Mountains 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.
|Dr Roger Grace
Roger 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.
|Samara Nicholas - MNZM
Samara 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 contracting trustee and has responsibility for the overall management and direction of all programmes. She is also the national EMR coordinator.
|Olivier (Olly) Ball
I am a senior tutor at NorthTec Whangarei, and teach subjects ranging from ecology to conservation to the dreaded statistics. My interest in ecology and conservation was sparked when, as a child growing up in London, I found out that I was never going to be able to see such wonderful creatures as moa, huia and dodo, as every last one had been exterminated by humans, directly or indirectly. After leaving school in England, I followed the zoological pathway, completing a BSc Hons at the University of Canterbury (NZ), majoring in ecology and invertebrate physiology. For my PhD at Waikato University, my studies focused on biological control of pastoral insect pests using endophytic fungi of grasses. After post-doctoral studies on endophytic fungi at the University of Tennessee, and several years as a research scientist with AgResearch at Ruakura and Grasslands, I was able to rekindle my passion for plants, animals and their conservation when I took up my current post at NorthTec. Since my arrival at NorthTec, I have been lucky enough to participate in several research projects, including studies on freshwater invertebrate communities of northern Northland dune lakes. What a stunning environment we have, and how lucky we are. That is why I am so happy to support the amazing work of the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust.
| Hilton Leith
Hilton 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.
Manuel Springford decided to speak Te Reo on Mondays - wherever he goes, whoever he meets, he speaks Māori. It's his way to keep his native tongue alive. Manuel is committed to Te Reo and surrounds himself with the language in his day-to-day activities, but it was a different story as a youngster - he didn't even know his grandfather could speak Māori. His initial reason to learn the language was to converse with him, so started his reo journey in 2009. He started Māori Mondays in May 2009 after hearing about Mahuru Māori, another Māori language initiative that encourages people to speak Maori in September. Mr Springford thought he'd start early and commit to one day a week. His commitment to the language has inspired many in his community to give Te Reo a go. His local bakery, the Baker's Crust, has included Te Reo in their business - such as renaming their monthly speciality pies in Māori. Mr Springford normalises Te Reo in his workplace, at home, everywhere. While Māori Mondays started out as a way for him to korero Māori more often, the ripple effect has been far wider.
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,, the howto.org.nz website, 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.