Tony - Owner

Tony Wilson grew up in Wellington before the Wilson family moved to the San Francisco Bay so Tony, his two sisters and brother, could attend graduate school at University of California at Berkeley. Tony received his law degree from Boalt Law School at Berkeley and practiced law for a few years. While practicing law he and his older brother, Michael, were engaged in designing and renovating Bay Area property. In 1982, the three brothers and sister Sara, formed Wilson Associates to design, build and operate small, high quality real estate properties.

Tony has also a passion for food. This passion has led him to work with his sister, Sara, in the creation of various food interests. Though varied in style, each of these little businesses focus on creating tasty food using fresh, wholesome, seasonal ingredients.


Chris & Fiona - General Manager & Executive Chef

Chris Sturgeon & Fiona Read, both born in the depths of the South Island, came to Kaikoura after 17 years in Wellington to build their business for the same reasons the Wilson family came to Kaikoura to build Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses. Kaikoura's unique eco system and topography makes it an ideal spot to develop an eco-lodge with a unique cuisine and food experience. Chris Sturgeon took on the role as General Manager in early 2012 and along with his wife, Executive Chef and 2011 MasterChef Finalist Fiona Read. Together they manage the day to day running and continued development of the lodge including a cooking school on a nearby site launched in 2014.


Monique - Head Gardener

Monique is the Lodge’s Head Gardener and grounds keeper.  She has been with us for over 2 years.  She took over from Ron Daley who had over the past 15 years held the same positions and who is the one responsible and can take credit for the establishment of our gardens and all our plantings. Ron now holds the title of Head Gardener Emeritus and is still involved with the Lodge.  Monique also looks after the vegetable gardens, greenhouse, and olive grove. When not gardening Monique’s favorite thing to do is ride her horses both on trails and in shows.


Fernando - Senior Chef

Fernando is Senior Chef at Hapuku. He is from Brazil and has been with us for 4 years.  He found his way to Kaikoura for the surfing, but now he stays because of the Lodge.   He has become a Bra-Kiwi and takes pleasure in the irony of a Brazilian providing to our guests a true Kiwi experience. Fernando still loves to surf, no matter the season and temperature, and also to dive for Paua and crayfish. He highly recommends to our guests that they try swimming with the dolphins.


Mike - Lodge Host

Mike is the Lodge Host at Hapuku, and will help you with most any need at Hapuku, as well as provide descriptions, and stories, and tips and suggestions about the many ways to have a wonderful time as our guest.


Kuini - Head Housekeeper

 You have Kuini to thank for the special touches you will find upon arrival, and then everyday in your rooms. One of Kuini’s great satisfactions is the way she can tell people feel about the comfort, as well as special nuances of their accommodations. She is also convivial, and highly recommends the whale watch to visitors that may ask her what’s fun to do in Kaikoura. 


Jason - All Around Great Guy 

Jason has for the past 15 years maintained and kept the property in good order and health. Tragically, in the month before we completed revisions to this web site, he suddenly passed away. We want to acknowledge his enormous contribution to the development of the Lodge and have decided to post this small tribute to him to honor all that he has meant to the Lodge and particularly to Tony and the Wilson family. We will miss him enormously. He was an integral part of our small operation and his passing has left a void. He was one of the sweetest persons Tony has ever known. So we will no longer find him caring for the fires, the maintenance of the place and the well being of our guests. Nor will we find him at his favorite surf spot or fishing from the beach, two of his favorite past times. But we will remember him.