Our Kea Konvention speakers come from very diverse backgrounds and organisations around the country. What brings them all together, is their fascination for kea and a commitment to kea conservation. As such we are very pleased to welcome the following speakers, all specialists in their field, to the first day of our Kea Konvention (Saturday 29th April):
Nigel Harris (Ngai Tahu), Lou Sanson (Director General DOC), Pete Neale (Chair APWT), Peter Wilson and Jan Finlayson (President and Vice President FMC), Tamsin Orr-Walker (Chair KCT)
Keynote Speaker - Peter Hillary (www.peterhillary.com)
The Hillary family is synonymous with mountains so who better to be our Keynote speaker than Peter Hillary, a man with a passion for our mountains and a passion for kea! Like his father, the late Sir Edmund Hillary, who made the first ascent of Mt Everest with his climbing partner Tenzing Norgay in 1953, Peter has summited Everest and forged a new route to the South Pole. Sir Ed also built schools and hospitals for the people of Everest, a legacy that lives on today through the Himalyan Trust and other foundations. Less well known however, is the Hillary's family history in parks, conservation, outdoor recreation and walking trails.
"From the formation of Sagarmatha/Mt Everest National Park in Nepal to gifting an iconic coastal headland on the wild West Coast of Auckland in New Zealand, it is a history that we are very proud of.
At the beginning of the 20th Century my great grandmother gave King’s School in Auckland their playing fields and bush reserve for the use of the students. My maternal grandfather, Jim Rose, went on to gift the iconic West Coast headland, Te Waha Point, to the Waitakere Regional Park and the people of New Zealand. Then in 2010 the Hillary Trail was established along the dramatic coastline of the West Coast of Auckland. The trail is 70 kilometres, or 40 miles, long and walkers can gain a little of the inspiration that Ed Hillary himself gained while marching along the trails through the thick temperate rainforest and along the rugged coastline.
My grandfather Jim Rose was on the board of Tongariro National Park which was New Zealand’s first national park and the world’s fourth. Nearby the Hillary Outdoors Education Centre runs outdoor programmes for people, young and old, who want to take advantage of the great outdoors. www.hillaryoutdoors.co.nz. "
It’s great to have Peter on board with the Kea Conservation Trust and our South Island mountain communities, helping now to raise awareness of the plight of the world’s only mountain parrot, our unique and charismatic kea!
Department of Conservation/KCT Science Advisor
Josh completed his MSc in Kea nest survival and population biology in 1999. Since then he has worked for the Department of Conservation (DoC), on a wide range of projects including Chatham Island Tui population research, Okarito brown kiwi recovery, North Island brown kiwi recovery at Moehau Kiwi Sanctuary, Huttons Shearwater research, Wandering Albatross population research on the Auckland and Antipodes Islands and research on the impacts of aerial 1080 on tomtits. Josh continues to work extensively with monitoring of wild kea.
Dr Nigel Adams
KCT Science Advisor/Trustee/ Unitec NZ
Nigel is co-founder of the KCT and an animal physiologist specializing in ornithology presently employed at Unitec, Auckland, as Senior Lecturer on the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSci). Previous to this position Nigel held research and teaching positions at several Universities in South Africa and in Israel. Current research includes examining stress response in endemic New Zealand birds such as Grey Faced Petrel and Saddleback and surveying kea populations in Borland, Fiordland and Arthur’s Pass, Canterbury.
KCT Chair/Trustee/Community Engagement Coordinator
Tamsin is co-founder of the KCT and has been the Chair since its inception. Tamsin manages the Trusts day to day operations and coordinates the research projects. She continues to be involved in field work and advocacy in the South Island and developed the 2010 Kea Husbandry Manual (endorsed by DOC) aimed at increasing the captive management standards of all kea in NZ facilities. Tamsin is also Community Engagement Coordinator for the lower half of the South Island.
KCT Conflicts Coordinator/Community Engagement Coordinator
Andrea has worked on a number of off-shore islands, the back-country, the Sub-Antarctics and Papua New Guinea during her conservation work. Her work has ranged from working with volunteers, intensive species management, ecological monitoring and surveying, and pest management. She worked in the field with kea during the 1990’s at Nelson Lakes. Andrea also has project management, community and iwi liaison experience and experience in conflict resolution.
Dr Lorne Roberts
KCT Science Advisor/ Unitec NZ
Lorne is co-founder of the KCT. He is a Senior lecturer on the Certificate in Animal Management (Captive Wild Animals) and Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSci) at Unitec, Auckland. He also holds a position at Auckland Zoo as liaison for the Captive Wild Animal programme and is President of the Auckland Zoological Society (AZS) – the oldest society in New Zealand (1929). Previous research includes monitoring of stress responses in captive Sea lions at Auckland Zoo. Lorne has also been involved in population monitoring of kea at Nelson Lakes (2009 -2011).
