Our story

Performance Lab changes lives through fitness and wellness coaching. A pioneer in the use of monitoring technology, Performance Lab built the first commercial sports lab in the world 20 years ago, and since then has collected data involving tens of thousands of athletes and users at all levels. For 15 years data was collected largely in the lab; for the last five years it has been collected exclusively in the field using wearable sensors, providing Performance Lab with a vast amount of unparalleled domain expertise. Bringing together this unique perspective with sports science, coaching and technology to understand and formulate the correlations between data, activity types, and performance results, Performance Lab created the ARDA Coaching Engine.

Performance Lab has been using and refining its ARDA coaching methodology as the foundation of its corporate health and wellness services, with tremendous success. Of the hundreds of casual sportspeople and sedentary individuals we have trained for a half marathon, 90% of the participants reached the start line – and every one of them finished. These rates are triple the industry average.

The ARDA Coaching Engine was conceived by Performance Lab co-founder Jon Ackland, an internationally regarded exercise physiologist and sports performance consultant whose clients include world champions and world record holders across a number of disciplines. Including: Terrenzo Bozzone, triathlon; All Blacks, rugby; Team New Zealand, America’s Cup; and the New Zealand national triathlon, rowing and cycling squads.

Our senior team

  • Waynne Dartnall

    Chief Executive Officer

    After starting a number of businesses in his teens and twenties, Waynne has worked primarily in the IT and Telco sectors. He has been the architect and driving force behind some of the most successful network and systems management service offerings in New Zealand and the UK, establishing and growing new multi-million dollar businesses.

    Waynne has also founded, grown and sold a number of start-up companies, including Network Solutions, EMS Global and Bizo. Along the way, he has completed several VC funding rounds, and has received a number of technical and business industry awards, including the selection as a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

    +1 435 754 9446 (USA mobile)

    +64 27 445 0365 (NZ mobile)


  • Kerri McMaster

    Co-Founder, Chief Strategy Officer

    Kerri drives the transformation of unique intellectual property into a scalable and profitable business. Prior to the formation of Performance Lab, she worked in the health sector in the United Kingdom, leading to the commercialization of corporate health management programs that have been hailed as a benchmark within the industry.

    Kerri has an intimate understanding of the pre-requisites for world class performance and development, as she has won two World Karate Championships back-to-back.

    +64 21 221 4044 (NZ mobile)


  • Jon Ackland

    Co-Founder, Chief Science Officer

    Jon is an internationally regarded exercise physiologist and sports performance consultant with more than 20 years of experience in high performance analysis, prescription and motivation. He enjoys outstanding results with his athletes, with multiple world titles and international success across rowing, triathlon, cycling and America’s Cup (sailing) squads. Jon is the author of nine books on high performance and endurance training, two of which are used as University texts (the best-selling Power to Perform and Complete Guide to Endurance Training).

    In the area of sports performance technology, Jon is a prodigious serial inventor and has developed a wide range of successful training systems and products. An experienced sportsman himself, Jon is a former national rowing champion and Ironman triathlete, and has represented New Zealand at two World Ironman Championships.


  • Baruch ter Wal

    VP Product and User Experience

    Baruch has deep experience in both the start up and corporate worlds, which is the ideal background to lead the development of unique experiences with our product partners. He was employee #5 at a start-up focused on web-based psychometric testing, and later founded a successful digital/UX agency that served some of New Zealand’s most innovative businesses.

    Earlier in his career Baruch was an Associate with McKinsey & Company, and General Manager R&D for a business unit of Carter Holt Harvey, one of New Zealand’s largest companies at the time.


  • Matt Halstead

    Chief Technical Officer

    Matt has a PhD in experimental and computational neuroscience, a lead developer for Virtual Spectator for its first 3 years, research and development for Peter Hunter in the Bioengineering Institute University of Auckland for four years, followed by information systems and product analyst for Orion.

    Matt’s area of focus is on ensuring that with ARDA we have an architecture that is aligned with our requirement to manage big data in a super flexible modulated configuration.

    Matt is a rare technologist with combined expertise in bioengineering and construction of big data architecture and structure for real time delivery.

  • Aaron Burby

    VP Business Development

    Aaron has spent a number of years growing commercial operations for various technology companies, and has combined his passions for business, technology, and fitness to become a leader in the health and wellness technology space. He built out the health & wellness business for Misfit Wearables and then for the Fossil Group after Fossil acquired Misfit. In addition to business development, Aaron’s broad experience includes product management, business strategy, and partner programs across the globe.

    In addition to his professional experience, Aaron has a deep, fundamental understanding of sports performance, training and coaching. As an athlete and coach, Aaron has had over 20 years’ experience using training devices and platforms and has competed in over 18 in Ironman events around the world.

    +1 206 499 3089 (USA mobile)


AI and Machine Learning for Exercise

All of a sudden it’s trendy rather than scary to talk about artificial intelligence and machine learning. So in this post I’ll explain how delivering …

Read on

Software is becoming the wearable kingmaker

One of my favorite software innovations is the mouse. Nope, it’s not much of a hardware innovation. Devising a user interface and user experience that …

Read on

It’s a jungle out there

A lot of fitness wearable ventures are currently focused on delivering what I like to call ‘lab tests in the wild’. That is, they want …

Read on

Our TGE white paper and associated documents can be found here.

Contact us

Research, development and user testing is led from our New Zealand headquarters

NZ office +64 9 480 1422

NZ Postal Address
PO Box 34174,
Auckland 0746,
New Zealand

NZ physical address
48 Enterprise St,
Auckland 0626,
New Zealand

Market development is led from our US base

US office +1 435 754 9446

US address
14th Floor,
535 Mission Street,
San Francisco, CA 94105,


Are you interested in Software engineering, Hardware engineering, Biomechanical sizing, Physiological testing, Mobile respiratory analysis, GIS, Mobile development? If so we’re interested in you too. We only work with the best. If that’s you, please submit an application to careers@performancelab.co.nz for us to consider.