Professor Ian Spellerberg (Patron)

Ian Spellerberg photo by John MailardIan Spellerberg is passionate about New Zealand’s native plants and for the last 15 years has worked hard to raise the profile of New Zealand’s native flora. He has edited three books about New Zealand native plants and has written many articles for newspapers and magazines. He believes that local government should have a policy for using native plants only on public land. He was President of the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network from 2005 to 2009 and was a founding member of the Te Ara Kakariki Greenway Canterbury Trust and the Lincoln Envirotown Trust.

Ian is Professor of Nature Conservation at Lincoln University and Director of the Isaac Centre for Nature Conservation. His main research and teaching interests include the ecological basis of nature conservation and education for sustainable development. Previously he was Director of Environmental Sciences at the University of Southampton, England. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society, a Fellow of the World Wildlife Fund (U.K.), and has been made an Honorary Fellow of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ).

Ian lives with his Wife in a 100 year old farmhouse in central Canterbury. He has an ecological footprint of 3.2 ha. He is a very keen gardener and spends much of his ‘spare’ time either planting native trees or training people to train dogs to be Canine Good Citizens. Photo provided by John Maillard.

Craig Pauling (Co-Chair )

Craig_Pauling_photoOtumatua te maunga
Huritini te awa

Te Waihora te hapua
Te Ruahikihiki te tangata

Craig is a founding trustee of Te Ara Kākāriki and is the current Chair.  He is passionate about the protection and restoration of native flora and fauna, particularly as it relates to Ngāi Tahu mahinga kai (traditional food) species and practices, and has been involved in a number of ecological restoration projects across Canterbury and the South Island.  Craig has worked for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu for over 10 years as an Environmental Advisor and is also a member of the Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) Management Board representing Te Taumutu Rūnanga. Craig lives in Halswell with three tamariki, Mihiroa, Meihana and Tainui and partner Janyne. He currently works with Boffa Miskell and has significant experience in environmental management and policy, strategy and research.

Sue Cumberworth (Co-Chair) 


Sue has been involved in Te Ara Kakariki since 2008, initially on the then management committee, and later as a trustee.  With her passions for both farming and NZs native flora, fauna and landscapes, the Te Ara Kakariki vision was an obvious choice for Sue to be involved in.

She works as an agricultural consultant and facilitator, which includes supporting farmers to achieve good environmental practice and outcomes on farm within strong and successful farming businesses.

Whether camping, walking, tramping, biking, skiing or kayaking, Sue loves being in NZ’s wonderful outdoor environments.  She lives with her family on a small lifestyle block near Tai Tapu in Selwyn District, which she describes as a paradise now that they have a daily morning chorus of resident korimako-bellbirds.  This she says is a wonderful consequence of the native plantings by her family, neighbours and local community over the last 15-20 years.

Mike Bowie

Mike has worked in the entomology field at Lincoln University for 30 years on a range of topics including habitat manipulation, nature conservation and ecological restoration. He has been involved in many ecological restoration and invertebrate conservation programmes and published several scientific papers on these subjects. Since 1998 Mike has been involved with the Quail Island Ecological Restoration Trust advisory group and a Trustee. He has coordinated successful predator eradications of hedgehogs and rats on Quail Island and undertaken several invertebrate reintroductions. Closer to home, Mike has been involved in Mahoe Reserve restoration at Lincoln. His current research focus is on invertebrate indicators of restoration.

Mike lives at Lincoln with wife Sue and they have three boys: Matt, Simon and Ben.

Debbie Craddock (treasurer)

Debbie Trustee pictureDebbie moved to New Zealand from the UK in 2006 with her family and currently lives in Prebbleton. With a strong interest in all things natural, she currently splits her time between working in the complementary health field and caring for preschool children at home. Debbie is a keen home gardener and enjoys an active lifestyle in and around Selwyn. Being part of a community and giving back more than you take are important values to her and so she has always been keen to get involved starting with kindy and sporting associations, school as well as community and scouting organisations. She has always had a strong interest in finance and paperwork, and has been involved as either a secretary or a treasurer in many of the groups.

Johannes Welsch


Hi, my name is Johannes Welsch, I have been involved with the Trust as a volunteer and acting coordinator for the Canterbury plant out days for the past 4 years.

I am originally from Germany with a background in forest science and ecology. After having spent almost 2 years in South America working on social, agricultural and reforestation project throughout the continent I decided to study some more and New Zealand was my first choice to do that. Both my Master’s degree and current PhD topic focuses on native vegetation on Canterbury farms. And that passion for native vegetation got me involved with TAK.  So my current focus at Lincoln University lays in the field of agro-ecology, looking again at native vegetation on farms but from a sustainability, soil health and carbon point of view. That keeps me pretty busy right now.  To add to this passion, I love cross-country running (i.e., Luxmore grunt (part of the Kepler) or Routeburne challenge). All these things together made me love the wild native bush and the high-country of New Zealand. Therefore, it is an obvious choice to try and bring back a bit of native vegetation into the Canterbury Plains and be actively involved.

