Meet our people

The WRT’s work is made possible by a network of people committed to the Trust’s vision.

Office Crew

mike maahs

Michael Maahs

General Manager

mike@wrt.org.nz

021 143 6791

Michael has resided on Waiheke Island since 2010. Originally from Detroit Michigan USA, Michael spent a number of years in the states gaining a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning and working for State Government before settling on Waiheke. While in New Zealand Michael also attended the University of Auckland and graduated with a Masters in planning practice.

Michael has specialised in not-for-profit organisations and has worked in this sector in Auckland since 2010, as the national project manager at the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand and now as the general manager at the Waiheke Resources Trust.

Michael has helped create organisations on Waiheke, serving as a founding member of the Waiheke Community Housing Trust. He has also had instumental roles in the creation of the Waiheke Collective, Island Waste Collective, and Te Korowai O Waiheke.

Michael lives with his family on the island and practices and supports sustainable initiatives on Waiheke.

Kristen Busher holding flax

Kristin Busher

Partnerships Manager

kristin@wrt.org.nz

027 386 1125

Originally from Waiatarua in the Waitakere Ranges Kristin moved to Waiheke in 2001. Her experience in the community sector began in 2010 as Waiheke Playgroup's Coordinator. Her passion for environmental sustainability & waste reduction then stemmed from her previous role as Assistant Manager & Funding Administrator of New Hope Shop & Timber.
As a mother of 2 young children who is passionate about her community , working with and supporting grass roots community projects and initiatives is important to Kristin and the work she does.

beth rose

Beth Rose

Communications Manager

Beth joined WRT at the beginning of 2021. She is a relative newcomer to the island having only moved here in 2018. Two little children have fast-tracked her into the community and now she’s involved in all sorts of things from volunteering for Te Huruhi School to raising money for pottery equipment at the Catherine Mitchell Arts Centre.

Working at WRT sees Beth returning to environmental communications, which is where her career began in London. She brings nearly two decades of experience in marketing, journalism and communications with government, non-profits, large corporates, small start-ups and UK national media.

Livne

Livné Ore

Grants & Operations Coordinator

A VUW Bachelor of Arts graduate (major in International Relations, minors in Media Studies and Geophysics), Livné moved to Waiheke in 2018.

Her previous volunteering experience and eagerness to be involved with her new community led to a 3-month internship at the WRT, after which she stayed involved with the WRT through grant writing, baking at Kai Conscious Café and working alongside Kristin for Project Little Oneroa. In February 2020, she started working full time as WRT's new grant & operations coordinator.

Kayleigh Appleton

Kayleigh Appleton

Zero Waste Events Coordinator & Composter

Kayleigh grew up on the wind-blasted Orkney Isles of Scotland and followed the sun to Aotearoa in January of 2018. She has always been a child of nature and is passionate about trying to life as zero waste as possible. She views working as the Zero Waste Events Coordinator for Waiheke as primarily an educational role and a wonderful chance to vibe with people about where they are at on their waste-awareness journey. Based at the Waiheke Resources Trust on Waiheke she also works as the WasteWise Facilitator for Kai Conscious, a composter on the Compost Co. hot composting facility and as part of the Love Our Wetlands restoration team.

Nathalya

Nathalya Larson

Waiheke Waterways Project Coordinator

Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Nathalya decided to spend a weekend on Waiheke and instantly fell in love with it. The short weekend trip turned into 7 years and she now calls Aotearoa home.

Growing up in São Paulo, she saw first hand the impacts pollution has on our waterways and rivers. Her father has worked for over 38 years in several water treatment projects around South America, so they would talk about the different projects he was working on and how important they were.

She loves being a part of our amazing community and working towards making it a better place for our tamariki.

IMG_1838

Leslie Hamilton

Waiheke Waterways Project Catalyst

Originally from the USA, Leslie moved to New Zealand so her children could grow up surrounded by natural beauty in a small country with a big heart.
After living near the Waitakere Ranges, she moved to Waiheke to enjoy the beautiful beaches, food and cultural activities. However, she discovered that
the true beauty of Waiheke is the community.

As a facilitator, leadership coach and future of work catalyst, Leslie has spent her career supporting people and organisations to make small changes in their behaviour in order to create important changes in their world. She is very excited to be using those skills as a member of WRT to help the Waiheke community build a sustainable future for our island.

haley

Haley Wilson

Bookkeeper

Haley is based in the Mangawhai, Northland, where she now lives with her family after moving from Waiheke Island.

