About Us

People & Committees

People & Committees

In recognition of the significance of Bream Head, the Bream Head Conservation Trust was formed in 2002 to work in partnership with the local and wider Whangarei communities, the Whangarei District and Regional Councils, iwi, and the Department of Conservation to manage the ecological restoration of the Bream Head Scenic Reserve.

Its vision is to restore Bream Head to a place in which natural ecology has been returned to healthy forest and abundant bird song, and where visitors can experience nature at its best.

The Trust meets once a month to discuss governance, financial and operational issues and receive reports from our committees.


Nicola Hartwell


Patrick Holmes

Whangarei District Council representative trustee

Bill Mallett


Geoff Pike


Lil Craig


Roger Tuck


Annelies Struijcken


Stephanie Versteeg


Jenny Lawrence

Volunteer Co-ordinator


Tom Flynn-Plummer

Head Ranger

Tom Grinsted


Kees McCahon


The Committees

A number of committees have been established to assist the Trust to achieve its aims.

Education Committee

Education is a key component of the Trust’s purpose. The role of the Education Committee is to provide education resources that link to the various New Zealand education curricula, provide visits to the Reserve and recognise volunteer programmes for youth. With the support of the sponsors, the Education Committee has taken a huge step towards meeting its vision by completing the Bream Head Education Resource.

Key projects and activities include:

  • developing and maintaining the Bream Head Education Resource
  • guided school tours

Communication and Events Committee

The role of the Communications and Events Committee is to provide guidance and support so as to communicate the aims of the Trust effectively, as well as to plan, organise and run the Trust’s events.

Key projects and activities include:

  • maintaining the Trust’s website
  • providing recognition of sponsors, partnerships and supporters
  • management of the Friends’ database and correspondence
  • producing and publishing the Trust’s newsletter and external promotional material
  • writing and publishing articles and media releases
  • planning and running the Trust’s events

Science and Technology Advisory Group (STAG)

The newest committee under BHCT, the STAG committee is responsible for two key roles:

  • to analyse and produce potential scientific and technical solutions to challenges that arise with the operational plan using best evidence.
  • keep abreast of scientific and technological developments in the pest management and species monitoring.

Such work will involve monitoring the grey faced petrel using remote sensing technology, using drones to monitor the health of the canopy and look at producing an electronic ‘digital’ boundary.

Operations Committee

A key initiative for the Trust has been implementing a ranger for the Reserve which has been a major step forward.

The Operations committee is responsible for overseeing and supporting the rangers and their associated activities to enable those activities to be undertaken in a sustainable manner. These are primarily the resources for the restoration of the Scenic Reserve and the Trust’s relationship with funding agencies and its surrounding community.

Key projects:

  • ranger activities
  • extension of the restoration programme from the core area to cover the whole Reserve
  • securing funding to enable sustainable programmes in conjunction with the Restoration Committee.

Fundraising Committee

The role of the committee is to provide the funding necessary for the ongoing restoration of the reserve to meet the Trust's vision.

As the restoration project continued to expand so have the activities that require financial support - such as our contract rangers and our project manager. In addition,  we raise funds for translocations, planting days (reforestation) seabird monitoring, our native tree nursery and more. This has required a growing funding base which comes from a number of sources including;  contract work for the Department of Conservation and NRC;  donations such as our "Friend of the Trust"; foundations - such as Foundation North and long time support from our local Pub Charity, Oxford Trust, Lotteries etc.


John Maasland

On 26th October 2017, The Trust had the very great honour of welcoming our new patron, Mr John Maasland.

Mr Maasland was born in the Waikato and gained a BA in law and then an MA in law from the University of Cambridge, UK. Trained as a lawyer, John Maasland has a distinguished career in business including being a former Chairman of Airways Corporation of NZ, Carter Holt Harvey, Auckland International Airport, Hellaby Holdings, the South Auckland Health Foundation, The Royal New Zealand Ballet and was 20 years with Wilson Horton and its successor company APN, in CEO, Chairman and Director positions.

He is currently Chancellor of AUT, a director of Waterman Capital and Chairman of their No3 Investment Fund. He is also Chairman of the Pacific Oceans Initiative and other fund raising trusts. The Trust looks forward to a bright and successful future with John.

Sir Paul Reeves

Sir Paul was appointed Patron of the Bream Head Conservation Trust in 2010 succeeding Sir Edmund Hillary, the founding Patron.

Sir Paul Alfred Reeves, ONZ, GCMG, GCVO, CF, QSO (6 December 1932 – 14 August 2011), had a distinguished public life.  Trained for ordination in the Anglican Church, he progressed from service as a deacon in 1958 and a priest in 1960, to Bishop of Waiapu in 1971, Bishop of Auckland in 1979, and Archbishop of New Zealand in 1980.

He was appointed Governor General in November 1985, on the advice of Prime Minister David Lange.  Sir Paul was the first person of Maori descent to take the position, and Iwi leaders welcomed his appointment as a significant step toward the spirit of cooperation described in the Treaty of Waitangi.

Not only did Sir Paul bring his mana to Bream Head, in his meetings with the Trustees he projected his total commitment to protection of the environment and the responsibilities of this generation to begin mitigating the damage done by human habitation.  He recognised the inherent value of Bream Head (Te Whara) as a unique surviving example of an earlier landscape.  As both an environmentalist and an educationalist, he saw its potential as an educational resource for promoting teaching and learning to succeeding generations in their guardianship of New Zealand’s heritage.

Sir Edmund Hillary

Sir Edmund Hillary: July 20, 1919 – January 11, 2008 was appointed foundation patron of the Trust in 2002 and was inaugurated at the official opening of the Trust at the Bream Head Scenic Reserve.

Sir Ed, (as he was affectionally known to all) was best known as the conqueror of Mt Everest with Sherpa Tensing Norgay during an expedition led by Sir John Hunt in 1953.  He turned to Antarctic exploration and led the New Zealand section of the Trans-Antarctic expedition from 1955 to 1958. In 1958 he participated in the first mechanized expedition to the South Pole. Hillary went on to organize further mountain-climbing expeditions but, as the years passed, he became increasingly concerned with the welfare of the Nepalese people. In the 1960s, he returned to Nepal, to aid in the development of the society, building clinics, hospitals and 17 schools.

In accepting patronship of the Trust, Sir Edmund Hillary said, “A new century has dawned and with it the realisation that we now stand at the crossroads – the planet’s survival is in our hands, and each of us must contribute to the process of renewal and restoration. With your help, the forests of Bream Head will flourish again and be filled with bird song.”

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People & Committees