Rob Fenwick with a kārearea/New Zealand Falcon
Image: Ruud Kleinpaste | ©

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


Sir Rob Fenwick’s contribution to conservation is impossible to quantify. He is someone who changed the way New Zealanders work together and think about our natural world.

Date:  12 March 2020

The Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage paid tribute to Aucklander Sir Rob Fenwick who died today.

“One of Sir Rob’s strengths was his ability to bring people together – from the business world, Treaty partners, and farmers controlling possums, rats and stoats on their land to be predator-free.

“Sir Rob recognised the need to engage everyone in the conservation, knowing this was the only way we can reverse the decline of New Zealand’s precious indigenous plants and wildlife. He understood and encouraged action at a grass and flax roots level. If there was any sign of people  coming together for nature and the environment, Sir Rob was right in there.”

“Sir Rob was an inspirational and early champion of the predator-free movement, highlighting the benefits of a Predator Free New Zealand at every opportunity, both in strengthening communities and restoring the dawn chorus. The value of his legacy will increase as more and more New Zealanders trap rats, possums and stoats in their backyards, and local reserves, and as we control and eradicate predators in the backcountry.

“Sir Rob and his influence on conservation were everywhere. He was Chair of Kiwis for Kiwi and Predator Free NZ Trust, and a director of Crown charitable company Predator Free 2050 Ltd. He forged partnerships with the Department of Conservation, businesses, iwi, councils, philanthropic and community organisations. These partnerships continue to shape the future of conservation in New Zealand.

“He was a passionate advocate and change agent for more sustainable business practices, for reducing waste to landfill, for protecting the climate and for connecting people to work together for common goals.

“Sir Rob was a man before his time. My deepest sympathies are with Sir Rob’s wife Jennie, his children and the wider Fenwick family. New Zealand has lost a special person,” Eugenie Sage said.


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