sandra also have a couple of Bichon Frieze dogs whom they love and spend time grooming these and a few friends’ dogs as well.

Sheryl Wright

Funeral Director


Sheryl Wright (nee Wooller)

Was born in Wellington and educated at Kilbirnie School and Wellington East Girl’s College.

Sheryl has been on the fringe of the funeral industry for 44 years as her husband was previously a funeral director, they have two adult children and seven grand-children.

In August of 1994 she joined Harbour City Funeral Home to assist in the administration side of the company, after several months she was invited to add to her role the challenge of becoming a funeral director.

Over the past 20 years, Sheryl has seen the company grow, not only in professionally trained staff but also in the changes in facilities, client choices, and the bereavement support we offer to our clients.

Working throughout the different branches enables Sheryl to assist clients with on going support and assistance, which she enjoys.

Having the life experiences first hand of being a friend, wife, mother, nana, and also having experienced first hand the loss of those closest to us, she has a real empathy to those who she comes into contact with.

Sheryl’s personal time is spent with her family, as they conveniently live in the Wellington region. 

Ross Coubrough


Ross website

Born and raised in Alexandra, Otago, attending Dunstan High School, Ross moved to Wellington in 2016 to study and pursue a career in graphic design, where his passion lies.

He has spent the last 3 years bartending for a number of different bars in Wellington, from duty manager to cocktail mixologist.

Previously freelancing, Ross has completed design work for sports teams, real estate companies, DJ’s, cafes, bars and more.

Outside of work, Ross enjoys spending time with friends, movies, cooking and looking after his cat, Eco.



Harbour City Funeral Homes