KCT Field Coordinator/DOC
Corey was bitten by the ‘kea bug’ in 2007 and has been involved in the species ever since. Working both for Department of Conservation and the Kea Conservation Trust since that time, Corey is now fulltime on our team, coordinating all field based work in the South Island. In addition to this, Corey is a talented photographer who has captured many of the images used throughout our education material and website.
Dr Laura Young
Laura has always had a passion for kea, but also for the New Zealand forest and mountains in general. She a strong interest in, and broad research background in the ecology and conservation of native biodiversity. After working in ecology both in NZ and overseas, Laura completed her PhD in 2012 investigating the role kea play in the ecosystem, specifically seed dispersal of alpine plants (along with other animals, native and introduced). She enjoys sharing scientific research with the public and has given many talks at ecological conferences as well as community groups, and written popular articles for the wider community about particular aspects of kea research among other topics. Laura has worked both as a volunteer and as an experienced bird handler for the Kea Conservation Trust and DOC since 2008 and has considerable experience with catching, banding, attaching transmitters and taking blood samples from kea. Laura also studied kea feeding behaviour and diet analysis for her own research and working for other researchers.
Clio grew up in Canada, where she earned her BSc in biology at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. She moved to New Zealand in 2003, and the same year began studying kea in the wild at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park as a research field assistant to the University of Vienna’s Kea Research Project. She did her Master’s degree through Victoria University of Wellington studying kea personality and how it related to lead (Pb) exposure at Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mt Aspiring National Parks. Now she is doing PhD research on kea strike (attacks by kea on high country sheep), having collected data from high country farms in Otago and from the kea population at Arthur’s Pass National Park.
Nelson branch manager of PF Olsen Ltd
PF Olsen is a New Zealand owned forest management company distributed nationwide that provides forestry management expertise to forest owners, from corporate scale through to individual farm woodlots. Brendan has been heavily involved working with the Kea Conservation Trust and several other forest management representatives (Heather Arnold, Nelson Forests) in drafting the new kea management protocols about to be adopted by the NZ Forest Owners Association. He has a master's degree in forestry science (University of Canterbury) and completed an undergraduate resource management degree at Lincoln University. He has a passion for NZ indigenous bio diversity and intensive pest control as well as sustainable forest management.
Dr Alex Taylor
Alex took up a position as Lecturer at the University of Auckland in 2011. In 2014 he was awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship and was promoted to Senior Lecturer. In 2015 he was awarded the Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Award from the Royal Society of New Zealand. He is currently the Co-Director of the UoA Language, Culture and Cognition Lab and Director of the UoA Clever Canine Lab.
After completing a MSc in Zoology in 1990 researching Whale Strandings around New Zealand, Mark travelled overseas volunteering on wildlife projects in Canada (Killer whales at Johnson’s Strait), Alaska (Moose and Bald Eagles) and Uganda (Elephants and Chimpanzees). On returning to New Zealand he set up and ran Hiking New Zealand for 20 years. The company won New Zealand Tourism Awards in 2000 (Service to the Environment), 2001 (Best Adventure Operator), 2002 (Best Eco-tourism Operator and Distinction Award). Hiking New Zealand established a wildlife research fund and donated over $80,000 to the conservation of Hector’s dolphin. Mark has also been involved with research on Southern Right whale in Auckland Islands (1996) and Humpback whales in Tonga (1995/96) and since 2011 a volunteer with kea catching and monitoring at Okarito, Deception, Hawdon and Aspiring. In 2014 Mark achieved a distinction for his Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies.
DOC Arthurs Pass
Chris started work as a labourer at Arthur's Pass National Park in 1970. He studied at Lincoln College and has worked at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park (Ranger), Dunedin Reserves (Field Centre Manager), Christchurch (Tenure Review Conservation Officer) and returned to his turangawaewae at Arthur's Pass in 2008. His family includes Debbie, his wife, who has a strong association with the Pass as well, Mac the dog, Jamie who works for FMC, Gemma who works for CORE education and Ngai Tahu, Sam who works for Datacom, and Penny and the grandkids Mae and Mahi.
Dr Janelle Ward
Wildlife Health Solutions
Janelle is a wildlife veterinarian who was trained in avian medicine at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. She has been working the field of wildlife health for over 8 years and has worked with the Department of Conservation to create training modules (now available on-line) in practical avian health. Janelle has her own wildlife consulting business 'Wildlife Health Solutions' and is also on the committee of WReNNZ - Wildlife Rehabilitation Network of New Zealand. Janelle is passionate about the care of New Zealand's unique wildlife and is keen to share her knowledge with those who are interested.
