Meet our Trainers

Troy Twomey

Troy, originally a mechanic, made a jump to the NZDF as a soldier in the NZ Army, where he spent the next 12 years.  Troy worked with Land Search and Rescue for many years, and during peace-time in the military, was able to work and train with the Army’s own Fire-Fighters, allowing Troy to build further on his Rope Access and High-Angle Rescue skills.  Troy became an instructor within the Army “Land Operations Training Centre” in Waiouru, and after a few years an opportunity arose to leave the Army and work for an industry training company in the Bay of Plenty, teaching Fall Arrest, Confined Space Entry and Specialist Rescue Techniques.  When out of the Army, Troy noticed the large void of realistic training within industry, -with too many people simply going through “tick-the-box” training courses. Troy then started Elite Training Services, and since, has developed all of the courses that the company runs, with a distinct focus on realism. Clients have also enjoyed the “realistic training” that Elite Training Services delivers. Troy linked-up with Ropeworks Managing Director, Scott Savage to start contracting for rope access work. With both a training and a working side to the companies, this was obvious that it would only lead to greater skills and experience in the company. Troy holds NZ certificates in Rope Access, and assisted in writing the NZQA Level 5 New Zealand certificate. Troy stays up-to-date by being on the executive committee of the Industrial Rope Access Association of New Zealand (IRAANZ), and is also a national assessor for Certificate of Competency’s (CoC’s) to the highest level in rope access. 

Troy and his wife Kyla can be found mountain biking or tarmac rallying in their spare time. Targa NZ is the year’s main highlights, and their little Mini Cooper’s supercharger can be heard screaming on their YourTube channel.   

Kevin McCombe

Kevin, after leaving the military, went on to join the New Zealand Fire Service in an operational capacity. For the past 10 years he has actively been instructing, assessing and moderating confined space and specialist rescue techniques, and specialist skills, such as gas testing, breathing apparatus, first aid, and general fire safety.  Also conducting audits on rescue, and emergency procedures and operations.  Kevin has used his knowledge of New Zealand and Australian standards to design and write confined space policies and procedures, and to establish a complete emergency packages for various companies.  Kevin brings to the Elite Training team, a global understanding of emergency management, and how local industrial companies can benefit from site specific emergency planning.  Although generic training has its place, Kevin is aware that Elite Training Services prefers to work with industry to create training solutions that marry the Worksafe NZ requirements, with a company’s needs for job/site specific applications.  Along with all other members of the Elite Training team, he continues working in all the relative industries as well as instructing/training, keeping a current and expert approach to your companies training requirements.

James Weidmann

James began his career as a fitter welder with Page MacRae Engineering, spending many hours in confined spaces no one else wanted to enter.  That lead to a career move to Australia, traveling around the country and pacific Islands while learning everything from rigging to Crane Driving and spending much time conducting engineering work at height.  James in his lucky ways then returned to NZ after 6 years and joined a small tourism company, building, setting up and installing, auditing, and training tourism operations around the world.  James spent a lot his time guiding and teaching people with 0 experience to stay safe at height.  In 2015 James was looking for more of a challenge (mainly more work) and started contracting to Elite Training as a specialist trainer.  His specialty and passion is working at height.  He has spent many years safely throwing people off structures, which gives him a unique ability to help stop people from falling from them.  James holds the New Zealand Certificate in Rope Access.  When not in the class, James still gets out on the job doing the real work, climbing in things and swinging off them.  If Kyla ever lets him have time off, James enjoys Hunting fishing and Adventure Tourism.

