The Originals

The originals – SITCo is Queenstown’s original snowboard and ski instructor training company, and we’ve been leading the way since day one.

We’re a community of internationally connected ski instructors, examiners and snow lovers. And just like you, our best days are any day we get to spend on the snow.

Train with the best

From the moment you arrive in Queenstown, you will be under the care and guidance of the highly experienced and respected SITCo trainers and examiners. Utilising the epic ski fields of Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, you’ll train towards your NZSIA Levels 1 and 2 for skiing or SBINZ Levels 1 and 2 for snowboarding. Level 3 qualifications are also an option.

SITCo graduates leave with an NZSIA qualification and the ability to work just about anywhere in the world doing what they love. The SITCo family is a big one, and whether you’re a trainer, trainee or friend, you can tap into our network of contacts at snow sports schools and ski resorts around the globe. And don’t forget to keep in touch because we love to hear where our trainees end up living out their snow dreams.

There’s a saying that goes,

“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Going by that logic, we haven’t worked a day since, well, forever.

What’s important
to us

Understanding that most of our students are young people away from home—maybe for the first time—we ensure we are here to guide and support our trainees on and off the mountain.

Everyone experiences new surroundings and new challenges differently. That’s why we are a hands-on team, and our duty of care is just as important as the quality of our training. We’re always available to help you navigate your new surroundings, whether it’s up on the hill, during daily life in Queenstown or as you prepare for your next steps after completing training.

Work towards your dream career in the snow sports industry.

SITCo’s graduates and instructors are found at ski resorts around the world doing what they love – and doing it well. We have worked hard to develop our well-rounded instructor programs that deliver the teaching and analytical skills required to become a world-class instructor. As part of our intensive instructor programs, we also include freestyle, freeride and racing options.

Every aspect of our training programmes is under our control, and our hands-on approach ensures every SITCo student not only walks away with the best qualification but having had the best time.


Our Story

Founded in 2002 by the two of the most dedicated trainers in the business, SITCo was established to bring professionalism, passion and fun to the ski training industry in New Zealand. 

Colin was impressed by the southern ski fields and soon undertook his NZSIA qualification, just as Gavin had done a few years prior. The qualification allowed them to see first-hand the opportunities that training opened up for both their competency and career opportunities.

Driven by a desire to determine their own career path (and never have to get a “real” job), Gavin and Colin saw an opportunity for a dedicated ski instructor training school on the southern slopes. And so, the Ski Instructor Training Company (SITCo) was launched and became the first ski instructor training school in Queenstown offering NZSIA, and later, SBINZ qualifications.

SITCo was shaped by Gavin and Colin’s love for high-level skiing and snowboarding and a desire to progress the quality of ski instruction within the industry.

With their consistently high level of commitment to the sport and boundless energy, Gavin and Colin have unsurprisingly been called upon to play a bigger role in what goes on behind the scenes within New Zealand’s snow industry. What began as an instructor’s qualification has led both Gavin and Colin to become NZSIA examiners, founders of SITCo, representatives for New Zealand at international forums, and authors of the NZSIA manual. They are more than participants in the ski industry, they are helping shape and innovate the way things are done in skiing, snowboarding and training.

sitco founder gavin

Gavin McAuliffe​

Owner & Director of SITCo, Senior Trainer

Gavin is a Kiwi whose ski career began on the Queenstown ski fields in the late eighties. By the early 2000s he had clocked up more than ten years of back to back winters between Europe, Japan, the US and New Zealand, with stints teaching at Keystone and Beaver Creek in the US. With a clear ability to help skiers identify and improve their technical abilities on the snow, Gavin became an NZSIA examiner in 1999.

Since then, Gavin has continually sought ways to improve his knowledge so he can help others improve theirs. Gavin became a senior examiner for NZSIA in 2007 and since then has increasingly become involved in the development of the ski and snowboard industry in New Zealand, having represented NZ at the 2011 Interski Congress in St Anton, and writing the 2019 edition of the NZSIA manual. Gavin served many years on the NZSIA Ski Committee & Board and still trains the instructors at Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and other ski resorts around New Zealand and around the world.

