Authority members, June 2019. Absent: Nicole Anderson and Gerry McSweeney.

Image: Lisa McLennan | DOC


Find out about the current members of the NZCA.


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.

Members are:

Edward Ellison ONZM (Chairperson)Nicole Anderson | David Barnes | Mark BroughMick CloutTāne Davis MNZM | Robyn JebsonRauru KirikiriGerry McSweeney | Jan Riddell | Tony LepperDame Kerry Prendergast | Tania Simpson

Edward Ellison ONZM

NZCA Chairperson Edward Ellison
Edward Ellison

Appointment term: 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020

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).

Nicole Anderson

Appointment term: 1 June 2018 to 30 June 2020

Nicole is appointed in consultation with the Minister of Maori Development. She is chair of Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail Trust, past chair of the Northland Conservation Board and a proxy trustee to Te Rūnanga Ā Iwi O Ngāpuhi. Current director of PHARMAC and Northland Inc, Nicole also works supporting economic development opportunities in Northland for the Ministry for Primary Industries.

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.

David Barnes

Appointment term: 1 June 2014 to 30 June 2020

David Barnes is an avid tramper who lives in Lower Hutt. He is a member of the Hutt Valley Tramping Club, a life member of the Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club and a longstanding member of the executive of Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand (FMC).

As well as being FMC’s nominee on the Authority, he is its nominee on the New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa. He has previously been a member of the Otago Conservation Board, and volunteered as a Land Search and Rescue search manager and a Mountain Safety Council bushcraft instructor.

David works for ACC, dabbles in writing and enjoys fine whisky. His favourite National Park is Mount Aspiring, although he’s had some pretty good times in most of them.

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

Mark Brough

Appointment term: 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020

Mark Brough is appointed from public nominations. He brings rural sector perspectives, significant game hunting experience, as well as local authority knowledge to the Authority.

Mark farms sheep and beef in the King Country with his wife Felicity. Prior to the NZCA he was a member and chair of the Waikato Conservation Board, and was a member of the New Zealand Game Animal Council. Mark has extensive commercial and recreational game hunting experience.

Mark enjoys natural habitat restoration including fencing off and planting waterways on his/their farm to create suitable habitat for native birds and fish. He also has a keen interest in early Māori history.

Mark has hunted and tramped extensively in New Zealand. His favourite area is Lyell Glacier, headwaters of the Rakaia river.

Mark is the NZCA's liaison person for the AucklandTaranaki/Whanganui and Bay of Plenty Conservation Boards.

Mick Clout

Appointment term: 18 August 2011 to 30 June 2020

Mick Clout is emeritus professor of conservation ecology at the University of Auckland, where he has been an academic since 1993. He was nominated to the NZCA by the Royal Society of New Zealand, of which he is an elected Fellow.

Mick has longstanding interests in the ecology and conservation of New Zealand birds and in the behaviour and management of invasive mammals. He led the international SSC/IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group from 1993-2008, chaired the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee from 2005-2013, and has chaired the Kākāpō Recovery Group since 1995.

Mick lived in Nelson for several years and has close connections with that area and with the Waikato. His favourite national parks are Nelson Lakes and Abel Tasman.

Mick is the NZCA's liaison person for the Waikato Conservation Board.

Tāne Davis MNZM

Appointment term: 1 October 2018 to 30 June 2020

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.

Robyn Jebson

Appointment term: 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020

Robyn Jebson is appointed from public nominations and lives in Okarito, South Westland.

She has an MSC (Hons) Resource Management and a BA Geography.

With 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.

Robyn has previously been on the NZCA (2005-2008) and Otago Conservation Board (1999-2005) and is now the NZCA’s liaison person for the Nelson Malborough Conservation Board.

Rauru Kirikiri

Appointment term: 1 June 2014 to 30 June 2020

Rauru is appointed by the Minister of Conservation, in consultation with the Minister of Māori Affairs. He is a Wellington-based consultant specialising in a range of Māori-related issues including policy development, hui facilitation, strategic planning, cultural support, environmental management and Treaty of Waitangi claims negotiations. He is also a qualified resource consents hearings commissioner under the RMA.

His career has spanned lecturing at the University of Auckland, Ministry of Foreign Affairs overseas postings, Department of Māori Affairs restructuring, State Services Commission “trouble shooting” and Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research business development. Current membership of the Council of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi at Whakatāne; the Advisory Board of the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Food, Energy and Environment at Otago University; and the board of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Wellington round out his resume.

