Staff Profiles

Nigel Rowland

Manager/ Funeral Director

Nigel knew he wanted to work in the funeral industry at a young age and his first role was a trainee working in the mortuary straight from school.  Over the years he has completed his embalming and funeral directing training and now holds the highest qualification in our profession, the National Diploma in Funeral Services. Nigel was raised in the Hutt Valley and spent a few years living in the UK and travelling Europe before settling in Wellington with his partner. 

Nigel enjoys funeral directing for its challenging role and working alongside families to achieve the desired farewell that each individual funeral requires.


Dean Newman

Funeral Director

Dean was born in Oxford, England and grew up in the Midlands before moving to New Zealand at the end of 2007 to be closer to family members.

A qualified Embalmer, Dean has been involved in the funeral industry for 10 years having worked for funeral homes in the South Island and Western Australia before moving to Wellington. 

Dean is passionate about the role that funeral care provides to the community and is privileged to be able to offer care and assistance to families in their time of need as a Funeral Director at The Wilson Funeral Home. 


Sarah-Jane Clark

Embalmer/ Funeral Home Assistant

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 The Wilson Funeral Home.

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 practising 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”.

Ross Coubrough


Born and raised in Alexandra, Otago, attending Dunstan High School, Ross moved to Wellington in 2016 to study and pursue a career in graphic design, where his passion lies.

He has spent the last 3 years bartending for a number of different bars in Wellington, from duty manager to cocktail mixologist.

Previously freelancing, Ross has completed design work for sports teams, real estate companies, DJ’s, cafes, bars and more.

Outside of work, Ross enjoys spending time with friends, movies, cooking and looking after his cat, Eco.

Shelley Knapp


Shelley was born in Nelson, raised in Upper Hutt and obtaining her diploma in embalming in 2013.

Shelley has worked in the funeral industry for 12 years and proudly joined Harbour City Funeral Home in 2019. She is a member of the Blake International Disaster response team.

Shelley was drawn into the funeral industry after a close friend passed away. She saw what a huge impact that had left on the family and with her caring and loving nature, Shelley believed she could make a difference at such a sad and precious time.

Outside of work Shelley enjoys spending time with her family and friends.  Shelley has developed the bug for travelling and is working her way around the world visiting a new country every year.

Katie Sampson


Katie was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and moved to New Zealand with her parents and younger brother in 2008. She grew up in Paraparaumu, graduating from Paraparaumu College. She moved to Wellington after being given the opportunity to become a trainee embalmer for Harbour City.

Katie has always had an interest in the funeral industry, but gained most of her motivation and interest after the difficult loss of her grandfather in America in 2011. She has always held deep sympathy for families who lose loved ones, and is passionate about helping others.

In 2019 Katie obtained a qualification in Level 4 Study and Career Prep for Funeral/Social services from Weltec, giving her knowledge and understanding of the funeral industry, different cultures/beliefs, along with human development and grief theories.

Before entering the funeral industry, Katie had worked in hospitality for 3 and a half years as front of house. She has worked as a waitress, barista and bartender in Wellington and Waikanae.

In her free time, Katie enjoys doing art, including but not limited to: oil painting, sculpture, drawing, photography and digital art. She also enjoys nature walks, spending time with animals, and her friends. Even though she is not a bartender anymore, she still enjoys making cocktails in her home bar, and cooking/baking.

The Wilson Funeral Homes