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Kevin Smith – a mighty kahikatea has fallen

17 August 2005 - Wellington

Media release for immediate use

Kevin Smith – a mighty kahikatea has fallen

Forest and Bird today expressed its deep sadness at the sudden death of Kevin Smith, one of New Zealand’s leading conservationists. Kevin Smith was Conservation Director of the Society prior to working as an advisor to Conservation Ministers Chris Carter and Sandra Lee.

“Kevin Smith was an important leader in the conservation movement and a good friend to many of us. We are all deeply saddened by his unexpected death,” said Forest and Bird’s Conservation Manager Kevin Hackwell.

“The protection of South Island West Coast forests, the creation of Paparoa National Park and the great improvements in New Zealand’s biosecurity system owe much to his persistent and effective advocacy,” he said.

“All our thoughts go out to his partner Tania and his children Rachel, Danika and Carl,” he said.

Kevin Smith started his conservation career in 1976 while studying for a doctorate amongst the kahikatea forests of the West Coast. Seeing the ruin of kahikatea forests through clearfelling, he abandoned his studies to become a full time conservation campaigner and funded it by working in pest control.

Kevin Smith became Forest and Bird’s first field officer in 1984 and Conservation Director of Forest and Bird in 1989. He left in 2000 to become an advisor to then Minister of Conservation Sandra Lee.


An obituary will be available on Forest and Bird’s website.

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