About Us

Introduction to the trust

Why was the Trust established?

Fiordland Conservation Trust is a community-driven initiative supporting conservation projects in Fiordland, Southland and NZ's Sub-Antarctic Islands. It was established in 2007 to provide independent funding and resources to further protect the natural treasures (taonga) of southern New Zealand.

How does the Trust operate?

It is run on a shoestring administration budget, by a board of professionals who volunteer their time, adopting a '#8 wire' approach, using technical expertise and enthusiastic sponsors to make sure the job is done and done properly. It is transparent, accountable, active and agile.

What does this mean for you as a sponsor?

This approach means that when you and... your family or friends or colleagues or business or clients... want to give money and/or time to a conservation project, you can, knowing that your resources are going to a project that is essential, that works, that makes a difference and that therefore is worth your energy.

Who are the Trustees?

The Trustees are professionals with backgrounds in conservation, tourism and farming. By managing the funds it receives, the Trust will:
1. encourage, support and promote conservation work in Fiordland and worthy projects throughout Southland and New Zealand's Sub-Antarctic Islands;
2. share information and raise awareness within the community about conservation and, in particular, encourage youth involvement in projects identified by the Trust.

The trustees

Kim Hollows (Chair)

Kim Hollows Kim's long involvement with Fiordland began in the early deer recovery days. Starting out initially as a shooter in an incredibly risky industry, Kim then went on to set up Fiordland Heli over 20 years ago. Fiordland Heli today is still involved with deer recovery, but is also heavily involved with conservation work and tourism in and around Fiordland.

With a lifetime of experience flying in Fiordland, Kim's knowledge of this area and keenness to show it to the world lead him to film production. He had a passion to be involved in producing a film that showcases some of the spectacular vistas of Fiordland that most do not get to see. Filmed with an incredible team over several years, from a helicopter pilot's view of Fiordland, Ata Whenua is now being seen by tens of thousands of visitors every year in the purpose built boutique cinema in Te Anau. This film takes you on a journey from the tiniest rain drop to the most incredible mountain vistas and is absolutely unforgettable.

Kim is passionate about Fiordland and the conservation of this area. In 2007 he formally identified a need for donations from businesses and the public to be directed to important conservation projects in a responsible and transparent way by helping establish the Fiordland Conservation Trust. Kim is the founding Trustee of the Trust.

Murray Willans (Past Chair)

Murray Willans Murray was formerly at the Fiordland Department of Conservation for 20 years. In his later years with DOC, Murray was responsible for managing the Biodiversity programme in Fiordland National Park. During the past few years there has been a growing emphasis on developing conservation projects which involve the community and local business. This partnership approach to conservation is something that Murray believes brings great benefits to all involved and is something that he would like to see continue to develop further.

Murray and his wife Tarn have three children. Together they own and run a mixed sheep and dairy grazing property in the Te Anau Basin.

Roger McNaughton MNZM (Past Chair)

Roger was the first chairman of the Fiordland Conservation Trust, resigning from that position in October 2011. A farmer and contractor from Woodlands, Kapuka, Roger is a keen fisherman and hunter, with 28 years on the Southland Fish and Game Council and 9 years on the Southland Conservation Board, including time as Chair.  With a family involvement since 1907 in the Waituna wetlands, Roger has developed a passion for its conservation. He is also involved with two areas of native bush with QEII Trust protection.

Greg Hay

Greg HayGreg Hay has significant skills including wide experience in marketing, communications and strategic planning. Greg and Peregrine Wines are no strangers to the Trust or to conservation in Fiordland. Greg was previously the Trust’s Patron and the company he co-owns, Peregrine Wines have funded several significant conservation projects with the Trust (in addition to other non-Trust conservation projects) including the translocation of 39 tieke/saddleback to Te Kakahu o Tamatea/Chalky Island.

Diane Ridley

Diane RidleyDiane has lived in Fiordland for the past 40+ years. After 5 years travelling overseas, she and her husband, Doug, travelled through New Zealand looking for somewhere they wished to live. They came back to Te Anau and knew this was where they wished to settle again.

Diane has worked as a Practice Nurse for all this time and, when younger, spent many hours doing ambulance and search and rescue work in Fiordland National Park.

She spent 27 years in local government, 18 years as the Te Anau Ward Councillor on the Southland District Council and 9 years prior to that on the Te Anau Community Board.

She also did two terms as a member of the Fiordland Conservation Board, a position that enabled her to see first hand the need for community involvement in managing New Zealand’s National Parks.

Diane believes Te Anau’s future is inextricably linked with Fiordland National Park, both from a conservation and business perspective. Her children believe being brought up in the Fiordland environment was the best possible life for a young person and now her son returns, at least annually, so his children can experience what he did.

Viv Shaw BA(Hons), PhD

Viv Shaw Dr Viv Shaw has a professional background in marketing, international business and research. After 16 years working as an academic, Viv moved to Te Anau where she runs a consultancy business. She has a strong interest and active involvement in conservation, particularly with the Pomona Island Charitable Trust, helping manage the project. Viv is the former Chair of the Southland Conservation Board. Viv has completed consultancy projects with such groups as DOC, SWNZ Endangered Species Trust and Fiordland Trails Trust.

