The Learning Place

For information and support

0800 800 415

All about The Learning Place

All about The Learning Place


Education and training are part of a person’s journey to success. Starting with a  vision of where you want to be, add some motivation, grit and determination and the journey is half way there. 

 Let The Learning Place be a part of your  journey to success by providing skills, knowledge and tools to help you along the way.

Whether you are doing one of our Schools’ Courses, a Health and Safety Module or your Licence Controller Qualification online it is our responsibility to make the learning experience as accessible, professional and rewarding as we can.

Head Office is in the tropical south in sunny Dunedin and we travel across the country racking up more flying miles than Richard Pearse (you know the kiwi guy who beat the Wright Brothers to fly first) delivering our range of courses.

All of our people are industry experts so they don’t talk through a hole in their head. We invest heavily in quality assurance meaning that we stand by our training 100% and are damn proud of it!




Pieter van de Klundert

(B.A. History, B. Management and Innovation, Adult Learn Dip, member of the Institute of Directors)

Piet has the title of Director. Born and bred in tropical Dunedin, he has worked across the not for profit and for profit sector in senior management and leadership roles. He is committed to positive change in the education sector and a hell of an innovator as well. Passionate about empowering communities and individuals through education. Pieter loves his family, work, Dunedin, Cross Fit  and his dog.



Erin Thomson

(B.A., B. Tch Sec.)

Erin is our Academic Manager. Born and bred in sunny Dunedin Erin attended the University of Otago. Erin has worked in a range of hospitality and retail positions and this, along with 4 years of teaching in South Auckland, gave her the experience she needed to begin her “dream job” training for The Learning Place in 2012. As the longest serving team member Erin likes to be referred to as the Jedi Master, if a school has a question/ issue or problem she makes it her personal mission to find the solution. A step- mother every second week to an inquisitive 5-year-old and a one year old toddler, her spare time is spent with family as Chief cook, cleaner and bottle washer.



Lori Bulger

Lori is our Information Manager. She provides an orderly and systematic approach to managing the huge amounts of administrative tasks with her extensive experience in the Office management sector. This enables The Learning Place to run at optimal efficiency with primary focus on delivering excellence in the day to day running of administration. Lori is your friendly voice on the end of the phone, happy to help with any of your enquiries. Out of work she is a loving wife and mother of two, with a passion for running, and in her quiet time (which is few and far between) a glass of wine, while enjoying her Peninsula View.



Juliane Tautz

(Dip. Business Management / B.A Culinary Arts)

Jules is our Academic support and Online developer. Born in Germany Jules came to New Zealand when she was 18 years old. Initially she just wanted to travel and see the world, but fell in love with the laid back culture and the pretty scenery. Within her first job in Wanaka she was offered an apprenticeship to become a chef and was definitely inspired by the chefs around her. After 5 years of constant kitchen work and a degree in Business Management Jules decided it was time to get out of the kitchen and start a degree at the Otago Polytechnic in CUlinary Arts, which she completed in 2017. In her free time Jules helps her partner renovate her house or she’s out and about with her dog.



Darren Turner

(Certificate in Adult Teaching/Certificate in Adult/Tertiary Education.)

Darren is our Auckland based Trainer/Kaiako. He joined The Learning Place in 2015, as the North Island Trainer. With 30 years experience in hospitality, working in front of house, Darren took to the teaching sector with fevour. In 1994 he bestowed his excellent skills and experience on the tertiary sector, working for a range of providers like UNITEC, AUT, MIT, NZMA, WelTec, Wintec, and lastly NSIA (this is where The Learning Place found him and borrowed him… with no intention of returning him) Darren has a deep and abiding love for coffee, wine, cooking over charcoal, watching movies, and enjoying old school vinyl on some serious AV gear.



Roxanne Rothman

( Somotology,  Cert Marketing) 

Roxanne is our Secondary and Industry Liason. Roxanne, her husband and her two year old boy came to New Zealand 2 years ago from South Africa. She has a vast knowledge in the teaching sector, as she used to work as a national manager for the part-time course devision of a skin-care college. She first joined us as the online coordinator and is now in charge of all correspondance with secondary schools and industry partners. In her free time, she lives an active life, walking the beach, skiing and picking up after her son Ollie. 



Richard Sumpter

Ricky is our Online coordinator. He joined us in 2018 and has a vast amount of Hospitality industry experience. Over the past 16 years, he worked in establishmants in Christchurch, Auckland, Timaru and Wellington before settling in Dunedin. During this time Ricky also owned and operated four businesses in the hospitality industry. Ricky and his partner have an active lifestyle with kids, dogs and farm animals. 



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