EMR leadership and regional coordinators
Kia ora, my name is Samara Nicholas, during my time as head prefect at Kamo High School in 1998, our year 13 geography class was involved in the application for a Marine Reserve in the Whangarei Harbour, the marine biodiversity around Motukaroro inspired me! After completing a Diploma in Environmental Management I went on to establish the Experiencing Marine Reserves programme in 2001. I am an original trustee of the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust. As programme director for the trust and national coordinator, I have the responsibility for the overall management of the EMR programme; liaison with the national team of coordinators, funders & partners; milestone and financial reporting; and of course getting out there and doing EMR delivery! I was extremely privileged to be recognised in 2005 in the Sir Peter Blake Leadership awards as one of New Zealand 's Emerging Leaders.
In 2005 I completed a Bachelor of Applied Science degree. I am a PADI Divemaster and registered assessor for unit standards in snorkeling. My favourite marine creature is the nudibranch. Between EMR and being a proud mum (to 4 year old Blaze) and wife to Shane, there is not a lot of time for much else, but I am a active member of the Whananaki community, I love to snorkel, dive, surf, ride horses or garden in my spare time!
My career highlight was heading to the Kermadec Islands as crew member on board Young Blake Expeditions.
Other Achievements include: Whangarei Young Person and Young Leader Award, 2004, IUCN-sponsored youth attendee at the International Marine Protected Areas Conference in Geelong, Australia, 2005, Northland Conservation Award, 2005, Northland Seaweek coordinator, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010. NZ representative at International Youth Development Exchange Programme, Japan, 2006, attendance at the University of Auckland Fundraising for Not-For Profit organisations and Motivation & Leadership short course, 2007 and DOC-sponsored Youth Voice delegate at Digital Earth, Berkley, USA, 2007
Tena Koutou, my name is Kim Jones, my EMR delivery is focused around the Whangarei District since 2006. During high school I achieved my Open Water SCUBA Diving certification and surf lifesaving bronze star and medallion. I am a graduate of the Diploma in Environmental Management and Conservation at Northland Polytechnic. During this time I received the Golden Bay Cement student scholarship in recognition of my achievements, which has helped fund my education and experience working within the environmental management industry. I am a trustee of the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust and lead the development & delivery of the Drains To Harbour stormwater awareness campaign and Mangrove Discovery Programme. I am the national coordinator for the Whitebait Connection programme. Last year I was elected as the chairperson for the Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve Advisory Committee. I have a National Certificate in Business Administration and Computing. I love SCUBA diving and I am a PADI divemaster. Together with my husband Blair, we have our own charter business that we operate from Whangarei Heads. I am a proud mum to son Zayne (11) and my baby girl Oceana.
Nicki Wakefield (Ngapuhi, Ngai Tahu, Te Arawa)
Kia ora my name is Nicki Wakefield. I am the Northland district coordinator for EMR since 2008. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Waikato. Since completing my degree in 2007 I have undertaken genetic research on plant and animal species endemic to New Zealand (Giant Wire Rush and the Auckland Tree Weta). I have been a trustee of the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust since 2009 and I am involved in many of the Trust programmes, especially the Whitebait Connection. I am currently the actiong National Coordinator for WBC while Kim is on maternity leave. I am based in Ngaiotonga with my fiancée Kit and 1 year old daughter Charlie.
Kia ora my name is Camellia and I am an EMR co-ordinator in the Whangarei District. I have been involved with EMR since its establishment in 2001, and began delivering the programme in Northland schools in 2011. I have a Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in Biodiversity Management. I feel lucky to have such an amazing job delivering such an important message to kids, parents and teachers through out the Whangarei area. In my spare time I enjoy reading, working in my vege patch and taking my 5 year old daughter Ella-Daisy out on bush walks.
Hi I’m Anton Bowker and 2012 is my first year working with EMR as a snorkel instructor in the Northland region. I was born and raised in Whangarei and have always been very interested in the ocean and its biodiversity, which we are lucky to have so much of right on our doorstep. I believe strongly in environmental protection and the need for sustainable and innovative use of our precious land and sea resources. I studied Sustainable Rural Development at Northtec; also I've completed an SSI SCUBA Dive Instructor course and an NZQA Snorkel Instructor qualification. It has been a great experience for me teaching Northland kids about the need for Marine Reserves and to show them first-hand how well they work and how much fun they can be.
Hi my name is Ben Sheeran, I have been the Auckland regional EMR coordinator since 2009. I have a Master of Science degree from Lincoln University, and Bachelor of Arts and Commerce degrees from the University of Auckland. I have been involved in evaluating various fisheries management models, and have researched and published findings relating to the linkages between local communities and their customary fisheries in Aotearoa. The practical application of sustainability is the foundation of my 12 years of professional experience. With the use of economic instruments and planning/policy principles, I am an experienced parks and resource management policy planner, environmental economist and project manager. I am a keen surfer, swimmer, tramper, kayaker, and cyclist.
