Lou Sanson, Director-General of the Department of Conservation
As current Director-General of the Department of Conservation, Lou Sanson has had a wealth of experience managing delicate landscapes across New Zealand. His early work was for the Southland Conservancy, working in Fiordland National Park and the Sub Antarctic World Heritage area. From here he went on to lead the development of Antarctica’s largest wind turbine project with a core focus on reducing fossil fuels. He has also had extensive impact in overseeing the deepest multi-national sedimentary science drilling project, before moving on to his time with the Department of Conservation.
Kerry Prendergast, Chair of the Environmental Protection Authority and the New Zealand Tourism Board
Kerry Prendergast is the current Chair of the Environmental Protection Authority, the New Zealand Tourism Board and New Zealand Film Commission. She is also on the New Zealand Conservation Authority, and previously chaired the New Zealand Endangered Species Foundation. She is formerly Mayor of Wellington (2001-2010). Her works have seen her take numerous wellington-based director positions. Previous to this she served as an independent midwife and was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2011. During her time as Mayor of Wellington, Kerry’s environmental focus was to ensure Wellington’s place in the future as the green capital of New Zealand. Through her current work she brings an extensive knowledge of environmental management and is working alongside ministers and government to address environmental issues in New Zealand.
Peter Cochrane, IUCN Councillor and former Director of National Parks and Head of Parks of Australia
Peter Cochrane has more than two decades experience of senior government and private sector roles in environment and natural resource management and governance, building conservation partnerships, collaborations and innovations. He is currently an IUCN Councillor, and consults on conservation and sustainability. He is also the director of four not-for-profit companies, Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Ecotourism Australia, Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute and Earthwatch Institute Australia. Peter was Director of National Parks and head of Parks Australia for the Australian Government from 1999-2013.
Eric Pyle, Chief Executive Walking Access Commission
Eric Pyle is the chief executive of the New Zealand Walking Access Commission. Prior to joining the Commission in early 2016, Mr Pyle’s background includes work in the energy sector, in environmental science roles in the public service, and in the conservation sector. Mr Pyle lives in Plimmerton with his family, and has a lifelong passion for New Zealand’s outdoors built through a childhood of tramping and camping. For Mr Pyle, enjoying public access to our outdoors is a core part of what it means to be a New Zealander, and he’s proud of the work the Commission does to ensure that access is free, certain and enduring.
Warren Parker, Chair of New Zealand Conservation Authority
Warren Parker is the current Chair of the New Zealand Conservation Authority. Formerly he was the Chief Executive Officer at Scion (The New Zealand Forest Research Institute) and Manaaki Whenua (Landcare Research). He has worked across the areas of tertiary education, science, conservation and industry. Holding a Masters in Farm Management and PhD in Animal Science, he has been a director of several technology development firms and is a current Director of Predator Free 2050 Ltd, Genomics Aotearoa, Quayside Holdings and Farmlands Cooperative. His philosophy locates education, innovation, sustainable management of natural capital and proactive response to climate change at the core of New Zealand’s long-term economic, social and cultural wellbeing.
Amanda Leathers, Senior Policy Analyst at World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Amanda is the Senior Research and Policy Analyst at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) New Zealand. She is responsible for ensuring WWF's campaign work is backed-up by high quality research and policy analysis. As a mother of two young nature lovers, she is determined to use her skills to protect the health of our planet and our treasures.
Robin McNeill, Editor, Moirs Guide to South and Outdoor Legend
Robin McNeill MNZM is an engineer who has a long history of advocating for conservation values, and the public's right to access and use public conservation lands for outdoor recreation.
Mr McNeill is on the board of New Zealand Walking Access Commission and was President of Federated Mountain Clubs (FMC) from 2012 to 2016. he was appointed to the Southland Conservation Board for 10 years. He is editor of 'Moirs Guide South' and author of the current edition of FMC's 'Safety in the Mountains'. Mr McNeill was elected Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand for his contribution to the application of engineering and technology in the community and a Member of the New Zealand order of Merit for services to Conservation.