Whaitua te Whanganui-a-Tara committee members
Meet the Whaitua Te-Whanganui-a-Tara committee members:
|Ros Connelly||Quentin Duthie|
|Sean Rush||Naomi Solomon
||Pat van Berkel
Louise, a resident of Makara Beach, works with the rural sector to support sustainable land use. She enjoys working with a wide range of people, including farmers, growers, iwi, scientists, NGOs, and businesses, to reach a shared goal. Louise currently co-manages a $34 million funding scheme at the Ministry for Primary Industries, working closely with regional councils to address hill country erosion. She also spends her time parenting two young daughters, fishing and participating in local community activities including working with landowners to improve the health of Makara Stream. Trained in science, she appreciates the use of good information to help communities make their own decisions. Louise brings to the Whaitua Committee a drive to foster good, cross-discipline working relationships and strong experience in setting up clear processes and timeframes to get the job done.
Councillor Roger Blakeley is an elected member of Greater Wellington Regional Council and of Capital and Coast District Health Board. He was Chief Planning Officer, Auckland Council from the start of the governance reforms in 2010 until 2015; Chief Executive, Porirua City Council from 2000 to 2010; Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs from 1995 to 2000, and Chief Executive, Ministry for the Environment from 1986 to 1995, including the whole period of development of the Resource Management Act 1991. He is a past chair of the Paris-based OECD Environment Committee. He has served on numerous boards in the government, local government and not-for-profit sectors.
“I am experienced in collaborative processes, and co-led the planning for the Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan process in 2014. As Secretary for the Environment, I personally facilitated a collaborative process to achieve the 1986 ‘West Coast Forests Accord’.
“I have extensive knowledge on RMA provisions, and processes to successfully deliver complex planning challenges with high levels of community engagement, and in a manner that is ‘fast, simple, bold and innovative’.
“I believe councils can achieve high levels of community engagement, through processes of community empowerment and community-led planning and action. This approach benefits from the local knowledge and passions of people in the community. Conflicting views can be resolved by local leadership and collaboration with all groups that are affected.”
Councillor Ros Connelly’s principal place of residence is the Te Awa Kairangi ki Uta/Upper Hutt Constituency. Ros is a trained scientist and holds a Master of Public Management from Victoria University. She has mostly worked in public service and was elected to the Upper Hutt City Council in 2016. She was elected to the Greater Wellington Regional Council in 2019 and is the deputy Chair of GW's Environment Committee. She is a mother of two and has spent a lot of time dedicated to the community level governance of early childcare centres, kid’s sports teams and schools. Ros is passionate about ensuring the sustainable use of our natural resources, promoting women’s leadership and participation in decision-making, and creating buildings, services and environments that are inclusive and accessible to all people. She believes a priority for GWRC is protecting our river and water, including taking action on water uses such as bottling.
Quentin lives with his young family in the Belmont Hills, Lower Hutt, nestled between Puke Ariki and Te Awakairangi. A Pākehā of Scottish, Irish and English descent, his forbears first arrived in the Hutt Valley in 1840. He grew up in Central Hawkes Bay, and went on to complete a Master of New Zealand Studies from Victoria University of Wellington.
He has worked in environmental policy since 2005, as an assistant, researcher and adviser to Green Party Members of Parliament, a conservation advocate for Forest and Bird, and a director of Policy and Research with the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. Today he is a self-employed stay-home parent providing independent advice on a range of environmental topics to his clients.
His family is focused on caring for the environment, enjoying the outdoors, connecting to history and whakapapa, and increasing its use of te reo Māori. He sees the Whaitua project as a journey where he can apply his experience and values, listen and learn from others, and be part of developing a vision that enhances the mana of the whenua, the tangata whenua, and the whole community.
Mayor Wayne Guppy represents Upper Hutt on the Whaitua Te Whanganui-a-Tara Committee. Prior to becoming Mayor, Wayne was a City Councillor for three years. Before entering politics he was a Pharmacist and he and his wife had community pharmacies in Upper Hutt. Wayne also gained a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Nebraska in USA and was a lecturer for 15 years at the School of Pharmacy at the Central Institute of Technology. He currently Chair’s the Wellington Mayoral Forum and is Deputy Chair of the Hutt Valley District Health Board. He also Chair’s the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee of the Hutt Valley DHB. Wayne also represents Upper Hutt on the Hutt Valley Flood Management Subcommittee, the Regional Transport Committee, Let’s Get Wellington Moving, Wellington Regional Strategy Committee, Wellington Climate Change Committee. As Mayor, Wayne knows the importance that the environment and the river is to the region.
