Ambury Park Centre was established in 1983 as a riding centre for people with disabilities. Since that time the Centre has developed a range of services including a school for students aged 13 upwards and a full-time vocational training programme for adults 18 and over.

These programmes include physiological and psychological therapies and educational, work training and social development programmes.

The Centre is a registered charity and is managed by a board. Staff members include the director/principal, a senior equine therapist, a riding instructor, a stable manager and stable assistant, two teachers, teacher aides, an occupational therapist, remedial therapy coaches, a vocational course supervisor and an office manager. A team of volunteers assists the full-time staff. 

The Centre’s work could not be done without its herd of horses. 

Our People


Mary Brook 
is the daughter of the late Maurice Paykel, the previous Patron of the Centre, who was instrumental in its establishment. 

Members of the Board

Gaynor Brown – President 
A member since 1994. Gaynor is former Deputy Director of Southern Cross Campus Senior School in Mangere and has been involved in education for many years. She is currently teaching at the Child and Family Unit for Northern Health School. 

Doug Alexander – Treasurer
Became a member in 2013. He has qualifications in Accounting and much experience in planning and property development.   

Caroline Grove – Secretary 
A member since 1994 and Secretary since Oct 1994, Caroline is a long-term volunteer who devotes one day a week to helping at the centre.

Vanessa Atadeniz
A new member in 2018. In addition to having a love of horses and interest in youth development, Vanessa has Marketing, Accounting, and Management qualifications, is a Chartered Accountant, with many years’ experience in Finance Leadership roles in business. Vanessa’s previous voluntary board experience was with the Foundation of Youth Development Auckland. Vanessa has also volunteered for Carabiner Mentoring + YES Disability and Adult Literacy Aotearoa.

Janet Hepi
A member since 1992. Janet has been very supportive of the Centre.

Vicky Latta
Became a member in 2011. She is a qualified lawyer and Olympic silver medalist with the NZ three-day event team in Barcelona. 

Claire Lingman
A member since 1988 and Treasurer since 1996, Claire is a former President and Vice President who is well qualified to handle the Centre’s financial affairs.

Deanne Maule
A member since 2004. She is a Chartered accountant with previous voluntary work experience for St. John and South Auckland Income Planning Services.

Christine O’Brien
Became a member later in 2014. Christine is on the Mangere/Otahuhu Local Board and represents Auckland Council on the Ambury Park Centre Board.

Neil Rusden
A member since 2018. With a background in owning design and communication companies, Neil has a passion for developing and building the identity of Ambury Park Centre to reflect the amazing work that is performed there. Neil’s team designed the current centre logo and helped in the running of the recent fund raising events, HorsePower – Dinner in the Arena.

Steve Whelan
Auckland Council representative as Senior Ranger, Partnerships, Southern Regional Parks.


Modern riding therapy takes a holistic approach to riding... MORE


Ambury Park Centre is a registered private school that offers core subjects and so much... MORE


The vocational programme provides a life skills course for approximately 27 people ... MORE


Ambury Park Centre relies heavily on volunteers to work with the staff member... MORE