mtsctMountains To Sea Conservation Trust (MTSCT) - Nga Maunga ki te Moana

The Northland-based Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust was established in 2002, as a charitable umbrella and support organisation for the Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) marine education and Whitebait Connection (WBC) freshwater education programmes. These are both leading models in education for sustainability in New Zealand and now both available nationally.

The Trust sees education as a vital part of society and central to all environmental restoration. Our work involves providing dynamic experiential education programmes that engage schools and communities in conservation and the pursuit of sustainability.

Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust website

mtsct organisation diagram

Our Trustees...

Dr Roger Grace
roger graceRoger is a well known marine biologist and professional photographer. Roger is an active campaigner for marine conservation in New Zealand and internationally. He has played a role in many of New Zealand’s marine reserve campaigns and is a frequent contributor of articles on marine conservation to popular magazines. Roger was involved as a supporter and biologist for the Great Barrier, Tiritiri and Mimiwhangata marine conservation projects. He is a regular contract photographer on the Greenpeace vessel "Rainbow Warrior" and received the Queen's Service Medal for public service in 2005. Roger supports trust programmes as a non-consulting trustee, but also with photographs, expert biological advice, peer review and decision making with regard to grants and programme direction.

 Vince Kerr
vince kerrVince is a biologist with a background in environmental education, forestry, horticulture and conservation management and currently works for his own firm Kerr & Associates, based in Northland. Vince is a strong advocate for marine conservation and played a key support role in the Kamo High School Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve campaign. Vince is the driving force behind our Trust website He is currently a non-consulting trustee. Vince has responsibility for advising on any issues and supporting consulting trustees.

 Samara Nicholas (nee Sutherland)
samara nicholasSamara is an original trustee and is the Programme Director. She was recognised in 2005 in the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from AUT and is a graduate of Northland Polytechnic's Diploma of Environmental Management. Samara founded the Experiencing Marine Reserves programme in 2001 and the Community Guided Snorkel Days in 2004. She is also a graduate of Kamo High School where she was Head Girl and played a key role in the school’s marine reserve proposal and establishment. Samara is a PADI Dive Master and a registered assessor for unit standards in snorkelling. Samara is a consulting trustee and has responsibility for the overall management and direction of all programmes. She is also the national EMR coordinator.

Kim Jones (nee Boyle)
kim jonesKim is the national coordinator for the Whitebait Connection Programme. She is also a Whangarei District coordinator for the EMR programme and co-founder of the Drains to Harbour campaign and Mangrove Discovery Programme. She is a graduate of the Diploma in Environmental Management and Conservation at Northland Polytechnic. Kim received the Golden Bay Cement student scholarship in 2005, which has helped fund her education and provided her with experience working within the environmental management industry. She has a National Certificate in Business Administration and Computing. Kim was a selected member of the youth delegates at the 2006 Digital Earth symposium on sustainability and is also a committee member of the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education, Northland Branch. Kim has been involved with the trust since 2005. She holds Dive Master certification and is an elected member and Chairperson of the Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve Advisory Committee. Kim is a consulting trustee.

 Sioux Campbell
sioux campbellSioux  has a long association with environmental education, promotion and sustainability initiatives stretching back to her early days as a journalist at the start of the 1980s. Providing local coverage of the 245T and Think Big programme issues in Taranaki was the beginning of a life-time commitment to engaging others in environmental protection. Sioux's professional background as a reporter, public relations practitioner, educationalist and regional manager brings a range of skills to the trust, including her involvement with creation of the Te Paepae Aotea Marine Reserve. Sioux is also a PADI Dive Master, open water swimmer, triathlete, kayaker and community participant. She is a life member of NZAEE, a fellow of the Public Relations Insitute of NZ and certificate member of the International Association for Public Participation. Sioux is currently assisting us in a virtual capacity from Australia. She has a key role in decision making within the trust and in strategic development, document review and advice.
   Hilton Leith
hilton leithHilton is our current chairperson and sees life as an opportunity to continually learn and change. Hilton has been fortunate to spend half of his working life free diving for rock lobster, paua and sea urchin. The balance was spent in real estate. He saw both of these as wonderful opportunities to learn about himself and his connection with his surroundings. Hilton is a PADI Rescue Diver and a knowledgeable businessman. He believes our future is linked to how we treat our environment today. Hilton continues to add value to the trust in the areas of financial processes and strategic vision as a non-consulting trustee.


Other Projects
In addition to EMR and WBC we have developed a range of supporting projects, resources and services such as community guided snorkel days, community events for Seaweek & Conservation week, DVD’s, the MarineNZ website, and the Drains to Harbour and Mangrove Discovery programmes.

The continued development of the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust brings together an extensive array of professional skills and diverse capabilities. We embrace a philosophy of experiential learning and fostering community engagement in education for sustainability and action. Our work is unique in its simple yet powerful principles and robust scientific foundation. Through this we deliver solutions to some of New Zealand’s most pressing environmental challenges.

An inspiring blend of community based social marketing, education for sustainability and community engagement principles, combined with demonstrated passion and leadership from our trustees, consultants and co-ordinators provides us with a special ability to motivate change.

Trust Documents:

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