Gavin has a Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management. SITCo has given Gavin an avenue to become an advocate for a sport he loves at the same time as spending his winters on the snow with high-level skiers from around the world.

Colin Tanner

Owner & Director of SITCo, Senior Trainer

Colin was born in Scotland, however, these days he’s a fully-fledged New Zealand citizen. Truly dedicated to the sport of skiing, Colin has clocked up around two decades of back-to-back winters. During that time, he has gained his qualifications as a BASI trainer (British system), NZSIA trainer (New Zealand system) and the Euro Test (French system).

Arriving in New Zealand in 1995 with considerable skills and experience, Colin soon became involved in helping shape the development of New Zealand’s ski instructor training industry. There are few as dedicated as Colin and his track record of 28 winter seasons teaching at Coronet Peak and The Remarkables attests to this.

Colin cut his teeth on the Scottish ski fields while completing his LLB Law Degree at Edinburgh University. However, since then, his career path has taken him away from the courtroom and into the white room. Forging a strong connection with NZSIA, Colin has represented New Zealand at the 2019 Interski Congress in Bulgaria and became an NZSIA examiner in 2000. He is currently a senior examiner for NZSIA, a member of the NZSIA Tech Team, a member of the NZSIA Ski Committee, Ski Rep to the NZSIA Board and Board Member, and a co-author of the next edition of the NZSIA Ski Manual.

With a clear preference for winters, Colin leaves the Kiwi summers each year to head north to run his French ski school, TDC Ski in Val D’Isere.

Where we train

Located not far from the Southern Alps, Queenstown is a spectacularly beautiful alpine town on New Zealand’s South Island. 

Located not far from the Southern Alps, Queenstown is a spectacularly beautiful alpine town on New Zealand’s South Island. It is also a paradise for snow lovers with four major ski fields nearby and a few smaller club fields further afield. Often referred to as the adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown is a high energy town that inspires many to head out and explore an incredible natural playground. From the SITCo office in Queenstown, we welcome trainees and friends to come and experience something we have known for decades; Queenstown is an incredible place to live, ski and ride.

Coronet Peak

Coronet Peak is one of the oldest and most established ski areas in New Zealand. It has been a popular playground for skiers and snowboarders since 1947.

In recent years there have been multi-million dollar developments to the resort. With these new facilities and the most advanced snowmaking system in the Southern Hemisphere, if not the world, Coronet Peak is a ski resort of world-class standing.

Coronet Peak offers skiing and riding for all levels from beginners through to advanced off-piste riders. Coronet Peak is famous for its undulating terrain that creates a natural alpine playground.
Coronet Peak’s chairlift system has been updated over the years, so if it’s been a while since you’ve skied here you’ll now be enjoying high-speed express chairs over the entire mountain.

NZSki’s ticket system is linked to your online account, so you can check out your stats at the end of the day or the end of the season. For us, what makes Coronet Peak something special is the view. There’s nothing better than staring down your run and taking in the sublime scenery of the Wakatipu Basin, Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables.

The Remarkables

The Remarkables by name and The Remarkables by nature. When you look up at this magnificent snow-covered ridgeline glowing in the pink hue of a stunning alpine evening, the only thing that comes to mind would have to be, “that is remarkable”.

It was hard to ignore the incredible potential of the terrain on the other side of this impressive ridgeline. A ski resort at The Remarkables was created in the 1980s.

The Remarkables is a fantastic ski area that can be enjoyed by all levels of skiers and boarders. There are fantastic beginner areas if you’re still gaining confidence and building up your skills. There is also plenty of incredible park and off-piste skiing, including long open powder fields and steep and challenging chutes. For experienced skiers and boarders, we think The Remarkables offers some of the best runs in New Zealand.

There is always something happening at The Remarkables. Currently, there are plans to expand the skiable terrain, so watch this space.

Our courses

Ski Performance Camps

Take your skiing to the next level. A three or five-day intensive progression programme to advance your technical skills and confidence.

Snowboard & Ski Instructor Training

Develop your skills, find your tribe and spend a winter in Queenstown, one of the world’s best ski towns. Train for your Level 1 or Level 2 NZSIA qualification.

Take your skiing and snowboarding to the next level

Thanks to our partners


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