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

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

Originally from Waiatarua in the Waitakere Ranges Kristin moved to Waiheke in 2001. Working for various not for profit organisations on Waiheke Island since 2010 she has a deep knowledge of and connection to the community.

Previously leading WRT's Project Little Oneroa and the Compost Collective, Kristin is now Project Lead for Love Our Wetlands and is the WRT Partnerships Manager.

As a mother of 2 young children who is passionate about the environment and her community, being active and supporting grass roots community initiatives is forefront to the work she does.

Laura Lynch office admin smiling at camera

Laura Lynch

Administration and Events Coordinator

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 and Operations Manager

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 Manager

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 out in the stream

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.

smiling man with sunnies on

James Siddle

GIS Specialist

Having grown up in the Manawatu, studying at Victoria University in Wellington, and then spending 10 years in London; James returned to New Zealand in 2014 and by the end of 2015 was living on Waiheke. With a professional background in GIS and spatial analysis across public and private entities in local government, natural resources and the emergency services, James decided to follow a dream and set up 10 Knots Smokehouse - a seafood smokehouse on Waiheke Island in 2019. As part of their food waste reduction strategy 10 Knots donates regularly to the Kai Conscious cafe food recovery service.

In 2022, while still owning the business, James decided to get back into GIS, ideally with a local influence, and is enjoying applying his skills to the Waiheke Resources Trust's projects.

As a keen kayak fisherman and father of two young children, James is keen to help WRT meet its goals and positively impact the local environment.

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.

Compost Team

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 Team

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

Interns

Axel Tritt

Axel Tritt

Kia ora,

I’m Axel (he/him) and I’m currently a Masters student at Victoria University of Wellington, focusing on User Experience research and design. WRT has provided me the opportunity to carry out practical research into how the wider Waiheke community interacts with the trust through its website.

I’m hoping to assist WRT in providing an engaging and accessible website experience for all people who visit it. I’m glad to join an organisation who has great pride in educating and informing people about sustainable efforts in their local community.

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 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 Two Fat Buns burger!

Tysha Hall

Tysha Hall

Kia ora,

My name is Tysha and I'm an international traveler from Canada. I will be interning at WRT for 2 months. Border closures delayed my plans for New Zealand by a couple of years, so I am really excited to be here now! I plan on using this time to learn as much as I can so I can apply this knowledge onwards to the rest of my travels and back home as well. Waiheke is beautiful and I hope to meet a lot of the local community and visit a few vineyards as well.

Taiki Yamamori

Taiki Yamamori

Kia ora,

My name is Taiki (he/him) and born in Japan.

I graduated Bachelor of Design (communication design) at AUT in 2019. I grew up in my student days in New Zealand, and am grateful for the blessings of beautiful nature.

I want to contribute more to New Zealand through a Graphic design role. Interning at WRT has provided me with the amazing opportunity to assist WRT with a Graphic design role.

I'm really glad that join as a team member with wonderful projects with great members that support sustainable initiatives on Waiheke.

intern nicki bassing

Nicki Bassing

Kia ora,

My name is Nicki (she/her) and I am from Luxembourg. I am currently doing a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences in the Netherlands and just moved to Waiheke for 6 months to do my internship here. I am passionate about nature, our place within it and especially the role we play in climate change.

Interning at WRT is giving me an amazing opportunity across the globe from home, where I can learn new things about sustainability, nature, community work and conservation. I am excited to intern at WRT to apply my theoretical knowledge in a hands-on experience and gain experience in a field that I have always dreamed of working in.

Iris Simons, smiling

Iris Simons

Kia ora,

My name is Iris (she/her) and I am from the Netherlands. Currently I am doing an internship in New Zealand at WRT. For this internship I moved to Waiheke Island for half a year.

In the Netherlands, I study Land and Water Management with a minor in GIS. Before that, I studied forest and nature conservation for about a year.

During my time in Aotearoa I would like to experience as much of the country as I can. On Waiheke Island there is a different approach to Land and Water management compared to the Netherlands and I hope to learn a lot from this different way of looking at both Land and Water.

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.

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Nicky Elmore

Board Member

Nicky was lucky enough to have grown up in rural Aotearoa, living pretty sustainable life style. With parents as teachers, she holidayed all over this beautiful country enjoying the bush, lakes and oceans. This is what she wanted for her own children which began her journey in sharing sustainability and learning in the environment. Firstly at Meadowbank School, then with Auckland Council in the Sustainable schools team as an Enviroschools facilitator. She is passionate about empowering tamariki and rangatahi to become regenerative leaders, making a difference through their actions.

Currently living in Auckland, her family are building on Waiheke and excited to be moving to the island permanently soon, seeing Waiheke as community of people and opportunities closely aligned with their values. Nicky's work with schools has an integral connection to Waiheke Resources Trust as an active connector in the community.

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Leslie Hamilton

Board Member

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.

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.

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.

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.

Beini Guo

Beini Guo

Treasurer

Beini is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with seven years of M&A experience, having spent her first two years at an investment banking firm before moving to the Corporate Finance team in PWC.

Beini brings to the treasurer role a wealth of experience having been involved in a range of mergers & acquisitions, valuation and strategic review projects. Her experience spans across different industries such as healthcare, food & beverage, information technology and tourism, including cross-border deals with the UK and China.

WRT are excited to benefit from this experience working in the corporate finance industry that taught her how to consistently deliver in high pressure environments whilst maintaining a strong attention to detail.

She fits right in with the ethos of our team with a love for the outdoors that includes camping and exploring New Zealand.

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​​Ngā mihi nui

WRT Team