Johannes in news


Mark Sanders


Mark Sanders became a Trustee of Te Ara Kakariki in 2015. Mark started his ecological career in the early 1990s studying freshwater ecology, which led him into research on foraging ecology of water birds, then on to broader research on and management of flora and fauna of rivers and wetlands.  He has worked on a range of conservation management and research projects in New Zealand and Australia. Since 2006, Mark has worked as an ecological consultant which has seen him involved in a variety of projects throughout New Zealand. He gets great satisfaction from applying ecological knowledge to project design and implementation, and firmly believes in preserving the biodiversity that we already have as a priority, supported by restoration and enhancement. Mark likes tramping, surfing, mountain biking and anything that gets him out and about amongst our unique flora and fauna and outdoor environment. He lives on a small holding near Lincoln where, since 2006, he and his wife Kate have been planting, watering and weeding native plants – and enjoying an associated proliferation of birds, lizards and invertebrates.

Peter Joyce 

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Peter has joined the Trustees of Te Ara Kakariki in 2015, with an anticipation of retirement from traditional employment, and to assist local efforts to combat global challenges of climate change and to enhance local native biodiversity. Peter enjoys the local bellbirds, fantails, kingfishers, grey warblers, native pigeons and other birds; nevertheless, is looking forward to welcoming a more native habitat onto his land.

Peter and his wife Annabel are the owners/managers of Tai Tapu Sculpture Garden; whose mission is to support contemporary New Zealand sculptural practice and to enhance native biodiversity in Canterbury. The sculpture garden will not only try to re-establish a matai, totara and kahikatea dominated valley forest, but will also be a home for appropriate endangered and at risk Canterbury native trees and shrubs.

When Peter retires from the University of Otago, Christchurch Medical School and gives up medical practice, in September 2016, he will devote more time to protecting and enhancing native biodiversity in Canterbury. He recognizes that too much of Canterbury’s original native bush has been destroyed, and believes that the recreation of new areas of native bush from the Southern Alps to Banks Peninsula is vital to an appropriate future for Canterbury.  Peter is also interested in adding to our understanding of why some planted native species thrive and others struggle in Canterbury, as well as the variations in survival within species.

Pam Aldersley – new trustee

Pam cPam Aldersley is passionate about natives and is planting 1200 natives this Spring out in Springfield.  Pam has a young family and previously worked as a nurse. She has an MBA and is keen to take on the treasurer role for Te Ara Kakariki soon. 



Wim Nijhof – new trustee

Wim joined Te Ara Kakariki in September 2017. Originally from the Netherlands, he moved with his family to New Zealand in December 1999. One of the best decision he has ever made he reckons.

Wim works for the Institute for Environmental Science and Research (ESR) and he has a keen interest in conservation and biodiversity. He enjoys the New Zealand’s nature and has a special interest in birds. In 2012 he moved to a lifestyle block near Lincoln and started the transformation from an ex-dairy farm to an environment that can support native wildlife again by planting native plants. In 2017 he joined Te Ara Kakariki’s green dot programme. His was the 49th Green dot the trust has established.

Past Trustees

Cr Malcolm Lyall (Chair 2012 – 2015)

Web-Malcolm-LyallMalcolm Lyall is a long time resident of Selwyn District. Malcolm is the owner operator of an electrical contracting business, which he has established.

Malcolm has been actively involved in community and environmental organizations for many years and is in his third term as a councilor on the Selwyn District Council.

Malcolm holds the portfolios of tourism, economic development, heritage and the arts; he is a hearings commissioner and a member of the greater Christchurch urban development strategy implementation committee.He has a strong interest in environmental issues and the education and promotion of increasing environmental biodiversity and sustainability.

Frances Schmechel 2006 – 2014

Frances has always been interested in nature conservation and ecology. Her interest and knowledge of Canterbury native plants grew during her years as coordinator for the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust and when working on a project to assist Selwyn landowners learn about their local native vegetation. Together, with other like-minded people who were excited about supporting the idea of a network of native vegetation as stepping stones of habitat linking the mountains to the sea, she formed Te Ara Kakariki / Greenway Canterbury to support landowners and community groups to conserve and restore native vegetation and wildlife on the Canterbury Plains.

She currently works as a Biodiversity Advisor for Environment Canterbury working with the newly established biodiversity team to implement the Immediate Steps Biodiversity Programme (part of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy) and Canterbury Biodiversity Strategy. Originally from the States she came to New Zealand in 1992 as a Rotary Scholar to study Resource Management at Lincoln University. She continued with further studies on conservation of a threatened bird species (Chatham Island oystercatcher). She enjoys most anything to do with the outdoors and native plants and animals. She also volunteers to help with other conservation projects, mainly to do with birds and offshore islands, when she can.

Jason Arnold 2006 – 2013

Born and bred in the local area Jason’s involvement over the past 17 years in community, sustainable business and environmental issues continues through his commitment to Te Ara Kākāriki. His own native restoration on a small slice of the whenua adds another Greendot to the growing number of stepping stones across the Canterbury Plains.

Helen Chambers 2011 – 2013

I came to NZ in 1967. After bringing up a family I did a degree and then started dealing with NZ weeds! Did a lot of raising plants for DOC both in the Marlborough Sounds and on the West Coast before returning to Christchurch. I have been involved with community groups all my life first with Womens Health and then with the environment. We started the West Coast Blue Penguin Trust because penguins were dying around us from Dogs and traffic in 2006 and that is still going strong. I now weed and plant round the Foreshore in Governors Bay and up the Hurunui.

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