Members of the NZCA
Image: ©


The NZCA has 13 members appointed by the Minister of Conservation. Find out more about the current members.


The New Zealand Conservation Authority is a multi-talented team of people from diverse backgrounds, for example, farmers, trampers, scientists, lawyers, tangata whenua, writers and tourism operators.

Members are appointed as individuals because of their expertise, experience and links with the community. Individuals do not act as delegates promoting any cause or organisation. Rather, members work by consensus within a team. The diversity amongst members brings together a wide range of knowledge, skills and concerns.

Edward Ellison ONZM (Chair)

NZCA Chairperson Edward Ellison
Edward Ellison, NZCA Chair

Appointment term: 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2023

Edward was appointed by the Minister of Conservation from the public nomination process.  He is a sheep farmer on the Otago Peninsula, an active member of Otakou marae and former Deputy Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, with experience in cultural advocacy, Treaty of Waitangi Claims negotiations, environmental management, policy development and governance.  He has previously served on the Otago Conservation Board, the New Zealand Conservation Authority, QEII National Trust Board, the South-East Marine Protection Forum and the Otago University Council. 

He is a qualified and independent RMA Hearings Commissioner with experience in policy, plan change and resource consent hearings for councils across the South Island.  He is chairperson of Otago based environmental consultancy Aukaha and the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu HSNO Committee, and holds advisory roles with the South Island High Country Forum (LINZ), the NZ Biodiversity Strategy (DOC) review and the Kāhui Kaumātua (EPA).

Edward is the NZCA's liaison person for the Chatham Islands Conservation Board.

Nicole Anderson

Appointment term: 1 June 2018 to 30 June 2023

Nicole is appointed in consultation with the Minister of Māori Development. She is the past Chair of the Northland Conservation Board and a trustee of Te Rūnanga Ā Iwi O Ngāpuhi. She is also the current Director of PHARMAC, Accreditation Council, NorthTec and Northland Inc, and a member of Northland District Health Board.

Nicole is based in Okaihau on a beef block and involved in a number of charitable organisations.  She has also worked on the Ngāpuhi negotiations process and owns businesses in the manufacturing and retail sectors.

Nicole is the NZCA's liaison person for the Te Hiku and Northland Conservation Boards.

Tāne Davis MNZM

Appointment term: 1 October 2018 to 30 June 2023

Ko Hananui me Takitimu nga Mauka.
Ko Aparima te Awa.
Ko Oraka Aparima te wahi kainga.
Ko Takutai o Te Titi te Marae.
Ko Takitimu te Waka.
Ko Te Moana a Kiwa te Moana.
Ko Atawhuia te Hapu.
Ko Whenua Hou te Motu o nga Tipuna. 
Ko Waitaha,Katimamoe, me Kai Tahu te Iwi.
Ko Tāne Davis toku ingoa.

Through the Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement Tāne Represents Ngāi Tahu on the NZCA.  He represents Ngāi Tahu on the Kākāpō Recovery Group, enhancing the Ngāi Tahu connection to Kākāpō. Tikanga, Mātauranga, Wairua, Kaitiaki.

Tāne chairs the Whenua Hou Committee, which was formed from the Ngāi Tahu Settlement. Allowing Ngāi Tahu to have involvement with the governance, and management of Whenua Hou.

Tāne has a life time connection to the Tītī Islands, in particular the island known as Putauhinu, now known as the Rakiura Tītī Islands. He endorses this connection by chairing the Rakiura Tītī Islands Administerring Body, which administers a group of 18 islands returned from the Crown to Rakiura Māori within the Ngāi Tahu Settlement.  It is this mahi Tāne is strongly connected to, involving Rakiura Māori with concentrating on the conservation values of their islands. Participating with pest controls, taonga species recovery programs, and enhancing the biosecurity and biodiversity of the islands back to their natural state. Maintaining tikanga, whakapapa, whanaungatanga, mātauranga, values with in the Tītī whānau community.

Tāne is a registered and supportive member of the Oraka Aparima Runaka.  He is currently contracted by Te Rūnanga O Ngāi Tahu as a Works Programs Coordinator for the Rakiura Tītī Islands.

Sally Gepp

Appointment term: 7 August 2020 to 30 June 2023

Sally is appointed on the recommendation of Forest & Bird. She is a barrister who specialises in environmental and public law, and has significant experience in legal and policy issues relating to conservation and environmental management.  She represented Forest & Bird in its successful Supreme Court challenge of a decision by the Department of Conservation to change the status of conservation park land in relation to the Ruataniwha Dam proposal.

She was involved in the development of the draft National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity and a review of the National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry. Sally is secretary of the Resource Management Law Association and is a frequent contributor to the Resource Management Journal. She lives in Nelson.

Sally is the NZCA's liaison person for the Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board.

