Welcome to our Team
Richard had just sat down in his Christchurch office on 22 February 2011, when the Canterbury earthquake hit. The aftermath of this tragedy proved a pivotal time for the former radio executive, who found himself pondering a more meaningful career.
Two years later, following a move to Rotorua, an opportunity arose for Richard to join Osbornes as a funeral director. He found his new role enabled him to “give back” and serve people in a more holistic sense, while still utilising his communication skills from his media background. He’s since taken over as owner of the business – and feels privileged to be leading Rotorua’s premier team of funeral directors. For Richard – it’s all about the families; exceeding their expectations on all counts.
In 2016, Richard was named Emerging Young Leader of the Year at the Westpac Rotorua Business Awards, while Osbornes won Best Service Provider, and the Customer Service Award. Richard’s goal is to ensure the business continues to evolve with the latest funeral practices – while still staying true to its core values of quality, sincerity and trust. Married to Larissa a school teacher, dad to two lovely ‘hurricanes’, and owner of too many fishing rods.
Sam has literally been part of the Osbornes family all of his life; his father Keith started the company in 1981. During his years at John Paul College, Sam would often head to the funeral home after school, and inevitably become drawn to the industry. He remembers being particularly fascinated by the one place he wasn’t allowed to go – the mortuary. After initially considering a job in the police force, he decided to pursue his childhood interest and become an embalmer. He gained his qualification in Wellington, then later switched to funeral directing after an opportunity arose back at Osbornes.
Sam enjoys the fact that he’s helping families create a memorable farewell for their loved one, while still helping out in the mortuary on a part-time basis. He’s currently working towards his Diploma of Funeral Directing, and is looking forward to being fully qualified in both roles.
An avid mountain-biker, Sam spends much of his spare time on the downhill trails in the Redwoods, and also enjoys travelling.
Chris de Groot
Chris has had a varied work background – beginning with an agricultural science degree following his school years. He later switched course and studied as a physiotherapist, co-running a practice here in Rotorua. He’d been working as a physio for more than a decade when he decided it was time for a change. He knew little about the funeral industry at the time, so when he was offered a role as a funeral director – was pleasantly surprised to discover the role was primarily about helping families. Having previously worked in a hospital and a rest home, Chris has a natural empathy towards people – and is a great listener. He’s fascinated by family dynamics, and has a knack for helping loved ones navigate any challenges throughout the funeral-planning process.
Chris is fully qualified in his profession, and is looking forward to transitioning to a more supervisory role in the coming months. A self-confessed ski bunny – he often heads to the slopes on his days off, and also enjoys tramping.
Adam has always been drawn to people, “We can learn and share so much from one another.
While I have been employed as an embalmer for Osborne’s Funeral Directors I can honestly say I have enjoyed waking up and knowing that what I do helps families in their time of need, I have never had such a gratifying job. To be able to work with such friendly professional people and share in the lives of others is extremely gratifying.
I have a budding family of two lovely young ladies and a wife that supports me with her love and friendship.
I get my “me” time out in nature. Fishing, hunting or just sitting out in the middle of nowhere under a tree enjoying the peaceful solace and tranquility our native bush”
Wayne is one of the country’s most experienced embalmers, and excels at his profession. From the moment he first stepped into a mortuary 30 years ago, he instantly felt at home. He’d initially applied for a job as a funeral director’s assistant, but quickly made the switch to trainee embalmer. After spending his early years working throughout the North Island, Wayne returned to his hometown of Rotorua to take up a role at Osbornes – where he’s remained for almost 20 years.
He loves the artistic side of embalming and is highly skilled at making the deceased look peaceful and rested – leaving loved ones with a comforting, final memory.
It’s a big responsibility, and Wayne gets immense satisfaction out of playing his part in helping families through their grief journey. One of Wayne’s proudest achievements is becoming a member of the NZ Embalmers Association, adding to his Australian and British qualifications.
Matthew enjoys his role as a Funeral Director and appreciates the time he spends with client families. He loves the variety of work involved in the role and always looks forward to learning new things and working through challenges.
Matthew has a professional approach and an innate warmth which he brings to the role. He has qualifications in Funeral Directing and Embalming.
Matthew has moved to Rotorua with his wife and two small children. He looks forward to making the most of what Rotorua has to offer.
Raewyn, a former pastor, has enjoyed caring for people for as long as she can remember. She first took up a role at Osbornes 25 years ago, after visiting the premises in her capacity as a then-funeral celebrant. A chance conversation led to her becoming a funeral director – and she’s never looked back.
Raewyn’s additional training as a grief counsellor proves invaluable to her client families. She can be there through the entire process from that initial time of death, to funeral arrangements, to helping them work through their grief once the funeral is over. She loves every aspect of her job – and feels privileged to know she’s helping people have a positive experience, in what is often an emotional and challenging time.
Outside of work, Raewyn adores being a grandmother to her seven grandchildren, and also makes time for her other hobbies such as reading.
Leanne’s extensive background in classical music has seen her travel the world – but it’s here in Rotorua where she’s found her true calling. A professional flute-player, Leanne studied music at The Sydney Conservatorium and taught in London before shifting back to New Zealand with her husband. It was through re-training as a yoga teacher that she discovered an inherent joy in helping people – and it was this desire to serve others that drew Leanne to the funeral industry.
The mother-of-one joined the Osbornes team in 2017, and she has recently moved into the Administration Manager position. The job enables her to assist families in what is often their greatest time of need – an aspect of the role that she finds truly rewarding. Music is still a big part of Leanne’s life, and she enjoys sharing it with her 4-year-old son. After work, her afternoons are often spent jumping on the trampoline, or building Lego. (Her helicopters and aeroplanes are most impressive!)
In the weekends, Leanne and her family make the most of the Rotorua lifestyle – escaping to the Redwoods or lakes.