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Appointments to Conservation Boards made

Appointments to Conservation Boards made

More than half the new appointments to Conservation Boards announced by Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage today are women.

Eugenie Sage announced 57 appointments to the 15 Conservation Boards across New Zealand.

“Conservation Boards are the link between DOC and the community. They help ensure their region’s voice is heard on conservation issues,” Eugenie Sage said.
“These appointments bring the number of women on the boards to 52 per cent and 41 per cent identify as Maori.

“I am thrilled to see such diversity coming across in the boards and congratulate each of the 57 people who are stepping up to represent their communities, 34 of whom are serving for the first time.

“I would also like to thank the outgoing representatives for their contribution to conservation in their region.”

The Department of Conservation re-opened the nomination process in March seeking a broader cross-section of members from the different communities each board represents on the Minister’s recommendation. A third of Conservation Board positions were open for renewal this year.

“The diverse range of appointees will bring a wide array of knowledge and skills to conservation management in the communities they represent.

“We want to encourage all New Zealanders to get out and enjoy our magnificent country. This year, boards will have a greater focus on promoting recreation opportunities and tourism on conservation land, and enhancing relationships with iwi and hapū.”

There were 280 applications for Conservation Board positions.

“This level of community interest in conservation management is outstanding and I want to thank applicants for their ongoing commitment to conservation in their communities,” Eugenie Sage says.

Conservation Board appointments took effect from 1 July. More information about Conservation Boards can be found at:

