Team, Patrons & Trustees
Predator Free Bay of Plenty
Predator Free Bay of Plenty
EnviroHub is lucky enough to have three Patrons that are legendary in their own fields but also recognised in the environmental arena. Our current patrons, offer support and a wealth of knowledge to our team. They have over time been facilitators, contributors and speakers at our Sustainable Backyard events. More about them and the valuable work they do below.
After arriving in NZ in 1978 from the Netherlands, Ruud worked in various environmental jobs before settling down to 14 years in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF). In 1987 he started a talkback radio show (Ruud’s Awakening) in which he offers environmentally friendly horticultural tips to gardeners. The success of the show made him better known as “the Bugman”.
Ruud retired from MAF in the mid-1990s for a career as an ecological consultant. This has led to television work in and outside New Zealand, which has brought further fame for his environmental causes. These include promoting environmentally friendly agricultural techniques, the protection of endangered native NZ birds, and most famously, the understanding and appreciation of insects, spiders, and other terrestrial arthropods. Ruud joined EnviroHub as a Patron in 2019.
Rob (known to many as Pa Ropata) is many things, and most recently the author of Tiwaiwaka – The Healing of the Mauri or the Whenua. An absolute must read for anyone interested in nature and a real ah ha moment when you read it. We have copies available at the EnviroHub office.
Rob has been involved in teaching and researching traditional uses of NZ Native Plants (Rongoa Maori). He’s been involved in many projects and groups and his work has seeing him championing Mother Earth for many years. His efforts landed him a spot on the 2020 Queens Birthday Honours List for services to Maori and Conservation. Rob joined EnviroHub as a Patron in 2019.
Rod is a journalist, regular columnist and radio and television broadcaster with a special interest in corporate, economic and political issues. Although most often described as a financial journalist, Rod has a particular interest and passion for sustainability. He is always ready to ask the hard questions and push back on business as usual and wants to see bright ideas turned into bold action in the commercial world.
Rod was a founding trustee and chairman of Akina Foundation which helps social enterprises develop business models in areas of sustainability. He has been facilitator of the Speakers Forum at Sustainable Backyards and we are so lucky to have him as a Patron of EnviroHub since 2019.
Board of Trustees
As well as being the current chair for EnviroHub Bay of Plenty, Mary is a busy lady and is well known and respected around the Bay of Plenty. She served as a founding board member of Social Link and as Chair of the Environmental and Sustainability forum for SmartGrowth.
Mary served as an elected member of the Tauranga City Council for 21 years, including six years as Deputy Mayor. During that time, she has developed strong connections with local iwi and she values and respect Maori perspectives. Mary has a deep interest in the sustainability of our environment and in the development of local strong resilient communities.
Geoff is a Principal Parks and Recreation Specialist and Accredited Parks and Recreation Professional (ARPro) and Certified Parks Professional international (CPPI) and runs GCC, a specialist parks and recreation consultancy. He has 37 years’ international experience in parks agency/local government parks and recreation with New Zealand and international experience in parks and recreation leadership, planning and project management.
Geoff has won a multitude of awards for his contributions, has published many articles, and has given more than 15 conference presentations in New Zealand, Australia and the US. He is the current chair of the Industry Accreditation Board for the NZRA (New Zealand Recreation Association) and Geoff currently volunteers for Bay of Plenty National Park City/Region. He also serves on the Maungatautiri Reserve Committee, the BOP EnviroHub Board and convenes the New Zealand Parks Leaders Forum.
John is passionate about building community around addressing the issues of waste and sustainability in our community. He has served the community as co-founder of the Good Neighbour Food Rescue and Kitchen project that resulted in 10 tonnes of food per week being diverted to 60 community organisations to address our food poverty.
He has also established the ReMaker Space at Our Place in Tauranga CBD, which is an intergenerational space focused on education and small business development, dedicated to changing attitudes to waste and building a sustainable community. John has also filled several governance roles and he gained much of his accounting, management and community development knowledge while auditing in the public sector and serving overseas in an international NGO.
Passionate about conservation and community, Matemoana is a Māori Constituency Councillor for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. She was appointed to Komiti Maori and to Te Awanui Tauranga Harbour Advisory Group as a member for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
Matemoana believes that the health and wellbeing of our people is dependent on a healthy environment, and she works hard to see more positive outcomes. Matemoana is also a member of the Regional Direction and Delivery Committee and since 2014, she has been the Senior Treaty Advisor for Maori Policy.
John is an advocate for the environment and conservation, and he’s well-known and loved in the arts and event sector here in the Bay of Plenty. He enjoys working with creative environmentally conscientious people and by using his knowledge of working for not-for-profit organisations over the past decade he helps to support successful outcomes for the environment.
John, who has been involved with EnviroHub since 2019, says he enjoys the opportunity to further grow our environmental hub goals.
During his teaching career, Mark was instrumental in establishing Ngamuwahine Outdoor Education Centre. Taking children into the outdoors and the bush led to a lifelong interest and passion for our native flora. While living in Oropi he started a small native plant nursery that grew to become Naturally Native New Zealand Plants Ltd, one of the countries larger nurseries.
In 2016, Mark was elected as Councillor on the WBoP District Council. He is immediate past chair of the Dune Restoration Trust of NZ, Founding Chair of the Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust, and past Chair of the Rotary Centennial Trust for the restoration of the Kopurererua Valley wetland in Tauranga. He received the Loder Cup in 2011 for his contribution to the conservation of native flora, comprising work across a range of commercial, community and national involvement.
Oliver’s first role was in the New Zealand Army, where he was responsible for managing health and environmental risks. He deployed with the Army to Papua New Guinea in 1998 to assist with post-tsunami disaster recovery, and in 1999, visited the Solomon Islands as part of a project to improve health outcomes in remote communities.
Over the past 20 years, Oliver has worked as an adviser and a manager in several industries including construction, telecommunications, local government and financial services. He has held senior positions in the fields of occupational health and safety and human resource management.
Oliver graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Health) in 1997. He also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Business (Auckland), and a Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety from Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh) and is in the final stages of completing a Master of Environmental Management degree with Massey University
Oliver has always had a keen interest in the natural world. He is particularly passionate about the role business plays in sustainability, and in particular the relationship between business, people and the environment.
Oliver lives with his wife and two daughters in Te Puna.