Prior to starting up her own business, My Two Cents, in 2014, Haley worked for Kiwibank for 8 years, and then in various accounts roles working with a multitude of software's and systems. She is currently studying for a Bachelor of Accountancy at Massey University.

Haley is also an award winning bookkeeper - taking out ICNZB's Bookkeeper in a Small Practice award in 2019.

Jan_Ramp

Jan Ramp

Mapping Specialist

Graphic designer, map maker and landscape architect Jan Ramp helps us tackle the increasingly complex challenges around our maps and plans. His experience with layout software improves our skills and efficiency, and his focus on getting the most out of our GIS mapping software sets us up for improved work flows between field and office staff.

Jan has lived on Waiheke since 1994 and has an intimate knowledge of the island. He has been instrumental in the creation of the Te Ara Hura walkway, and has supported many ecological restoration programmes on the island with his customised maps. His business, Snapper Graphics, is well-known as a supplier of interpretation design around the Auckland region and beyond.

Our Composters

Mike Fogarty

Mike Fogarty

Compost Co. Project Manager

Mike moved to Waiheke Island permanently with his partner Karen in May 2020 after 4 years of regular visits to the island. With a long-term business background with battery electric forklift company Crown Lift Trucks, and experience as the past owner of a small local business in Howick, he has a good understanding of the challenges in transitioning to sustainability.

Mike values the opportunity to work with the many community groups, local businesses and people that support The Compost Co.in reducing waste going into landfill.

David Woodhouse portrait

David Woodhouse

Composter

Kai Conscious Crew

Kathy

Kathy Voyles

Kai Conscious Cafe Coordinator

Kathy Voyles grew up in the grasslands of the Waikato, before accidently living in Europe for 30 years, working in media departments for IGOs, & NGOs and becoming extremely passionate about food, human rights and the environment. After doing as many cooking workshops as she could fit in, amid running a small environment based grassroots NGO, and parenthood she continues to develop frugal food recipes, give cooking demos and write as much poetry as she can. Working at Kai Conscious Waiheke has allowed Kathy to learn even more about food while sharing the odd filo pie recipe as well.

Hadas Ore

Hadas Ore

Kai Rescuer

In 2021, Hadas celebrated 4 years of living on Waiheke Island with her partner and two daughters. She began her food journey on the island by conducting workshops on Middle Eastern home cooking. She has been a long-time volunteer at the Kai Conscious Cafe, and also does her bit happily in hosting the monthly meetings of the Crop Swap.

Hadas sees this role as important to making the island a hub for conservation, regeneration and sustainability. Becoming a food rescuer is just one way in which she is choosing to realise her lifelong commitment to food and its importance in our human lives and social relationship on this planet.

Hadas has a PhD in food anthropology, and as a migrant to New Zealand she knows from first-hand experience the ways humans can employ food to make themselves and others feel at home.

She looks forward to establishing great working relationships with as many food business on the island as possible!

Teresa Quin

Teresa Quin

Kai Rescuer

Kia koutou, kei roto Waiheke e noho ana, ko Teresa Quin ahau.

I'm a long-term Waihekean, a link in several generations who live and grow here. We're all committed to a well Waiheke, supporting our environment and communities to the best of our abilities. As such, being a part of the magnificent WRT feels like coming home.

I have a strong drive to be involved in the sustainability of our assets (tangata and whenua), and food recovery, redistribution and enjoyment answers this. We are simultaneously what we eat and what we throw away, so let's do the best we can with both.

Wetland Team

Kym Rawsom - WRT Restoration Manager

Kym Rawson

Restoration Manager

Kym has taken on the paid roll of Restoration Team Leader for the Waiheke Resources Trust in late 2016. Kym is an experienced and passionate local bringing a superior knowledge base to action for the restoration of key Waiheke wetlands. He has worked for 13 years under tutelage of the advisory team both professionally and voluntarily for a multitude of various projects on the island. Kym is a huge asset secured for the benefit of the wetlands and their legacy.

The ERM role is defined to provide native plant and weed knowledge, wetland and forest ecological restoration knowledge, leadership directing the team, extract and feed into database, site assessments, tool and scrub cutter experience, high work ethic, and to be passionate.

Julian

Julian Watts

Restoration Team Leader
Karla

Karla Burgin

Restoration Team Leader
Lincoln

Lincoln Jackson

Restoration Team Leader
Man in red glasses and WRT love our wetlands shirt

Yossi Ore

Restoration Team Leader
Maria

Maria Verdinelli

Restoration Team Leader

Current Crew

Interns

Mikayla Bourne - intern

Mikayla Bourne

Kia ora,

I'm Mikayla, and I am in my last year of a conjoint Bachelor of Global Studies and Commerce Degree at the University of Auckland. Throughout my degree, I have specialised in areas of International Business, Marketing and Global Politics and Human Rights.

