Our patron

Rob McGowan, Pa Ropata

Pa has received an extensive collection of awards honouring his services to Māori and conservation. This includes a Queen's Service Medal (QSM), University of Waikato Medal and the Te Papa Atawhai (DOC) Supreme Matariki Award.

"The big issue [with the Kaimai Mamaku] is that there's a wonderful landscape with a very disjointed way of managing it.

My job [as patron] is to keep reminding people about the vision that our wellness depends on the wellness of the landscape that we call home," he says. 

Read Pa's Tiwaiwaka principles.

Nga Tarati | Trustees

The Manaaki Kaimai Mamaku Trust is co-governed, with six Māori trustees and five community trustees who represent the Kaimai Mamaku stakeholders forum, the Māori caucus of the forum, Ngā Iwi Tōpū and the community. 

Norm Bruning

Co-Chair, Community Trustee Bay of Plenty

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Norm has recently retired from a 30-year career as a District and Regional Councillor. 

Living downstream from the Kaimai ranges, he knows the ngahere gives cultural, economic, food and recreational meaning to those that live near it.

"This mauri requires careful nurturing to manage and enhance the natural flora and fauna. I am privileged to work with the Manaaki Kaimai Mamaku team to facilitate funding, education and training of iwi-hapū and communities to connect with pest and forest management," he says.

Josie Anderson

Co-Chair, Māori Trustee (Hauraki)

Peri Mason

Māori Trustee (Ngāti Hinerangi/Ngāti Hauā/Ngāti Raukawa)

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Peri Mason (Ngāti Hinerangi, Ngāti  Raukawa) had an extensive career in the Justice Sector, Corrections Services and various Community Groups. He now runs his own consultancy and is a trustee for Ngāti Hinerangi.

Peri's vision is for the restoration project to be transgenerational - ensuring knowledge is shared from pakeke (adults) to rangatahi (children.

"I am a strong believer that if we take good care of our Taiao, (environment) it will take good care of us," he says.

Kevin Palmer

Community Trustee, Audit and Risk Committee 

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Kevin is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Director, bringing over 30+ years of senior financial experience to MKM. Most recently, he was the Chief Financial Advisor at Trust Power.

As an avid tramper, Kevin looks forward to seeing the return of kākā and other manu while in the ngahere.

“It’s a great privilege to be part of a group that is making a real difference to one of New Zealand’s most important forest ranges," he says.


Kate Graeme

Community Trustee (Bay of Plenty)

Te Poari Newton

Māori Trustee (Te Arawa)

Keri Neislon

Community Trustee (Waikato)

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For 25 years, Keri has been involved in conservation and catchment management through through roles with the Department of Conservation, Waikato Regional Council, the Waikato River Authority and in private consultancy. She was even involved in the early days of the Kaimai Mamaku Catchment Forum.

"A career highlight was working on the northern and eastern offshore islands, seeing the plant, bird, insect and reptile life in places that have never had pests. My hope is that one day we can see this again in the ngahere of Kaimai Mamaku," she says.

 Stu Kneebone

Community Trustee (Waikato), Audit and Risk Committee

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Stu represents the Waipa King Country on the Waikato Regional Council and is currently the Crown appointed Co Chair of the Waikato River Authority, bringing decades of governance experience to our board.

A fourth generation Waikato farmer with a 110 hectare dry stock farm, Stu is passionate about looking after our unique native biodiversity.

"So much of the advantages and benefits of living in Aotearoa are dependent on the health and wellbeing of our natural environment. We owe it to ourselves and our grandchildren to make a real effort to restore and protect the Kaimai Mamaku forest as a taonga for all," he says.

James Whetu

Māori Trustee (Ngāti Hinerangi/Ngāti Hauā/Ngāti Raukawa)

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James (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Raukawa) sits on the Raukawa Settlement Trust Board and is the director of Whetū Consultancy Group – an environmental planning and policy consultancy specialising in Māori and indigenous partnerships.

Working with Manaaki Kaimai Mamaku Trust, James supports the kaitiakitanga exercised by his iwi, hapū and whānau.

"Kō Ruapeka tōku marae, based in the Mamaku ranges, is somewhere I haven’t gone back to as an adult. This is my opportunity to be give back to our taonga tuku iho, ko te pae maunga  Kaimai-Mamaku”, he says.


Māori Trustee, Mata Waka (Independent)


Māori Trustee (Tauranga Moana)

Nga Kaimahi | Team

Louise Saunders


Danielle Guy

Restoration Projects Coordinator

Fleur Sweeney


Rebecca Lee

Communications Manager

Hoa kaipakihi | Key Partnerships

Joint Agency Committee 

There is a very important collaboration between four key partners: us, Te Papa Atawhai (Department of Conservation), Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Waikato Regional Council. We are all committed to supporting the vision and enabling Kaimai Mamaku Restoration Projects.

Te Papa Atawhai | Department of Conservation

DOC is the statutory manager responsible for administration and management of the Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park. Regional Councils also have responsibilities for biodiversity monitoring and management under the Resource Management and Biosecurity Acts.

Ngā Iwi Tōpū

Ngā Iwi Tōpū is a rōpū for iwi, hapū and marae, with mana whenua interests in the Kaimai Mamaku area and Māori with an interest in the kaupapa, to share ideas and opportunities. It is a partner with Manaaki Kaimai Mamaku Trust in the restoration and protection of the Kaimai Mamaku.