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Protecting our precious places

South Island Representatives

Marlborough and Nelson-Tasman

Tom SteinTom Stein

Phone: 03 574 2978 Mobile: 0274 453 890 email

Brought up in the Waitakere Ranges in West Auckland, Tom moved to Marlborough in 1996. He lives with his wife, Liz, and the youngest of their three daughters, Tilly, on a small block near Linkwater in the Marlborough Sounds.

In Auckland, Tom worked for the Auckland Regional Council Parks Service. In Marlborough, he has worked with the Department of Conservation, Marlborough District Council and private landowners in various roles, particularly weed and pest management. He has a wide range of practical skills and knowledge of the local environment.

West Coast

Martin Abel

Phone: (03) 753 3012 Mobile: 027 912 4179 email

Martin has lived and worked along the length of the West Coast since 1979, so he's almost a local. After a 35 year career covering most fields with the NZ Forest Service and then DOC, he and Heather returned to livein Harihari where they have a few acres and an old villa which seems to take up all of his spare time. Martin enjoys working for the Trust and partnering with landowners to protect biodiversity values.

North Canterbury

Miles GillerMiles Giller

Phone: 03 313 5315 email

Miles has a nursery producing both native and exotic plants, which he runs in partnership with his wife Gillian.

Born and raised near Rangiora, he is particularly interested in the many small-leaved shrubs that are so characteristic of lowland Canterbury. These plants are a feature of the couple's ecologically-based native garden.


Alice ShanksAlice Shanks

Phone: 03 337 1256 Mobile: 027 366 1246 email

After leading Protected Natural Area surveys of Cass, Craigieburn and Coleridge and then Mt Hutt and Mathias Ecological Areas in the 1980s, Alice fitted short-term botanical fieldwork contracts around the demands of a family and the family business in outdoor equipment.

She is now keen to bring her botanical skills to QEII. Alice is an active caver and has spent a lot of time under Mt Owen marble and the Charleston limestone.

South Canterbury

Rob Smith

Rob Smith

Phone: 03 689 7735 Mobile: 021 073 9447 email

Rob knows South Canterbury well having spent the last 25 years tramping, fishing and taking students into the region. As well as his QEII work, he is a financial adviser and a councillor of Aoraki Polytechnic in Timaru.

Rob lives with his partner Karen on a small block surrounded by farmland in rural Waimate and is a part-owner of a QEII covenant in the Marlborough Sounds.

Central Otago

Rob Wardle

Rob Wardle

Phone: 03 448 9519 Mobile: 020 4012 6483 email

Rob, has lived in Central Otago since 1992 during which time he has worked for Landcare Research, Landcorp Property Ltd and the Department of Conservation. Most of his work has been associated with the South Island High Country. He has an extensive knowledge of high country vegetation and land use. He lives with his wife Kate and daughter Annie on a walnut orchard at Galloway near Alexandra. Outside of work Rob spends time in the mountains and hills, tramping, skiing, kayaking and mountain biking.

Coastal Otago

Robin Thomas

Phone: 03 455 8312 Mobile 021 477 455 email

Robin has 40 years experience in conservation management around New Zealand including atTaranaki, Rotorua Lakes, Stewart Island, the subantarctic islands, and most recently in Otago. He has also worked on conservation projects in Japan, the Galapagos Islands and Australia, with an emphasis on using technology for pest and native animal species management. Robin is based in Dunedin and owns and manages his own protected tussock and schist tor block which contains a population of the very rare Otago skink.

Waiau Catchment

Mark SuttonMark Sutton

Phone: 021 540 814 email

Mark is a born and bred Southlander and his father, Roger Sutton, was the first QEII representative in the region.

As well as being QEII rep for the Waiau River catchment in Southland, Mark runs the field operations of the Waiau Fisheries and Wildlife Habitat and Enhancement Trust which funds habitat improvement within the Waiau River catchment as part of the compensation settlement for the Manapouri power scheme.

He was formerly a field officer for the Southland region of Fish and Game New Zealand for some 28 years.


Jesse Bythell

Phone: 03 225 7300 or 020 400 32109


Jesse moved from Christchurch to Southland in 2005 and has never looked back. Since 2008 she has assisted Environment Southland with its Biological Control of Weeds Programme and has carried out threatened plant surveys and monitoring work for the Department of Conservation. When not clambering around after bugs and interesting plants Jesse enjoys tramping, horse riding, gardening, dog training, and playing the banjo. 

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