New Conservation Board Appointments

Northland Conservation Board
Three new appointments to the Northland Conservation Board.
Appointment: Ms Lydia DRAPER of Waipu. Ms Draper is the communications officer for the Marine Megafauna Foundation and brings many years’ experience of working in the marine space and fund-raising for the NGO sector to the board.
Appointment: Mr Taipari MUNRO of Whangarei. Mr Munro is a part-time teacher at Te Whare Wānanga O Awanuiārangi in Whangarei. He has extensive iwi links across Northland the Coromandel, and brings skills in Māoritanga, governance and environmental management to the board.
Appointment: Miss Jaycee THOMAS of Towai. Miss Thomas, of Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Hine, has a background in conservation and environmental management, and currently works as a water monitoring officer for Ngati Hine. She has skills in GIS mapping, and RMA advocacy, along with biosecurity planning and a strong cultural awareness.
Auckland Conservation Board
Two new appointments to the Auckland Conservation Board.
Appointment: Mr Fale (Andrew) LESA of Auckland. Mr Lesa is a youth advisor for UNESCO and has studied environmental management at the University of Auckland. He has worked on a UNESCO World Heritage project for marine biodiversity and climate change, and has strong environmental and conservation volunteering experience with organisations like the World Wildlife Fund. Fale helped bring about the revival of Waka Ama in South Auckland. He brings skills in social media and green technology, and a strong connection with Fa’a Pasefika and Te Ao Māori.
Appointment: Ms Nicola MACDONALD of Auckland. Ms MacDonald of Ngāti Rehua and Ngāti Wai descent, is a current member of a number of governance bodies, including Hauraki Gulf Forum, Aotea Conservation Park Advisory Committee, and the Maori Women’s Welfare League. She has experience in leading environmental programmes such as the Restore Rakitu and Bring Back Kōkako projects.
Waikato Conservation Board
Three new appointments to the Waikato Conservation Board.
Appointment: Mrs Melissa KING-HOWELL of Hamilton. Mrs King-Howell, of Ngāti Māhanga and Ngāti Te Wehi, has extensive leadership experience in the area of performance management, skill capability, and capacity growth. She has a personal style preference and is an ardent advocate for servant leadership. She has a wide and varied background which includes iwi engagement, risk management, community development and small business mentoring. She has also held conservation roles as Area Manager Hauraki, Operations Manager Waikato, and lead the Māori Focused Unit for Waikato Regional Council. Melissa is the trustee chairperson for her Pā and also holds a trustee role within Aramiro Station where she is engaged with Ngā Whenua Rāhui on a joint project with Waikato Regional Council in riparian planting and fencing of the Station's waterways.
Appointment: Mr Regan ROBINSON of Hamilton. Mr Robinson is a water resource engineer, with a detailed understanding of earth, water, and ecological interfaces. Through his employment, first with Waikato Regional Council and latterly with Tonkin and Taylor, he has experience in solving complex issues with rivers, streams and wetlands – involving both traditional and more innovative environmentally sensitive engineering approaches.
Appointment: Dr Ingrid STIRNEMANN of Hamilton. Dr Stirnemann has a PhD in landscape ecology and conservation and is currently working on a post-doctoral position in conservation biology. She has over 10 years’ experience working in conservation biology, including five years as an environmental consultant in the Waikato.
Bay of Plenty Conservation Board
Three new appointments to the Bay of Plenty Conservation Board.
Appointment: Ms Rachel PINN of Tauranga. Ms Pinn is a self-employed transport planning consultant, along with a Masters degree she is a full member of the NZ Planning Institute. Rachel has experienced in community engagement, strategic planning and procurement. She recently completed an appointment to the NZ Geographic Board through the Future Directors programme. Rachel has a passion for community and environmental outcomes and enjoys biking and walking.
Appointment: Dr Philip ROSS of Mount Maunganui. Dr Ross is a Senior Research Fellow and marine ecologist at Waikato University, and has extensive knowledge of Bay of Plenty coastal and marine environments and ecology. His strengths lie in the interpretation of scientific information and conveying science and conservation issues to a diverse public audience.
Appointment: Mr Hugh SAYERS of Papamoa. Mr Sayers is project manager for the Motiti Rohe Moana Trust, and has had a lengthy involvement in matters relating to the Rena disaster as an advocate for marine protection and the marine environment. He has a strong understanding of Māori relationships with the land and sea, and is involved in several Waitangi Tribunal claims in the Bay of Plenty.
East Coast / Hawke’s Bay Conservation Board
One new appointment to the East Coast / Hawke’s Bay Conservation Board.
Appointment: Mrs Abigail SALMOND of Gisborne. Mrs Salmond works as an ecologist in private practice, having previously spent 12 years as an ecologist in local government in Auckland and then Gisborne, specialising in wetland and restoration ecology. In the last five years, she has shifted towards RMA policy and strategy and applying ecological knowledge to policy development – for council initiatives around large-scale restoration, and education, and biodiversity incentives.
Tongariro / Taupo Conservation Board
Three new appointments to the Tongariro/ Taupo Conservation Board.
Appointment: Mrs Chloe WALKER of Atiamuri. Mrs Walker is a passionate advocate for geothermal activity and clean water. She currently runs two dairy farms alongside her husband and has a background in business development, commercial partnerships and marketing, with a strong understanding of public processes, policy development and tourism.
Appointment: Mrs Hinemoa WANIKAU of Turangi. Mrs Wanikau provides administration and governance servicing for Ngāti Tūwharetoa, and has a background in whanau, hapū and marae advocacy. She is actively involved in facilitating education, social services and other community events in the Turangi Tongariro district.
Appointment: Mrs Annette (Georgina) WINTER of Raetihi. Mrs Winter works for the Uenuku Charitable Trust and is an iwi advocate for communities on the southern side of Tongariro National Park. She is on the Ruapehu Health Network Inc as the iwi representative on a newly formed health team as a result of losing their local GP. She is part of the Ruapehu Leadership Group, on the Raetihi Town Revitalisation committee, and is an Iwi Project Manager for an Environmental Entity Development.
Wellington Conservation Board
Two new appointments to the Wellington Conservation Board.
Appointment: Mr Christy KIMBLE of Wellington. Mr Kimble is a passionate young environmentalist with a love for social media and modern storytelling. He has been involved in a series of environmental groups that have focused on youth leadership and community engagement. He is currently in his fourth year studying towards a post graduate degree in journalism at the University of Canterbury. He brings his enthusiasm and people skills to the Wellington conservation board.
Appointment: Miss Anne-Sophie (Annie) PAGĒ of Palmerston North. Miss Page is a student at Massey University studying veterinary science. She is the environmental advocacy coordinator for Manawatu Branch of Forest and Bird, is an experienced wildlife guide, and a published environmental writer.
Chatham Islands Conservation Board
Two new appointments to the Chatham Islands Conservation Board.
Appointment: Ms Monique HAGEDOORN of Chatham Island. Ms Hagedoorn is Animal Welfare Advisor - Southern Region at the Royal New Zealand SPCA and has recently relocated to the Chatham Islands. She has extensive work experience with native species and rehabilitating wildlife and has strategic leadership experience and in policy writing. She holds a degree in business communication and is currently working on her Master's degree in 'organisational transformation and change management - enhancing animal welfare in small communities'.
Appointment: Dr Peter de LANGE of Auckland. Dr de Lange worked for DOC for 27 years as a research scientist, and spent a large portion of this time researching the ecology, flora and vegetation of the Chatham Islands. He is now an Associate Professor of Environmental and Animal Sciences at Unitec and a Professor at the University of Sassari, Sardinia. He was the Loder Cup winner in 2017 for plant conservation work.
Nelson / Marlborough Conservation Board
Three new appointments to the Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board.
Appointment: Mr Ian ALACH of Takaka. Mr Alach is a self-employed Golden Bay small farmer and conservation consultant. He has experience consulting on possum control operations and practical land and environmental management. He will provide Golden Bay representation on the board, and has extensive links with the community – both conservationists and farmers. He has voluntarily been undertaking wilding conifer control on Molesworth (13 years) and more recently in the Mount Richmond Forest park.
Appointment: Archdeacon Harvey RURU of Nelson. Archdeacon Ruru has recently retired from a role as Iwi Liaison Officer for NZ Police. He is an Anglican priest and is the chair of Te Ātiawa Trust – his appointment to the board would bring a high level of mana and experience of iwi governance.
Appointment: Miss Aneika YOUNG of Nelson. Miss Young brings a combination of scientific, Māori context and community, experience in environmental research and monitoring, and conservation projects. She is affiliated to both Ngāti Rarua and Te Ātiawa, with a high level of involvement in iwi and marae matters. She is a young achiever who is well grounded in her local community and active in conservation projects.
West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board
Two new appointments to the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board.
Appointment: Dr Brian ANDERSON of Ross. Dr Anderson, glaciologist, has a wide range of scientific skills ranging from geography, hydrology, ecology, geomorphology and paleoclimatology. He has an intimate knowledge of the West Coast conservation estate as a tramper and climber. Dr Anderson is well known in the West Coast, alpine and mountaineering communities.
Appointment: Dr Jonathon (JC) CLEARWATER of Okarito. Dr Clearwater brings strong science and analytical skills useful for planning and analysis. He is connected to the community as a member of the Okarito Community Native Plant Nursery, West Coast Wilderness Trail, local Search and Rescue, and volunteering on the local rowi programme. His work in geothermal energy has given him experience working in joint ventures between iwi and energy companies and he has an awareness of cultural collaboration.
Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board
Three new appointments to the Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board.
Appointment: Miss Bethany BAKER of Christchurch. Miss Baker is a full-time Master’s student studying Natural Resources Management and Ecological Engineering at Lincoln University. She has a strong conservation and environmental ethos, and this is reflected in the numerous roles she has on university committees in that space. She has an understanding of environmental management, planning and policies, and has been involved in the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park Management Plan review.
Appointment: Dr Heather PURDIE of Christchurch. Dr Purdie is a senior lecturer in physical geography and glaciology at the University of Canterbury and has 13 years’ experience in conducting research into NZ glaciers and their response to climate change, and the implications of environmental change to commercial tourism concessions and recreational activities on conservation land. She is a scientific advisor for the Aoraki Mount Cook DOC education outside the classroom programme.
Appointment: Dr Benita WAKEFIELD of Christchurch. Dr Wakefield is a nominee of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. Dr Wakefield has over 15 years’ experience working in environmental management, and her PhD was in the field of Kaupapa Māori environmental health management. She has previously worked for DOC on Ngā Whenua Rāhui contracts in the Hawke’s Bay, and has taken an active role in the community and marae life, with representation at local, regional and national levels.
Otago Conservation Board
Four new appointments to the Otago Conservation Board.
Appointment: Dr Philippa AGNEW of Oamaru. Dr Agnew is a research scientist with Tourism Waitaki at the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony. She has a PhD in marine science, specialising in seabirds, and has extensive experience in environmental management, including maintenance, population management, spatial planning and conservation. She has detailed knowledge around protected species and Marine Protected Areas, and was a member of the South East Marine Protection Forum.
Appointment: Dr Rosemary CLUCAS of Dunedin. Dr Clucas is a nominee of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. She is a self-employed consultant ecologist, with a background in environmental management advocacy and cultural awareness. Her consultancy deals with climate change, biodiversity, in-stream flow surveys, and cultural values.
Appointment: Kimberley COLLINS of Timaru. Collins is a science communicator and conservationist who specialises in using digital media to engage people with conservation and the environment. She runs her own business and works part time for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition. Having previously worked with Forest & Bird, Zealandia Ecosanctuary, and other conservation organisations, she has a strong understanding of conservation at a local and national level.
Appointment: Mrs Tara DRUCE of Alexandra. Mrs Druce has a background in tourism public policy and research, having been a Senior Research Advisor in the Ministry of Tourism. Now living in Alexandra, she is a self-employed planning consultant, working on tourism, community development, recreation and heritage projects at local, regional and national levels. She is seen as holding highly productive and pro-active relationships in the community.

