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 Kapiti 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."

Frank Milne

Crematorium Operator and Funeral Home Assistant

Frank Website

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.

Dean Newman

Funeral Director

Dean Website

Dean was born in Oxford, England and grew up in the Midlands before moving to New Zealand at the end of 2007 to be closer to family members.

A qualified Embalmer, Dean has been involved in the funeral industry for 10 years having worked for funeral homes in the South Island and Western Australia before moving to Wellington. 

Dean is passionate about the role that funeral care provides to the community and is privileged to be able to offer care and assistance to families in their time of need as a Funeral Director at Harbour City Funeral Home.

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 Ohau. 

Ash Rockett


Ash Website

Ash moved from the U.K to Wellington in 2010 and has since acquired a degree in Photography as well as a diploma in Graphic Design. He is very eager to learn new skills and strive to push his limits. Ash’s background in photography means he is adept at editing and understanding the importance of thoughtful, emotive photographic displays. Before working as a Designer, Ash worked at a jewellers for over 3 years.

In his spare time, Ash enjoys keeping fit, playing with his cat, Evie, and going out with friends and playing a few games of pool.

Danny Langstraat



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 .

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. 

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.

Jordan Goss

Funeral Director 

Jordan Website

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

Christine Website

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 Website

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.




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 (partner 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

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”.

Lisa Mansfield 

Funeral Director


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.

Sarah-Jane Clark


Sarah Website

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.

Nik Straugheir

Embalmer and Funeral Director 

Nik Website

Originally from Southend-on-Sea in England, Nik emigrated to New Zealand in 1992 with his wife and two sons.  After working in the Prison Service he  joined the funeral industry as a trainee embalmer and funeral director in 2002, completing the embalming course in 2004, the funeral directing course in 2005 and now holds a National Diploma in Funeral Services.

Outside his role with the company Nik plays various  instruments with a preference towards jazz.  He is a Freemason and is involved with several Lodges and Orders in the Wellington region.  The Samoan culture has been an interest of his since coming to New Zealand and he is always keen to improve his Samoan language skills when given the opportunity.

Lee Banks

Funeral Director 

Lee Website

Lee was born in Stoke-on-Trent, England. He moved with his wife and two girls to Wellington, in 2014.

Lee’s wife works at Wellington Regional Hospital as an Anesthetic Technician. 

He previously served 7 years in the British Armed Forces in the Queens Royal Lancers.

During his time in the Army, Lee completed Tours of Bosnia in ’98 and Kosovo in 2000.

Lee began in the funeral industry in 2015 as a Funeral Director. He really enjoys his interaction with families and finds the role to be very rewarding. His position as a Funeral Director is very important to him, and he is very passionate about this role.

In his spare time, he loves to surf, paddleboard and walk his dog, ‘Doug the pug’.

Harbour City Funeral Homes