The late Dr Roger Grace - former Trustee and PATRON 1945-2019
Roger was a well known marine biologist and professional photographer. Roger was a campaigner for marine conservation in New Zealand and internationally. He played a role in many of New Zealand’s marine reserve campaigns and is a frequent contributor of articles on marine conservation to popular magazines. Roger was involved as a supporter and biologist for the Great Barrier, Tiritiri and Mimiwhangata marine conservation projects. Roger received the Queen’s Service Medal for public service in 2005. Roger served as a Trustee for 15 years and was appointed our patron from 2018 - 2019
Manuel Springford - Te Waha Māori
Te rarawa Ngapuhi
As part of an ongoing journey into te ao Māori Manuel is able to utilise mātauranga and tikanga to help assist the trust to evolve the connection it has between tangata whenua and the environment .
Manuel has been part of mountains to sea conservation trust for 5 years. His envolment came about through a campaign to help revitalise Te Reo Māori and its use . Working with hapū and iwi especially around the wai is a big part of the ongoing mahi the trust is doing Manuel along with others are able to help tātai all these elements together to build and uphold the mana of Mountains To Sea Conservation Trust and the mahi they are doing .
Dr Olivier (Olly) Ball - Science Portfolio
Olly is a senior tutor at NorthTec Whangarei, and teachs subjects ranging from ecology to conservation to the dreaded statistics. Olly is our current chairperson. His interest in ecology and conservationwas sparked when, as a child growing up in London, he found out that I was never going to be able to see such wonderful creatures as moa, huia and dodo, as every last one had been exterminated by humans, directly or indirectly. After leaving school in England, I followed the zoological pathway, completing a BSc Hons at the University of Canterbury (NZ), majoring in ecology and invertebrate physiology.
His PhD at Waikato University saw his studies focus on biological control of pastoral insect pests using endophytic fungi of grasses. After post-doctoral studies on endophytic fungi at the University of Tennessee and several years as a research scientist with AgResearch at Ruakura and Grasslands, I was able to rekindle my passion for plants, animals and their conservation when he took up his current post at NorthTec. Since his arrival at NorthTec, I have been lucky enough to participate in several research projects, including studies on freshwater invertebrate communities of northern Northland dune lakes. Olly thiks we have a stunning environment here, and thinks how lucky we are. That is why he is happy to support the amazing work of the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust.
Hilton Leith- Bussiness Portfolio
Hilton sees life as an opportunity to continually learn and change. Hilton has been fortunate to spend half of his working life free diving for rock lobster, paua and sea urchin. The balance was spent in real estate. He saw both of these as wonderful opportunities to learn about himself and his connection with his surroundings. Hilton is a PADI Rescue Diver and a knowledgeable businessman. He believes our future is linked to how we treat our environment today. Hilton has added value to the trust in the areas of financial processes and strategic vision.
Jean-Louis Ecochard - Funding Portfolio - Deputy Chair
Jean-Louis grew up in France at the onset of the digital age and found in technology the vehicle to quickly convert his ideas into new ways of working that transformed our world. His incessant curiosity led him to pioneer many technologies that we now take for granted: online banking, caller ID, internet access, global systems, B2B, digital trading, video conferencing, online advertising, and eHealth. Jean-Louis spent the last few decades pursuing his passion of creating digital innovations for good, accelerating the mission of the largest international nonprofits.
Jean-Louis now serves NetHope as Chief Innovation Officer leading The Center of the Digital Nonprofit, a social sector accelerator and the center of excellence for digital transformation in nonprofits. He resides virtually on the Internet @jecochard and physically in New Zealand where he lives sustainably with his wife and daughters, blending roles of husband, dad and visionary.
Matt Keene - Startegy and Communications Portfolio
Matt is born and bred in Whangārei. He has a bachelor of management studies from Waikato University and is a partner in a software development company. Matt is on several not for profit boards that focus on education, the arts and skills development for young people. He has many years of experience in the development and implementation
of strategic planning for not for profits. Matt has been on many EMR school trips withhis 3 daughters and has seen first hand how important and effective it is to make the education of tamariki about the environment and ecology an adventure and fun.