Rauru is a fluent speaker of Māori.

Rauru is the NZCA's liaison person for the East Coast/Hawkes Bay Conservation Board.

Tony Lepper

Appointment term: 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020 

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 Otago Conservation Board.

Gerry McSweeney

Appointment term: 18 August 2011 to 30 June 2020

Dr Gerry McSweeney is a biologist, managing director and co-owner of Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki (West Coast) and Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass (Canterbury) that includes Cora Lynn Station Pastoral Lease and Nature Reserve.

Dr McSweeney has been a member of the Nature Heritage Fund since its inception in 1990, and is a former president (2001-2005), executive member (2005-2008), and conservation ambassador (since 2011) of the Royal Forest and Bird Society of New Zealand. He is appointed on the recommendation of Forest and Bird.

He was a member of the South Westland Environment and Community Advisory Group (1990-1995) and chair of the Native Forest Action Council in Christchurch (1974-1979).

Dr McSweeney and his wife Anne Saunders live at Lake Moeraki near Haast in South Westland. He is a keen kayaker, tramper and fisherman.

Dr McSweeney has a BSc (Hons) in Botany, PhD in High Country Plant Ecology and Range Management, and Honorary Doctorate in Ecology. He received the NZ Government Biodiversity Award in 2001 and Loder Cup in 2003 for services to NZ botany.

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

Dame Kerry Prendergast

Appointment term: 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020

Kerry brings a wealth of experience to the Authority. She is currently Chair of the Environmental Protection Authority, New Zealand Tourism Board and the NZ Film Commission. She is also a director of Oceania Healthcare Ltd, Compass Health PHO, and NZ China Council.

Kerry is a Board member of the Wellington Phoenix Football Club, Advisory Council on the Employment of Women, and the NZ-US Council Advisory Board.  She is a Trustee of the New Zealand Community Trust, Wellington Free Ambulance, National Army Museum, and the Victoria University Foundation.  She is also Patron of Mary Potter Hospice and Wellington High Performance Aquatic.

She is a Distinguished Alumni from Victoria University of Wellington and was awarded a CNZM in 2011 for her services to local government, and a DNZM in 2019 for services to governance.

Kerry was first elected as a Councillor in 1986, spent six years as Deputy Mayor of Wellington, and in 2001 was elected Mayor of Wellington, a position she held for three terms until 2010. During that time, she took a great interest in promoting the interests of Wellington’s tourism and commercial businesses. She gained an MBA from Victoria University in 2003. Before her mayoralty Kerry was an independent midwife for 25 years.

Kerry is the NZCA's liaison person for the Tongariro Taupo and Chatham Islands Conservation Board.

Jan Riddell

Appointment term: 7 March 2013 to 30 June 2020

Jan is appointed in consultation with the Minister of Local Government. She is a sheep farmer and served as an Environment Southland councillor, from 1989 to 1995 and again from 2010 to 2016.

Jan served 11 years on the Southland Conservation Board in the 1990s/early 2000s and was chair for 8 of those years.

She is the planner for the Waiau Fisheries and Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Trust on a part-time basis and chairs the Waiau Working Party.

In the past she has done contract planning and policy work for the Southland Fish and Game Council. She is also chair of the Nature Heritage Fund Committee.

Jan is the NZCA's liaison person for the Southland Conservation Board.

Tania Simpson

Appointment term: 1 October 2018 to 30 June 2020

Ngāi Tahu, Ngā Puhi, Tainui
Master of Mātauranga Māori, B.A Māori, AFInstD

Tania is committed to undertaking roles that improve outcomes for Māori and support the Treaty relationship.  She designed and delivered the Iwi Environmental Management programmes that ran through Te Wananga o Aotearoa for over 10 years.  She has also been involved in a range of environmental projects and is a member of the Deep South National Science Challenge governance group.

Tania is a Director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Tainui Group Holdings, Ngāi Tahu Tourism and Global Women.  She is a member of the Waitangi Tribunal and an accredited fellow of the NZ Institute of Directors.  She recently established Moko Club New Zealand to assist Māori children to break intergenerational cycles of poverty.

Tania is founding director of Kōwhai Consulting, Chair of Radio Maniapoto, Trustee of Waitangi National Trust and a founding trustee of Tui Trust.  She has previously been a director of Mighty River Power, AgResearch and was the Deputy Chair of Landcare Research.  She is a published author of The Last Maopo.  Tania is an alumna of Waikato University and Te Wananga o Raukawa.  She also studied Negotiations at Harvard Law School.

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