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.

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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.

Laura Lynch office admin smiling at camera

Laura Lynch

Administrator

Originally from the land of thatched stone cottages in the Cotswolds, Laura has been on an epic adventure across the heights of Europe's snow-capped mountains to the vast blue of the Pacific Ocean, to find her way to Waiheke back in 2017. She brings a colourful sweetshop of experiences into her work here at WRT.

As a mother to a young daughter Laura is passionate about sustainability and building a bright future for her family and the amazing community, they share it with.

Livne

Livné Ore

Grants & Operations Coordinator

An alumna of Victoria University of Wellington | Te Herenga Waka, Livné moved to Waiheke in 2018 after travelling post-degree.

Her previous volunteering experience, interest in sustainability and eagerness to be involved with her new community led to a three month internship at WRT, after which she stayed involved through grant writing, baking at Kai Conscious Café and working alongside Kristin for the then-called Project Little Oneroa.

In February 2020, she started working full time as WRT's new Grants and 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.

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.

Maria

Maria Verdinelli

Assistant Restoration Manager

Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, María arrived at Waiheke Island in 2014 on her Working Holiday Visa and quickly realised that the island was a unique paradise with a very particular and lovely community in which she wanted to settle down for a longer term.

Back in Argentina, she obtained a degree in human resources, but her desire to explore new experiences saw her try a few different jobs until she discovered the landscape gardening industry in which she finally felt a deeper connection. Maria learnt the patterns and processes of nature to live in a more sustainable way, and permaculture principles through an Auckland permaculture workshop PDC in 2019.

After some time as a Team Leader, Maria now works as Assistant Restoration Manager for the Love Our Wetlands project.

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

Current Crew

Interns

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)!

intern sophie looking at the camera and smiling

Sophie Lewis

Kia ora!

I’m Sophie, I was proudly born and raised on Waiheke Island where I have lived my whole life. I feel very grateful to have been brought up on Waiheke because of its small supportive community.

I am currently in my third year of study at Auckland University of Technology majoring in Communication Design. My minor is Design for Sustainability, a course that has influenced my approach to design as it has taught me how to look at concepts, ideas, or issues through a different perspective. I grew up with the ocean as my backyard so I live and breathe anything to do with the ocean. Growing up on an island, I have developed a strong connection with nature. As a communication designer, I believe we have the power to create change and use design as a way to feed the planet, rather than degrade it.

I joined the WRT Graphic Design Internship through AUT. I am very excited to get involved with the community, and use design for a good cause. It has been a goal of mine to be in a team environment with like minded people who are passionate about creating change. I can’t wait to learn and develop my skills during my time at Waiheke Resources Trust and I am grateful for this opportunity.

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.

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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.

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.

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​​Ngā mihi nui

WRT Team