Introduction

The Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board has 12 members appointed by the Minister of Conservation. Find out more about the current members of the Board.

Dr Heather Purdie of Canterbury (Chairperson)

Appointment term: 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2024

Dr Purdie is an Associate Professor at the University of Canterbury, who specialises in Physical Geography and Glaciology.  Heather has 14 years’ experience in conducting research into New Zealand glaciers and their response to climate change, and the implications of environmental change to commercial tourism concessions and recreational activities on conservation land. She is also a scientific advisor for the DOC Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom (LEOTC) programme at Aoraki Mount Cook.


Michael McMillan of North Temuka (Deputy Chairperson)

Appointment term: 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2023

Michael is of Te Rapuwai, Hawea, Waitaha, Ngāti Māmoe, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Huirapa, and Te Ruahikihiki descent and was nominated by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. He is a cultural consultant, with a background in construction. He has knowledge of RMA, resource consents, conservation acts, district plan reviews, iwi management plan development, cultural impact assessments, farm auditing, and restoration projects. He has excellent communication, consulting with both private and government agencies.


Courtney Bennett of Christchurch

Appointment term: 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025

Courtney’s background is in environmental and strategic planning. She runs a planning consultancy that specialises in policy and plan-writing, community engagement, and research; and has previously worked on national park-related projects in a technical capacity. Courtney has also published several academic articles focusing on best practice mana whenua engagement methodologies, and incorporating Māori worldviews and mātauranga into planning processes.


Euan Brook of Christchurch

Appointment term: 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2023

Euan holds a BEng (Hons) in Chemical Process Engineering from Canterbury University and is a qualified project manager working for Goodman Fielder Meadow Fresh in Christchurch. He is an outdoor enthusiast, devoting any free time from his young family to backcountry tramping, hunting, diving and photography.  Currently following a passion and undertaking research on geckos in the central Canterbury High Country.


Jane Demeter of Christchurch

Appointment term: 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2023

Jane has been involved in resource management in Canterbury at both governance, education, and community representation levels, with a current focus on land and water management. Her experience in offshore healthcare software development has given her a broad business background. Her involvement in community groups currently focuses on environmental awareness, advocacy, education, and predator trapping.


Eila (Isla) Gendig of Christchurch 

Appointment term: 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2023

Isla has been working on environmental and natural resource management topics for most of her career. She has extensive experience with conservation issues and government processes. She has an academic background in molecular biology, natural resources management and soil conservation. In her spare time, Isla loves to spend time outdoors with her family.


Joseph Hullen of Kaiapoi

Appointment term: 1 September 2007 to 30 June 2025

Joseph is of Ngāi Tahu descent and was nominated by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. He has skills in environmental management and advocacy, is a mahinga kai practitioner and provides strong cultural awareness. He is currently employed as a whakapapa researcher for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.


Distinguished Professor Philip Hulme of Christchurch

Appointment term: 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2024

DP Hulme is an experienced biosecurity academic. He has served on Biosecurity Advisory Committees for the UK and New Zealand governments, as well as Environment Canterbury. He has an excellent understanding of data and statistics, the ability to make evidence-based decisions, knowledge of the research landscape that supports conservation activities in New Zealand, and a sound understanding of governance best practice.


Rachel Robilliard of Southbridge

Appointment term: 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2025

Rachel is of Ngāi Tahu, Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki, and Te Taumutu Rūnanga descentand was nominated by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. She has a legal background with a focus on environmental, planning and natural resources law. She has experience advising on legal and compliance requirements for a range of environmental and resource management matters. She is also a member of the Kaitiakitanga Portfolio for Te Taumutu Rūnanga.


Richard Suggate of Diamond Harbour

Appointment term 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025

After a 30 year career working for Te Papa Atawhai (Department of Conservation) across Canterbury and  other locations, Richard brings to the Board a wide understanding of biodiversity, recreation and conservation operations. During his career, he established relationships with Canterbury papatipu rūnanga and many local groups. Richard is currently a member of a number of conservation, recreation and community organisations including co-chairing the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust. 


Puawai Swindells-Wallace of Christchurch

Appointment term: 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2024

Puawai is of Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Whātua ki Kaipara, Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Waitaha, Kāti Mamoe, and Ngāi Tahu descentand was nominated by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. She has experience in conservation operations, is an active advocate and member of her hapū and wider community, has a high level of cultural awareness, and is skilled in networking, advocacy, and bicultural communication.


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