Learn about members of the Taranaki/Whanganui Conservation Board.

Mathew Vujcich

Appointment term: 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020

Mr Vujcich has over 30 years involvement in local and regional government. He has experience in parks and recreation management and has expertise in biodiversity restoration and pest eradication projects. He has a strong personal interest in integrating farming and sustainability issues and currently farms in Inglewood. 

Vicky Dombroski of Waitara

Appointment term: 1 May 2014 to 30 June 2019

Ms Dombroski has over 20 years’ experience in management and leadership. She has an extensive background working with boards, councils and committees in the local community. Her career in economic, community, tourism and environmental development along with her extensive networks and passion for Taranaki and its people, give her an ideal background for a role on the Taranaki/Whanganui Conservation Board. Her outdoor recreation interests are monitoring the health of the sea and local reefs, kayak fishing, horse riding, and tramping. She is of mixed indigenous South American, English, Cornish and German.

Novena McGuckin of Whanganui

Appointment term: 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021

Novena McGuckin has over 15 years of Governance and Management experience and works for Te Tumu Paeroa, who administer over 2000 Land Blocks. Novena travels extensively, meeting with owners supporting them to achieve their aspirations for their land.

Novena is a Trustee on the Whanganui Lands Settlement Trust and is a member of other various  land trusts in the Whanganui Region.

She actively supports conservation and is an advocate of protecting indigenous ecosystems on Māori land and encouraging private land owners in New Zealand to protect special natural and cultural features on their land with open space covenants particularly with Ngā Whenua Rāhui.

Novena enjoys outdoor recreation and walking. Annually canoeing all the Whanganui River, researching and visiting historical sites.

She is of Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngati Patutokotoko, Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Ngāti Maniapoto Iwi.

Liana Poutu

Appointment term: 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2019

Ms Poutu has a legal background with a strong focus on Treaty of Waitangi, Treaty Settlement negotiations, Māori land and Māori governance issues.  She has represented iwi groups before the Māori Land Court and Waitangi Tribunal, specifically in the Wai 262 Flora and Fauna, Aquaculture, Foreshore & Seabed, Management of Petroleum, and National Park inquiries.  She is currently the Chair of Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust (the post settlement governance entity responsible for managing Te Atiawa’s Treaty Settlement).  Ms Poutu also holds a number of other governance roles including National Science Challenge Sustainable Seas Kāhui Advisory Group Chair.  She is of Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Whanganui and Maniapoto descent.

Dr Brendon Puketapu

Appointment term: 21 November 2013 to 30 June 2019

Dr Puketapu is involved with hapū and iwi matters relating to conversation lands and national park areas in the Whanganui region. He has experience in management and governance roles with not-for-profit, private sector and public sector organisations. He has a working background in public policy, Treaty claim negotiations, organisational change, governance and management. He is currently a member of the board for Te Atihau Whanganui Incorporation and he is the chair for Te Atihau Charitable Trust. He is of Whanganui Te Atihaunui a Paparangi, Ngāti Rangi, Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngā Ruahinerangi, Taranaki nui tonu, Te Atiawa descent.

Donald (Don) Robinson

Appointment term: 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020

Don Robinson is a director on the Atihau Whanganui Incorporation, chair of the Pipiriki Incorporation and Ngā Poro Waimarino Forest Trust. Don has sound experience in governance, leadership, environmental management and has an understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi relating to conservation outcomes. He has a personal passion for the conservation and preservation of flora and fauna on both conservation and private lands; including involvement with Ngā Whenua Rahui, DOC, regional and district councils to ensure positive outcomes in these areas. He is of Ngati Uenuku, Ngati Kurawhatia, Ngati Rangi o te Manganui o te Ao, Atihaunui a Paparangi, Nga Rauru descent.

Dr Robert Shaw of Opunake

Appointment term: 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2019

Dr Shaw is an experienced member of city and regional councils. He was as civil servant for 18 years in Wellington in several ministries, including the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology. He is a professor in the School of Business at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies and occasionally teaches at the Western Institute of Technology Taranaki. His current research draws upon continental philosophy and relates to social and environmental issues. He is active in conservation issues in South Taranaki, and is a member of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand and the Royal Society of New Zealand. 

Sam Tamarapa of Waitara

Appointment term: 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021

Mr Tamarapa is an iwi communications officer for the Taranaki Regional Council. He has a broad knowledge of public policy, legislation, the Treaty of Waitangi, and Board governance. He has experience in environmental management and has a strong personal interest in native freshwater species protection. His outdoor recreation interests are fishing, diving, hunting and sport. He is of Ngati Ruanui, Nga Rauru, Te Ati Haunui-a-Paparangi, Ngati Maru, Te Atiawa, Taranaki Iwi and Te Arawa iwi.

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