Growing up in a semi-rural suburb on Auckland's North Shore, I have always had a passion for the environment and sustainability. So for me, it is an excellent opportunity to be an intern at WRT and contribute towards a sustainable future. I'm excited to learn more about what WRT does alongside gaining valuable experience working for a sustainable non-profit organisation.

a young woman smiling at the camera

Hayley Edwards

Hello, I’m Hayley.

I have a bachelor of Business and am currently running a B&B on the beautiful Waiheke Island. Being on the island and running a business has made me constantly wonder how I can be more sustainable in my practices. So taking this opportunity was a no-brainer as I believe we will be able to help each other in order to be better for our future.

I am excited to use my social media and graphic design skills for a positive cause and work alongside the amazing team. I love getting outdoors on an adventure and getting in touch with nature so can’t wait to learn and be a part of the team.

young woman looking seriously at camera

Alejandra Camargo

Tēnā koutou katoa,

I’m Alejandra Camargo, but people call me Ale. I was born and raised at the foot of the Andes mountains, near Bogotá, Colombia. Surrounded by both nature and city life, my curiosity to discover new places and cultures began.

In 2017, after I finished my degree in graphic design with an emphasis on editorial, I went to explore the world. Germany was my home for more than 2 years. There I did volunteer work, working with local hospitals in the city of Heidelberg - until now the most rewarding experience in my life. Now that I am in New Zealand, I look forward to working with the Waiheke community as part of WRT design team.

I am very excited about the projects WRT do. I hope this experience not only enriches me in my design skills but also helps me learn about the best sustainability and environmental practices. I am also looking forward to meeting a community of people who are as passionate as me about creating a more sustainable planet.

intern ray petting an alpaca in a field

Ray Bao

Hi, I'm Ray Bao.

I am currently a Master's student studying marketing and aspire to be a digital marketing guru. I came to New Zealand two years ago and fell in love with the country. The country has a different culture, people and landscape to China.

I am very happy to meet so many colleagues and interns and to work with them. I hope we will have a great process and I am looking forward to the rest of my work and getting to know Waiheke. I am very excited to join WRT and to be able to use my skills to contribute to Waiheke and WRT!

Paz Olivares – wrt gis intern

Paz Olivares

Hola a todos!

I'm Paz from Chile and I moved to New Zealand almost 3 years ago and I'm enjoying every little corner of this wonderful country and its people.

My background is in environmental sciences and I just finished a Postgrad in GIS at AUT. I love being around nature and getting to know people from different cultures, I think I'm in the right country!

I joined WRT in an internship programme as GIS Intern. I'm happy to help them in any way I can and learn more skills not only in geospatial science but in everything related to what they do for and with the community. It's amazing the work they do and I'm excited to visit the island as soon as I can.

Looking forward to seeing you soon WRT community 🙂

Intern Shirin sitting in front of the Auckland Museum

Shirin Akramkhanova

Hey I'm Shirin.

I am an undergraduate Environmental Science and GIS student at the University of Auckland. I moved to Auckland two years ago from Uzbekistan and fell in love with the nature of New Zealand. My courses allowed me to explore more about the New Zealand environment, its history and its importance for local people.

I joined WRT as an intern to learn how local communities take care of their environment and become more sustainable. I am excited to be involved with WRT projects and use my skills and knowledge to make a positive change that would benefit people and the environment of Waiheke Island.

Yitong WRT intern

Yitong Zhao

Hi I'm Yitong.

I'm now a PhD student of University of Auckland, interested in stormwater management and have some experience in GIS and stormwater modelling.

WRT has provided me with an opportunity to have an integral understanding of a local waterway project, and it is great to see that everyone here has so much passion to learn and communicate their knowledge and opinion on stormwater and environmental protection. Although my intern journey has just started, I really look forward to how would I contribute to Waiheke wai.

My nearest-term dream is to visit Waiheke, learn some water quality monitoring skills from my dear colleagues, and have a nice Too Fat Buns burger(no ads)!

lifepic

RuitongHe

Hey I'm Ruitong.

I am an master of Applied Computing in Lincoln University. I came to NewZealand two years ago and had been deeply attracted by the beautiful natural scenery.