Mark Sutton

Mark Sutton Mark is a born and bred Southlander, a keen fisherman, golfer and game bird hunter, and is very experienced in the field of conservation, particularly on the way landowners manage their properties relative to conservation.

As well as being the QEII representative for the Waiau River catchment in Southland, Mark runs the field operations of the Waiau Fisheries and Wildlife Habitat and Enhancement Trust which fund habitat improvement within the Waiau River catchment as part of the compensation settlement for the Manapouri power scheme. He is particularly skilled at developing wetlands e.g. the Rakatu Wetlands in the Waiau Valley, and protecting riparian margins, assisting landowners with QEII covenants.

Mark was formerly a field officer for the Southland region of Fish and Game New Zealand for some 38 years.

Nick Torr

Nick Torr A long time resident of Te Anau, Nick has had an extensive career in conservation management with over 30 years experience. This started with a 4-year traineeship with the NZ Wildlife Service (now DOC), followed by a move to Te Anau to work mainly on Takahe. Following many years with DOC, Nick left to become an independent contractor/consultant in 1998, specializing in threatened species management and island restoration. Some of the threatened species Nick has worked with include Alkahest, kakapo, blue duck and kiwi.

Nick has had a major involvement with many island pest eradication projects throughout New Zealand, from the Sub Antarctic Islands to the Kermadecs. Internationally, conservation organisations are using his considerable experience and expertise to assess feasibility, draw up operational plans and help manage island pest eradication programmes, more recently South Georgia.

Christine Wallace

Christine WallaceChristine has a notable 17 years experience in the Fiordland tourism industry and co-owner of the innovative Fiordland Outdoors Company, which offers tailor made adventures in Fiordland National Park. Christine is also General Manager of Milford Sound Lodge, and formerly on the Destination Fiordland Board and the Kepler Challenge Committee in a sponsorship role.

With strong skills in strategic planning, finance, sales and marketing, product development and general business management, she is a perfect fit for the Trust. "It's a privilege to be asked to assist the Fiordland Conservation Trust in their efforts to conserve this very special place for the future."

Former Trustees

Mayor Frana Cardno QSO JP

Frana Cardno QSO, JP Residing in Te Anau, and providing over 30 years of community service to this growing township and the Southland region, Frana served as Mayor to New Zealand’s largest Local Authority by area, the Southland District Council, from 1992 - 2013 and is our country's longest ever serving female mayor. After Frana's retirement from local politics, she has remained exceptionally committed to local issues.

Frana has a background in early childhood, founding the first kindergarten for Te Anau, and a tourism business partnership prior to becoming involved in local body politics.

Frana has held many positions of responsibility relating to her role in Local Government involving representing our region and New Zealand both nationally and internationally, especially relating to women’s affairs, community, health and education. She was also invited to attend the World Heritage Conference in both 2004 and 2007, held in Japan and China respectively; many valuable lessons were learnt regarding community participation and protection of World Heritage sites.

In 1993 Frana was awarded the Suffragette Medal; the Jean Harris Award 1997; United Nations Certificate of Recognition 2001; and the QSO (Companion of the said Order for Public Service) in 2001. In 2014, Frana was honoured for her outstanding contribution to local government by Local Government New Zealand in the LGNZ Excellence Awards, receiving the Skills Organisation Outstanding Contribution excellence award.

Frana sadly passed away in 2015.

Ron Peacock

Ron Peacock Growing up on a farm in Murchison, Ron began his career in conservation as a National Park Ranger in the Nelson Lakes National Park, a position he held for 6 ½ years. Transferring to Fiordland in 1976, Ron continued to work in similar roles until 1993. His love of fishing lead to a Guided Fishing business following his resignation from DOC, along with the establishment of a successful B&B. Ron and his wife Robynne opened the luxurious, award-winning Fiordland Lodge in 2002, a natural extension of their past B&B and guided fishing businesses.

Ron was passionate about conservation and the wilderness, and knew Fiordland very well. He travelled to Campbell and the Auckland Islands four times, and spent six months on an exchange in the Tasmania National Parks. Ron was closely involved in the pest eradication of Breaksea Island in the 1980s, and put together a sponsorship deal, which contributed greatly to its success.

Ron was an active member of the Trust up until his untimely death in June 2015.

Mark Peychers

Mark Peychers Mark recently resigned from the Trust due to work commitments elsewhere but continues his interest and support of the Trust; in addition to fisheries management in Fiordland as well as other areas of New Zealand and still, at times, is relief skipper on Fiordland's DOC vessel.

Management Team

Laura Harry LLB, LLM(Hons) - Trust Manager

Undertaking operational support and management of the Trust on a part-time basis, Laura is also project manager for Coastguard Queenstown's new marine rescue building, part-time Fiordland DOC Conservation Services Ranger and Coastguard Southern Region Vice-Chair. Laura's project management experience in communities, not for profit organisations and her former UK legal background as a constuction/projects lawyer assists greatly with the management of the Trust's activities and overall co-ordination of the various projects.

Jo Wilson - Trust Secretary

A born and bred Southlander, Jo is involved with operating kayak tours in Doubtful Sound. With a genuine interest in the outdoors and conservation, Jo is a valuable member of the team, voluntarily undertaking the role of secretary for the Trust.