Shelley is a virtual field trip teacher with CORE Education. She spent 10 years in the classroom where she taught students in years 7-8 and was in charge of science and outdoor education. Shelley now leads a variety of online primary and secondary LEARNZ field trips and was lucky enough to be involved in a kea field trip to Arthur's Pass in 2015. Shelley is passionate about raising students' awareness of our unique wildlife and inspiring the next generation of conservationists.
Paul van Klink
Paul van Klink (Klinky) has been working on threatened species conservation projects since 1989. Paul started working actively on Kea projects for Josh Kemp (DOC) and the Kea Conservation Trust since 2007. Most of this kea work has been the project management of kea survivorship monitoring through 1080 operations and completing Kea Tree Line surveys. Now based in Wanaka Paul is still madly passionate about kea and is doing some community based kea work at Treble Cone and helping out on kea projects as time allows.
Dr. Ximena Nelson
University of Canterbury - Senior Lecturer in Animal Behaviour
After completing her PhD in NZ, Ximena did a postdoc in Sydney, Australia and continued her work with an Australian Research Council grant in Adelaide. She then returned to the University of Canterbury in 2008, while continuing her work in Australia, finally beginning full-time at the University of Canterbury in 2010. Since returning to NZ, Ximena has continued working with her favourite animals, jumping spiders and kea. In this area she works primarily on communication and cognition.
Labour Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Biosecurity and Food Safety. Member of Parliament for West Coast/Tasman, New Zealand
Damien O'Connor was elected to the New Zealand Parliament in 1993 as MP for the West Coast, and was MP for West Coast-Tasman from 1996-2008. He was Labour spokesperson on Tourism and Racing from 1996 till 1999. He chaired the Primary Production Select committee and was a member of the Health Select Committee from 1999 till 2002. In the last term of the previous Labour Administration, Mr O’Connor was the Minister of Corrections, Minister of Tourism, Minister for Rural Affairs and Associate Minister of Health. Damien was list MP for West Coast Tasman from 2008-2011. In 2011, he was re-elected as MP for West Coast-Tasman. He is currently the Labour spokesperson for Primary Industries, Biosecurity and Food Safety. Damien was born in Westport and attended primary school there before going to St Bede's in Christchurch and Lincoln University. Before becoming an MP, he worked in a variety of jobs in farming and tourism. During a five-year stint in Australia, he worked as a machinery operator and in sales. On his return to New Zealand to dairy farming, Damien also established Buller Adventure Tours, an adventure tourism company operating jetboating, white water rafting and horse trekking. Damien is past president of the Buller Promotion Association, a member of the West Coast Tourism Development Group, a member of the West Coast Business Development Board and a founding director of the Buller Community Development Company. He was also twice West Coast Young Farmer of the Year. An active sportsman, Damien has represented Buller at athletics, is a keen skier and mountain biker and motorsport enthusiast. He is co-captain of the Parliamentary Rugby Team.
Director of Natureland Wildlife Trust in Nelson and the Chair of the New Zealand Branch of the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA).
Meg is currently the Director of Natureland Wildlife Trust in Nelson, New Zealand, and the Zoo and Aquarium Association New Zealand Branch President. From America, Meg has been working in zoos, sanctuaries, and conservation education centres since 2003. She has a Masters of Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she earned recognition for her leadership and scholarship on the cross sections between social ecology and conservation in single-species conservation projects backed by zoological institutions. She moved to New Zealand to begin a PhD at the University of Auckland to further her research on the topic. In 2013, she co-founded a charitable trust to take over operation of Natureland, a small zoo in Nelson, New Zealand.
After graduating in 2016 with a BSc (Geography endorsed in Environmental Science) George Moon is an honours student at the University of Canterbury, working on a dissertation on conservation data in New Zealand. George has also worked part-time as an open-source web developer at Catalyst IT since 2013, doing work for clients including NZ Post and the University of Canterbury. On campus, George is the President of the Canterbury University Tramping Club and the convener of the Eco Club Network (Te Ohu Kākāriki), and for his efforts he was awarded the Gold Student Sustainability Award at UC in 2016. In the community he is also a member of the Forest & Bird North Canterbury committee. George is in charge of developing the database part of the Arthur's Pass Citizen Science Project, after a chance meeting with Mark & Laura in 2016. For him, it was a great thing to get involved with, combining his interests in community, conservation, technology and the outdoors. In his free time George likes to get out into the outdoors (tramping, skiing or cycling) as well as playing/listening to music.
Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park
DOC Nelson Lakes
Dr. Pauline Howard
Veterinarian, Hornby Vets