I joined WRT as an intern to learn how to explore WordPress plugin and SEO. I am excited to be involved with WRT projects and use my skills and knowledge to support the website improvement.

Board

Bronwyn Carruthers

Bronwyn Carruthers

Chairperson

Bronwyn Carruthers grew up in the Bay of Islands and has lived on Waiheke since 2008.

She is an environmental lawyer with an environmental science degree, specialising primarily in Resource Management Act issues but has a keen interest in enhancing indigenous biological diversity and regeneration of the marine environment. She is the convenor of the New Zealand Law Society’s Environmental Law Committee, the editor of the Resource Management Law Association’s Journal and in 2019 was a founding member of Lawyers for Climate Action NZ Inc.

Locally, she has been involved in the Kaitiaki of Newton Reserve neighbourhood conservation group since 2009, joined the Board of WRT in 2018 and has been actively involved in the Waiheke Collective’s Marine Project since its inception.

Ivan Kitson

Ivan Kitson

Board Member

Born in Eketahuna, Aotearoa, Planet Earth in 1950, Ivan's sustainability focus is a unique blend of organic architecture and biological diversity.

After an early 1970s period at Auckland University School of Architecture, Ivan became a strong advocate for building in harmony with the natural world through organic, solar architecture.

After many years of travel, Ivan settled on Waiheke in 1983 to live a sustainable life.

As a plantsman, Ivan continues to propagate Waiheke native plants, with a focus on the restoration of biological diversity. This is supported by guest accommodation at Bioshelter, his sustainable living sculpture and home.

An original Trustee of WRT, Ivan is also a committee member of the local branch of The Forest & Bird Society.

Bill Kinghorn

Bill Kinghorn

Board Member

Bill Kinghorn worked 33 years as a secondary school teacher of many subjects including Mathematics, Physics, General Science, Geography and Basic Economics.

This career included working in urban and rural schools, traditional, private and alternative schools, and almost three years working in Fiji.

A return to university study and a year working (unsuccessfully) as a yacht broker was followed by 10 years working as a secondary school counsellor.

Bill has largely retired from salaried work, however retains his registration with NZAC, and continues to do some counselling work.

Bill's travels include visiting a number of Pacific Islands, USA, UK, Europe, Japan, China and India.

Bill's involvement in the Waiheke Resource Trust is an expression of his interest in the raising of social awareness and assisting initiatives aimed at increasing environmental sustainability in the Waiheke Island Community.

John Stansfield

John Stansfield

Board Member

John is a serial social entrepreneur.

A founder of the Waiheke Resources Trust, John works as the Head of Department of the Department of Social Practice, Faculty of Social and Health Sciences, Unitec West Auckland and has worked and traveled extensively in the Pacific Islands.

John is the co-founder and former program leader of the Graduate Diploma in not for Profit Management and has been an advisor to Government on Community Sector interests. John is also a founder of operating company, Clean Stream Ltd.

John lived on Waiheke with his family for a number of years, moving up to Northland in 2019.

Michael Tavares

Michael Tavares

Board Member

Michael Tavares originally from New South Wales comes to us via the giant wet eucalypt forests of Tasmania.

An experienced Environmental, Social and Community Campaigner, Michael brings with him years of experience in organising and advocating for change.

Active in the local Forest and Bird committee and various grassroots campaigns, Michael lives simply, and is a champion for local democracy, engagement and creative solutions.

Michael strongly believes in the Waiheke community's ability to meet the unique and universal challenges faced by our island home, and to lead on sustainability solutions.

board member Miro Fisch

Miro Fisch

Board Member

Miro has lived on the island all his life, studying locally up until the last two years of high school. He completed his high school studies at ACG Parnell College. He has been involved in numerous projects on the island; Project Forever Waiheke, Waiheke Hot Composting project and the Waiheke Resources Trust, where he did a three-month internship during his gap year. Alongside interning at Waiheke Resources Trust, he also did a six-month internship with Garden to Table Trust.

In 2021 Miro started tertiary education at University of Victoria where he is studying a double major in International Relations and Public Policy, with a minor in Development Studies.

Steven Northover

Steven Northover

Board Member

Steven Northover recently moved to Waiheke from a lifestyle block in Palmerston North. He has a degree in zoology and spent his working career in university libraries and in information provision and management in plant science organisations. He has been involved in farm forestry and riparian and amenity planting. Steven was a committee member of Forest and Bird Manawatu Branch with a particular interest in documentation. His rat baiting run in Newton Reserve continues his interest in pest eradication.