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. In November 2004 Harbour City Funeral Home merged with Hutt Valley Funeral Services and he enjoys now working in the region he has always called home.

Simon lives in Wellington and very much enjoys helping people and offering support and assistance at this important time.

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."

Lee Banks 

Funeral Director 


Lee Moved to New Zealand in 2014 with his wife and two daughters. His wife is an Anaesthetic Technician and works at Wellington Regional Hospital. Lee’s daughters have settled into school and are enjoying the Kiwi lifestyle.

Before moving to NZ, Lee spent 7 years in the British Army, The Queens Royal Lancers, as a Tank Crewman. He has been on operational tour to Bosnia and Kosovo during the conflicts in the late 90’s, early 2000. He left the military in 2004 and spent 10 Years as a Transport Manager, for an industrial gas delivery company before he and his wife decided to emigrate.

Since moving here he has taken up many hobbies, such as surfing and mountain biking, and gets out into the wilderness as often as possible.

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.

Tawera Thompson-Hetaraka

Funeral Director

Tawera 2

Tawera was born and raised in Wellington and is the eldest of seven children. He is of Polish and Māori decent and comes from a well-respected family.

He has a great appreciation and understanding of his cultural heritage and it is by such virtues, he is well practiced when dealing with families of different cultures and religious beliefs. 

Tawera comes from a family who are very well versed in the funeral industry, immersing him in it from a young age.

Before coming to Harbour City, Tawera worked as a contracting Funeral Director covering the Whangarei and Auckland regions.

He has lived in a number of cities throughout New Zealand as well as abroad.

He enjoys social gatherings, the outdoors and spending time with his friends and family


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.  

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.



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.

David Fox


David Website

David has a wealth of knowledge and  great respect for  the funeral profession he works in.

He is a skilled at embalming and has dedicated most of his working career spanning nearly 30 years to all aspects of embalming and funeral directing services.

He is a recent addition to the Harbour City Funeral Home team and is passionate about his craft. He has an eye for detail and cares about every client he works with. 

David was born to a strong farming family in Central Hawkes Bay and is the youngest of four. After his fathers’ untimely death he moved to Hastings with his mother and three other siblingsHe began his funeral career in 1987 as a funeral assistant and embalmer. His career has seen him work as a funeral director in Australia and New Zealand.

In 1997 he took time out after his mothers passing and studied viticulture and wine-making. During this time he still kept his hand in the funeral business and has been a locum at various funeral companies maintaining an involvement in the profession he is so passionate about. He is delighted to be working in Wellington with a Harbour City Funeral Home and is keen to further expand his knowledge of embalming.

In his spare time David is an avid sports car enthusiast, he has a good appreciation of art, food and wine.

Sarah-Jane Clark



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.

Harbour City Funeral Homes