Date: 11 March 2020
“While we are dealing with an almost unbearable sense of loss we know we share this loss with many New Zealanders” says Jennie Lady Fenwick.
“Rob never lost sight of the importance of saving our precious native species. He was the strongest of conservation advocates. Rob always knew that action at a community level and genuine partnerships were the only way to make lasting change. He had an uncanny knack of pulling groups and agendas together to make things happen.”
Sir Rob instigated many conservation and sustainability movements. He was at the forefront of the Predator Free movement and in his final weeks publicly stated the need for urgent action to save our native forest and species from extinction.
DOC Director-General, Lou Sanson, a close personal friend, says: “I was lucky to be chief executive of Antarctica New Zealand when Sir Rob was Chair of the board. He was nothing short of inspirational, always enthusiastic, and massively influential. He didn’t shy away from speaking out about climate change, its impact on the ice shelfs of Antarctica and the possible consequences for New Zealand if we didn’t take action.
“Sir Rob was a conservation advocate of the first order.”
Sir Rob was knighted in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his contributions to sustainability, wildlife protection, waste minimalization, Antarctica and iwi development.
He was also awarded the 2015 Blake Medal, was a finalist for the 2016 New Zealander of the Year Award, and was inducted to the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame in 2016.
He is survived by Jennie Lady Fenwick, his daughters Amanda, Charlotte and Isabel Fenwick, his grand-daughter Ruby Smythe, and his daughter in law Rowhan Fenwick.
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