Geoff Butturini - Health and Safety Portfolio
I have had an association with the sea ever since I can remember. Being in, or on, the ocean is my second home. I spent seven years in the RNZN as a radio operator, but also qualified as a navy diver for a second skill. Apart from coastal fishery patrol boats, I served on HMNZS Tui (which is sunk off Tutukaka) and HMNZS Canterbury (sunk in Deep Water Cove). Both ships are now refuges for marine life and great dive sites. In 1973, while on HMNZS Canterbury, I was one of the volunteer crew that went to Mururoa Island to protest against atmospheric nuclear testing by the French, on behalf of New Zealand. The circle now seems complete with Canterbury continuing to be a safe place for marine life and my association with EMR. After I left the Navy I worked in communications for several years, until I decided my future lay in the aquatics industry. When living in Australia I qualified as a swim teacher, teacher of life saving and swim coach. I also qualified as a life guard and went on the manage an outdoor pool in the summer over four seasons. Currently involved with local schools doing WaterSafe and water awareness. EMR attracted me because it is fantastic to be able to share my love of the sea, and marine life, with people who have never experienced it before. I also enjoy the challenge of helping people to overcome whatever fears they may have about being in the ocean.
Arla Kerr - Privacy and Record keeping Portfolio
Arla spent her early years in the Hokianga and Whangārei. After living and working in Wellington and London, she has returned home to Whangārei where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. Arla’s childhood inspired a love and respect of the ocean. This was cemented in High School when she had the privilege of being one of the many students who campaigned successfully for the creation of the Whangārei Harbour Marine Reserve. Diving and snorkelling are currently taking a back-seat while she explores the shallows and rock pools with her kids. Arla balances work as a lawyer with her busy family life. As a barrister, she works with lawyers and clients nationwide in civil and regulatory litigation and investigations. She is a member of Kate Sheppard Chambers (a fully virtual chambers championing the promotion of women in the law, inclusivity and diversity). Arla has been behind the scenes supporting MTSCT since its foundation, and is now proud to be following in the footsteps of her father, Vince Kerr, one of the founding trustees of MTSCT.
Katrina Goddard - Marine Advocacy Portfolio - Chairperson
Katrina is a marine ecologist with over ten years experience working on fisheries and aquaculture management, policy development, marine protection, marine spatial planning and conservation management. Katrina currently works as marine ecologist consultant in Northland. Growing up in Northland, sailing and scuba diving, Katrina has always had an interest in the marine environment. She is passionate about marine science and ecology and working with hapū and iwi and other stakeholders around New Zealand to restore abundance and safe guard our marine environment for future generations.Katrina’s role on the Trust is to advise on marine conservation and fisheries management issues and advocacy and support the strategic vision of the Trust.
Vince Kerr - Science and Marine Advocacy Portfolio
Vince was a founding trustee. Vince is a biologist with a background in environmental education, forestry, horticulture and conservation management and currently works for his own firm Kerr & Associates, based in Northland. Vince is a strong advocate for marine conservation and played a key support role in the Kamo High School Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve campaign. Vince is the driving force behind our Trust marine advocacy projects and the website www.howto.org.nz Vince works with community groups to support local aspirations for marine conservation.
Senior Leadership - Poutokomanawa/Co-directors
Kim is the national coordinator for the Whitebait Connection Programme. She achieved her Open Water SCUBA Diving certification and surf lifesaving bronze star and medallion whilst at high school. She is a graduate of the Diploma in Environmental Management and Conservation at Northtec. Kim received the Golden Bay Cement student scholarship in 2005, which has helped fund her education and provided her with experience working within the environmental management industry. She has a National Certificate in Business Administration and Computing. Kim was a selected member of the youth delegates at the 2006 Digital Earth symposium on sustainability and is also a committee member of the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education, Northland Branch.
Samara Nicholas - MNZM
Samara was a founding trustee from 2002- 2019 . She was recognised in 2005 in the Blake Leadership Awards. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from AUT and is a graduate of Northland Polytechnic’s Diploma of Environmental Management. Samara founded the Experiencing Marine Reserves programme in 2001, and the EMR community guided snorkel days in 2004. She is also a graduate of Kamo High School where she was Head Girl and played a key role in the school’s marine reserve proposal and establishment. Samara is a PADI Dive Master. She is also the national EMR coordinator and a regular public speaker and metor for marine conservation projects. In 2018 she was honored as a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to marine education and conservation.
Whakamana te maunga Whakamana te wai He mauri o ngᾱ tangata Ngᾱ mea katoa he pai
If we look after the water from the mountains to sea, it will look after us. It is our life force.