The Wellington Conservation Board has 9 members appointed by the Minister of Conservation. Find out more about the current members of the Board.

Dr Barry Wards of Upper Hutt (Chairperson)

Appointment term: 1 May 2014 to 30 June 2022

Barry is Principal Advisor Biosecurity HSNO for the Ministry of Primary Industries, based in Wellington. He has over 35 years’ experience in environmental and conservation advocacy and activity, particularly in Forest & Bird serving the roles of President, Executive member and Chair of the Upper Hutt Branch for over 20 years. Amongst other activities, he leads the Climate Change Focus Group advising the Upper Hutt City Council on climate change and sustainability issues and is involved in initiatives to develop stronger collaboration on conservation and environmental restoration effort across the Wellington Region.

Barry has a strong knowledge of nature conservation, indigenous biodiversity, pest control and the potential impacts of conservation activities on cultural heritage, recreation, tourism and local economics. He has a working knowledge of legislation and government/local body processes. A keen outdoors person, Barry and his wife are intrepid trampers, completing the North Island section of the Te Araroa trail in 2018/19.

Sara Arhaim of Wellington

Appointment term: 7 July 2020 to 30 June 2023

Sara is a Strategic Operations Director with a background in law and accounting. She is a risk and compliance expert, able to analyse proposals from a risk perspective, and has extensive work experience in government agencies.

Dr Esther Dijkstra of Carterton

Appointment term: 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2022

Esther is an environmental consultant running EcoAgriLogic Limited. She is passionate about making connections between resilience, sustainable management and good environmental outcomes, and sees the community as the driving force behind making the decisions for successful environmental outcomes.

Esther was a member of the Ruamāhanga Whaitua Committee, a community-led committee tasked to gather the visions and values of the communities in the Ruamāhanga catchment and make recommendations for water quality and allocation.

Originally from the Netherlands and having completed a PhD degree in Environmental Sciences she emigrated to Aotearoa in 1997. She has managed regional and national projects for the agricultural sector funded by Sustainable Farming Fund and DairyNZ. Locally, Esther has been working with the Mangaterere Restoration Society, a stream care group.

Esther has previosly worked as an Enviroschools facilitator, and is now very excited to be involved with the Wairarapa Pukaha to Kawakawa Alliance, which presents a huge opportunity for communities to work together positively, solving issues that matter to them, pulling together the threads of diverse experiences and networks to get things done. When not working, Esther can be found cycling Wairarapa’s gravel roads, or sailing the Hauraki Gulf.

Dan Elderkamp of Waipukurau

Appointment Term: 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2022

Dan has previously been chair and member of several committees/boards, and is familiar with New Zealand conservation issues, both past and present. He is involved with a number of conservation-related organisations, and predator and weed control projects. He is currently employed as a coach driver and part-time lifestyle farmer and is an avid tramper and occasional hunter.

Nicole McCrossin of Wellington

Appointment Term: 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2022

Nicole is a principal advisor in the Māori Agribusiness Directorate at the Ministry for Primary Industries. Her studies and career have been centred on the relationship between the Treaty of Waitangi and environmental management, with a background in the negotiation and implementation of natural resources redress in Treaty settlements. Outside of work, she spends as much time as possible outdoors, particularly tramping in the Tararua.

Nicole is also a student of raranga, having recently completed two years study at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Porirua, furthering her desire to learn about history, use, and, protection of New Zealand's plants. She is also a Crown representative on the Matiu/Somes Katiaki Board. 

Raewyn Moss of Wellington

Appointment term: 1 Spetmber 2016 to 30 June 2021

Raewyn has an environmental science background. She works at Transpower as their General Manager – External Affairs. She has experience in environmental policy, natural resource management, property and stakeholder relations.  She is widely experienced in the Resource Management Act, working with iwi and conservation estate issues.

Raewyn has been a Trustee for Community Energy Action (Christchurch) and the Te Waiau Mahika Kai Trust in Southland. She is a keen tramper having tramped widely throughout New Zealand and the Wellington Region. She highly values a healthy environment and access for recreation.

Annie Page of Palmerston North

Appointment term: 1 Jult 2018 to 30 June 2021

Anne-Sophie Pagé is an Otago Peninsula local and has grown up sharing her back yard with penguins and sealions. Prior to commencing her Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree at Massey University, she started her tertiary studies at Otago University with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Geography and Marine Science.

Her passion in flighting climate change and preserving New Zealand’s endemic species has led to many opportunities such as conducting climate change research on coral reefs in the Pacific as a Sir Peter Blake Ambassador, venturing south to the Sub-Antarctic Islands as an Enderby Scholar, fighting the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa and, most recently, working as a researcher on a penguin study in remote Patagonia.

She has represented New Zealand at global conferences and leadership events which have included the APEC CEO Summit, Ship For World Youth Leaders and the prestigious Harvard National Model United Nations. She is currently the advocacy coordinator for the Manawatū Forest and Bird Branch, and the acting president of the Massey University Wildlife and Conservation Club.

 Anne-Sophie has worked as a wildlife guide on the Otago Peninsula for the past six years along with being involved in the conservation efforts towards an abundance of New Zealand’s endemic species.

Jenny Rowan of Kapiti 

Appointment term: 18 August 2015 to 30 June 2021

Jenny has been involved in local government for 30 years, most recently as former Mayor of Kapiti Coast District Council, and as an Environment Court Commissioner for 16 years. She is widely experienced in matters relating to conservation estate issues, the Resource Management Act and related aspects of the Conservation Act, including extensive work with Iwi. Her current interests include restoration and enhancement of public reserves and DOC estates on the Kapiti Coast, including as a former trustee of Whareroa Farm and as a member of the governance body for the Kapiti Biodiversity Project.

Reuben Saathof of Palmerston North

Appointment term: 7 July 2020 to 30 June 2023

Reuben is a Construction Manager; he combines his engineering problem solving with his passion for conservation. He has strong skills in management, reporting, communication and leadership.


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