Southland Conservation Board
Three new appointments to the Southland Conservation Board.
Appointment: Mrs Claire JORDAN of Tuatapere. Mrs Jordan is a 30-year-old environmental scientist and planner. Her strengths in communication and facilitation will be valuable as the board begins the Fiordland National Park Management Plan review process. She has worked previously as an environmental scientist for Tonkin and Taylor developing environmental management plans for businesses, and as a policy advisor/planner for the Environment Ministry, the Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Southland, including work on the EEZ Act, processing large infrastructure projects under the RMA, and reviewing regional plans.
Appointment: Mrs Estelle PĒRĀ-LEASK of Bluff. Mrs Pērā-Leask is a nominee of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. She is a Senior Environmental Advisor at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu in Christchurch, a member of Te Rūnanga o Awarua in Bluff, a trustee on the Whenua Hou Komiti, and has been the Chairperson/Volunteer Coordinator/Native Plant Nursery Coordinator for the Bluff Hill Motupōhue Environment Trust, since 2008. She has a Degree of Environmental Management, has experience in pest control, native plant nursery, funding applications, governance, pest species translocation and monitoring, and annual native planting for restoration work programmes with Southern Institute of Technology students.
Appointment: Ms Shona SANGSTER of Stewart Island. Ms Sangster is a resident of Stewart Island and volunteer and former administrator of the Stewart Island/ Rakiura Community Environment Trust. She was also a community representative on the Southland Aquaculture Reference Group. She holds a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Auckland. It has been some years since this board had a representative from Stewart Island.

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