Penny Hulse MNZM

Appointment term: 7 August 2020 to 30 June 2023

Penny is appointed in consultation with the Minister for Local Government. Penny was the Deputy Mayor of Auckland and has eighteen years of local government experience. She is Chair of the Auckland Plan Committee, Deputy Chair of the CCO Strategy Review Sub-Committee, and was appointed a Member of the NZ Order of Merit, for services to local government, in 2020.

Penny is the NZCA's liaison person for the Auckland and Waikato Conservation Boards.

Robyn Jebson

Appointment term: 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2022

Robyn is appointed from public nominations and lives in Okarito, South Westland. Robyn has extensive work experience in the New Zealand tourism industry, both public and private sector, Robyn has a very strong business background and in depth understanding of the tourism sector. During her time at Tourism New Zealand she chaired the Asia Marketing Group and was board member of many New Zealand regional tourism groups. Most recently she worked as a tourism development advisor in Timor-Leste.

Robyn is a keen tramper and outdoors recreation person. Considering herself privileged to have spent much time playing and working in New Zealand’s conservation estate, Robyn enjoys and is passionate about all the national parks. Her main focus is environmental conservation and protection, regional development and tourism and recreation management. She has an MSC (Hons) Resource Management and a BA Geography. She

Robyn has previously been on the NZCA (2005-2008) and Otago Conservation Board (1999-2005).

Robyn is the NZCA's liaison person for the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board.

Tony Lepper ONZM

Appointment term: 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2022

Tony Lepper is appointed from public nominations. Tony lives in Alexandra and has a strong background in local government as councillor and then mayor of Central Otago District Council (1989-2016). He is keen on tackling the wilding pine problem and issues around irrigation and land intensification.

Tony is the NZCA's liaison person for the Canterbury Aoraki and Otago Conservation Boards.

Robin McNeill MNZM

Appointment term: 7 August 2020 to 30 June 2023

Robin is appointed on the recommendation of the Federated Mountain Clubs. Robin is a ground segment manager for rocket and satellite space missions in charge of Southland’s space activities. He has a good knowledge of conservation, and conservation legislation, conservation strategies, and General Policies. He offers insights into the tourism industry and an understanding of iwi partnership; he is the Federated Mountain Clubs lead for Te Urewera part of Ngāi Tuhoe Treaty of Waitangi.

Robin is the NZCA's liaison person for the Souhland Conservation Board.

Tak Mutu 

Appointment term: 25 April 2021 to 30 June 2023

Tak is appointed in consultation with the Minsiter of Tourism. Tak, of Te Arawa, Ngati Whakaue, Ngati Hurunga, Ngati Pikiao, is the co-owner and director of the MDA Group, operating in the tourism and events sector as well as business consultancy. The parent company, MDA Experiences, is an industry leader for both luxury and adventure tourism, which has a strong focus on Māori Business Development.

Tak has spent his working life in the industry undertaking a wide range of roles from front line hosting and tour guiding to business development and marketing management. He is internationally known in the mountain biking community, and he is currently a member of the Tourism Futures Taskforce.

Wendy Nelson MNZM

Appointment term: 7 August 2020 to 30 June 2023

Wendy is appointed on the recommendation of the Royal Society of New Zealand. She is a botanist and marine ecologist, and has specialised in the study of marine algae, particularly the discovery and documentation of NZ’s algal biodiversity. Wendy has participated in a range of government panels, committees, and working groups, as well as national and international science bodies.

Wendy is the NZCA's liaison person for the Wellington Conservation Board.

Dr Vivienne (Viv) Shaw

Appointment term: 7 August 2020 to 30 June 2023

Viv is appointed from public nominations. She is the Director of Topajka Shaw Consulting Ltd and has had extensive previous experience in leadership governance roles. She has previously been a member of the Southland Conservation Board and the Whenua Hou Committee. She is an experienced researcher and has a Diploma in Te Ara Reo.

Maxine Shortland MNZM

Appointment term: 7 August 2020 to 30 June 2023

Maxine is appointed in consultation with the Minsiter of Tourism. Maxine is currently the Interim Oversight Chair of Te Mana o Te Tai Ao / Aotearoa NZ Biodiversity Strategy, a National Board member on the NZ Lotteries Grant Board, a member of the Board of Directors of Netball NZ, and a board trustee of Foundation North. Maxine has extensive experience and knowledge in community initiatives with pests and weeds eradication as well as working with RMA particular to cultural and heritage sights.

Maxine is the NZCA's liaison person for the East Coast Hawke's Bay and Tongariro Taupo Conservation Boards.

Puke Timoti

Appointment term: 7 August 2020 to 30 June 2023

Puke is appointed in consultation with the Minister for Māori Development. Puke is a young leader from Ruatāhuna with an intimate knowledge of traditional Māori beliefs and practices associated with the forest.

Puke is the NZCA's liaison person for the Bay of Plenty Conservation Board.


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