Steve Smylie

Steve has spent 28 years as a Fire-Fighter within the New Zealand Fire Service.  In this time, Steve has held many roles, but held on to a passion for rescue.  25 years of his career has been spent on a Fire Service Rescue appliance.  Whether it’s a positive, or a negative, his time on a rescue appliance has meant that Steve has had to deal with many industrial accidents, both at heights, and in confined spaces.  Although it is very clear that Steve brings a sound knowledge of rescue with him (as Steve is a recipient of the New Zealand Bravery Medal for his actions after the Christchurch earthquake), he continues to work in industry, to maintain his knowledge of the latest cutting edge techniques.  Steve brings this knowledge with him to Elite Training Services, and with his personality, he simply slipped into the team without an issue.  Steve has a sense of humour that industry trainees will relate to, and his background gives his training credibility

Dion Wilson

Dion served six years as a fuel injection specialist, and utilised his spare time in being an active part of the Local Coast Guard and Dive recovery Team. In 1996 Dion took on a career as a full time fire fighter.  This opened the door for new opportunities and experiences from gaining accreditation as a BA technician, to going on to being the Tutor, teaching and re-certifying BA technicians.  Dion expanded his training roll from BA, to a trainer for the Realistic Fire Training Building; recruit fire fighter training; and the Fire Service’s new Incident Command Unit.  He has also been heavily involved in the Advanced Line Rescue Team.  Then along came Elite training services, allowing Dion add to his training skills and sound BA knowledge to an already well qualified and professional team.  The feedback from Dion’s training is always exceptional, and his ability to relate to trainees helps him achieve excellent results.  Information is always absorbed easier from a person that live and breathes their subject matter.  Dion has taken to growing the Elite Training Services name in the Gisborne area, so if you are over this way, get in touch and see what training he can offer that is specific to your requirements.

Graeme (Johnno) Johnson

Johnno spent 24 years in the Army. Holding many positions from and infantryman, through to the pointiest end of the spear, in the Special Forces. Much of Johnno’s military career was spent on overseas operations, and this must be where his passion for overseas travel kicked in. His hobbies are those that many would see as “extreme”, so Johnno can often be found spearfishing, or jumping out of perfectly good aeroplanes -with over 1000 jumps in skydiving.  So the change to teaching how to be safe at heights, and how to operate in tricky confined space situations, wasn’t a big challenge for him.  Johnno is certified as a Rope Access Technician and holds the New Zealand National Certificate in rope access.  His sense of humour and teaching methods has made Johnno a hit with trainees on his courses.  An ongoing joke is that Johnno’s claim-to-fame is that he was “number three driver” at Troy and Kyla’s wedding many years ago.

Scott Savage

Scott, Originally from Taranaki, has spent time in the NZ Army and as a Professional Rugby Player in the UK.  Scott is a trained Rigger and has vast experience in the oil industry in both The UK and New Zealand.  Since 2000 Scott has been back home in New Zealand where he has been employed as an offshore radio operator and abseiler.  Much of this time has also been spent on the Shell Todd Oil Services’ offshore assets and Scott is a STOS recognised Level 3 Rope Access Supervisor.  He is also trained in fall arrest Systems and Industrial Height Rescue and supervised these systems when employed as the abseil supervisor for Fitzroy Engineering offshore division.  In 2004 Scott set up Ropeworks with another rope access worker, and in January 2016 he brought-out the other director, and kept Ropeworks growing.  Scott is also a national assessor in Rope Access with IRAANZ (Indusctrial Rope Access Association of New Zealand), and holds National Certificates in Rope Access.  Scott spends most of his time in the specialist rope access area. -That’s when Scott can be dragged away from his passion of Surfing, which he “must” indulge in regularly.  When Scott does train, which he tries to avoid, he gets great feedback because of his sense of humour that the trainees can relate to.

Dean Tainui

Dean has been an abseiler his whole life. Working in a wide range of Rope Access based positions, from an elementary Rope Access worker, through to the supervisor of large maintenance and geo-technical abseiling tasks. Dean ran the Rope Access program for Tai-Poutini Polytechnic for a few years, and trained many of the supervisors and company trainers within the industry today. Dean has previously been a trainer within Elite Training Services a few years ago, and then he returned to work on-the-tools again. Now Dean owns his own Rope Access company in Wellington, and is an on-call training contractor for us once again.  Dean prides himself on tailoring the training to a clients needs, and understands the specific industry requirements that a workplace needs.  When Dean isn’t working or training, he can be found white-water kayaking in some of the gnarliest rivers in the North Island, or he will be off hunting.