Hi there – My name is Pat Swanson and I am the regional EMR coordinator for Taranaki. We are very lucky here to have the help of the Nga Motu Marine Reserve Society as our umbrella organization, and also we have the dedicated help of Mike Tapp, our local educator from the Department of Conservation. I helped establish EMR in Taranaki in 2011, initially with my class of Year 5 and 6 students at St Pius X School in New Plymouth. I am Deputy Principal at the school, but I have also taught in the Coromandel and Wellington, and I have in my past life been a commercial diver and also a fisheries research technician. I have a Bachelor of Education, I am a PADI qualified Open water diver, and also an NZQA qualified snorkel instructor. My wife Debbie and I have three children, who are all nearly as keen on the sea as myself! When I am not doing EMR, I am still more than likely in or on the water, or else in the kitchen cooking. If I had to choose a favourite marine creature it would be the John Dory – I always find them fascinating, despite their rather depressed expression!
I have been coordinating EMR in the Nelson region since February 2010 under the auspices of the Nelson Environment Centre . I have my PADI dive certificate although have not scuba dived in recent years preferring the freedom of less gear when snorkeling. I also have NZQA Snorkel Instructor qualifications. I have a Home Science degree and am a primary trained teacher. I work three days teaching technology to year 7&8's. That is in old school terms, cooking, sewing, woodwork, electronics and ICT. For six years I also taught a Gifted and Talented programme (Future Thinkers) to year 5 to 8 students which included experiential learning and environmental education. Coordinating EMR has now taken over the G&T teaching. I have always had an interest in conservation and the marine environment and feel most connected when I am in or on the sea. I enjoy taking education onto the outdoors and seeing and hearing the delight of EMR participants as they become more confident at snorkeling and experience the marine environment close up. My goal is to continue to expand EMR in the top of the South Island to reach more children and their communities and hopefully make a positive difference for the future of NZ's marine environment. I have two grown up children who are mostly left home and have recently expanded my whanau having moved in with my partner and his 10 year old son. I am a keen waka ama paddler enjoying social and competitive paddling but mostly I value time away from the busyness of everyday life while paddling along the beautiful Abel Tasman coastline.
Hi, My name is Greg Pilcher and have began working in term 4 2011 with local schools in the Hauraki/Coromandel region with EMR. The regional umbrella organisation in my region is The Friends of Te Whanganui A Hei Marine Reserve Trust and also work along side the Department of Conservation on community projects. I have a degree in Social Science, a post grad Diploma of Education, NZQA Snorkel Instructor Qualification and a current First Aid Certificate.
My favorite marine creature is the dolphin because of its awesome speed and agility.
I am a teacher, surfer, dad and partner. I enjoy teaching people about the ocean environment and being connected to the sea. I teach in the classroom, beginner sailing, kayaking and marine reserve education in local schools.
I have an awesome partner (Debbie) and 2 children. In my spare time I enjoy motorbike riding, hiking, mountain biking, surfing and fishing.
Kia ora, my name is Joe Palmer, I have been an EMR coordinator since 2008 in the Gisborne region. The Gisborne regional umbrella company is Nga Mahi te Taiao, operated by my father Murray Palmer. I am an NZQA Snorkel Instructor. My favourite marine creature is Paua. I enjoy diving, surfing, fishing and water sports. I am a proud dad to 1 year old Esther.
My name is Kauri and I love the ocean, even my dog is called Ocean. I support Murray and Joe with EMR in the Gisborne region since 2011. My favourite marine creature is the dolphin (I was lucky enough to spend time with Moko). I am a enviroschools facilitator and a high school chemistry teacher. In my spare time I lead the community group ‘Earth Girls’.
Julian Hodge (centre)
Hi my name is Jules and I am lucky enough to be the regional coordinator for the EMR programme in Wellington run by Island Bay Marine Education Centre. I grew up in the sea and spent my childhood exploring rock pools around the Wellington coast. I am a keen fisherman and understand the need for wide stewardship of the resource and look forward to passing on knowledge to next generation of New Zealanders. I am a trained teacher and snorkel instructor, my fav marine creature is the octopus and in my spare time I love exploring the coastline with my dog ‘Jazz’ (who also loves swimming in the ocean).
Kia ora my name is Liz, 2013 was my first year as an EMR coordinator based in Wellington with IBMEC.I am completing my Masters in Marine Conservation and a BSC in Zoology. My favourite marine creature is the giant squid and my other passion is music
Hi my name is Alan and I am supporting the delivery of Experiencing Marine Reserves programme in Wellington run by IBMEC. I am currently working towards my Dive Masters. Originally from Mexico, I have a BA in marine studies and visual art, currently studying in Wellington Masters in Marine Conservation. I am interested in art, photography and travel in my spare time firstname.lastname@example.org