Hutt City councillor Tui Lewis is a long-time resident of Petone who has always been active in the community. This is her second term as a councillor, she sits on several Council committees the Eastbourne and Petone Community Boards, she is Deputy Chair Arts and Culture subcommittee is Chair of the Spatial Plan committee for Petone 2040 and also sits on the Waste Forum Group.
Tui works alongside Iwi and community stakeholders on dune development and rejunevation of local waterways, these projects are helping connect many people with their urban natural environment and providing people with strong connections to our place. Tui feels it is a privilege to serve Te Awakarangi and to support the kaitiakitanga of our special environment with the Whaitua Te Whanganui-a-Tara committee.
Peter is passionate about ecology and the analysis of complex ‘messy’ problems. He provides pro bono services to various NGOs, including policy analysis, advocacy at all levels, and project evaluation using qualitative as well as quantitative evaluation criteria.
Living with his wife on the edge of Belmont Regional Park for over 30 years, he led a successful campaign to prevent the sale of 1,098 hectares of the Park for development resulting in all affected land passing into public ownership. Pete considers he has a responsibility to pass on a sustainable whaitua to his grandchildren, and is excited at the opportunity to work with the whole community to build understanding and support for an essential regional asset.
“I think considering all parts of the water cycle as a complete system is essential to the success of the Whaitua te Whanganui a Tara, as is the acceptance of different world views. A blending of a systems approach, ecological economics and matauranga Maori is key, as is the allocation of appropriate economic value to public goods.”
Pete has a wide community involvement, locally and at national level. A board member of the Grey Power Federation for six years, he was elected National Vice-President in 2016.
Zoe is an engagement professional who brings experience working collaboratively with organisations like the Department of Conservation, Ministry for Primary Industries, Ministry of Culture and Heritage and NZTA. Since 2014, she has provided engagement and communications guidance for programmes mainly focused on biosecurity. A passionate community volunteer, Zoe is board member of the Alex Moore Park Sport and Community, Inc. in Johnsonville and UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand. When not talking about water, biosecurity or volunteering she spends most of her time chasing her young son around. Zoe is based in Karori.
Jonny has a diverse background of working in legal and media industries, in academia and has been an analyst in the Water Directorate of the Ministry for the Environment since September 2014. As a member of the Freshwater Policy Team, he has led the policy development of several regulatory amendments, primarily focused on the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. He enjoys solving problems and finding creative solutions, especially during challenging times. A Wellington resident since the early 2000s, Jonny loves to explore the many beautiful parks, rivers, streams and beaches the region has to offer. He's excited by the prospect of improving the health of our fresh water and harbour for future generations to enjoy.
Anya grew up in Stokes Valley and now lives in Karori with her young family, giving her a regional perspective across Whanganui-a-tara. She is lucky to have Karori Stream flow through her backyard, but this also provides regular reminders of the challenges we face to shift our relationship with water so that the water and people are healthy together across generations.
She is excited to have the opportunity to work with the committee and people across the whaitua to find a way forward together. Anya is an experienced policy advisor who has enjoyed a varied career in the public sector, with over twelve years spent at the Ministry for the Environment. For much of this time, she worked in freshwater policy, including leading advice on the national framework for freshwater objective setting developed with a collaborative group of iwi, councils, scientists, economists and stakeholders. Her experience at the national level means she brings a good understanding of the context for the Whaitua process, and of the complexity of the issues that need to be understood and worked through from diverse perspectives.
Ko Pukeatua te Maunga
Ko Waiwhetū te Awa
Ko Te Arohanui ki Te Tangata te Whare Tūpuna
Ko Te Atiawa te Iwi
Ko Kara Puketapu-Dentice ahau
I am the grandson of Jean (Waikaremoana) and Kara Puketapu (Waiwhetū). I was raised on our whānau farm in Wainui-o-mata.
I have a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Resource Management from the University of Otago. In 2015, I was fortunate enough to be selected to participate in the Asia Pacific Leadership Programme, at the East West Center in Hawaii. Previously I have worked at Horizons Regional Council, Palmerston North as a policy analyst, supporting iwi in their freshwater projects and treaty settlement processes, including the Whanganui River Settlement. I am currently employed by Wellington Water Ltd as Senior Advisor Whaitua Relationships and have sat on the project team for Te Awarua o Porirua Whaitua Committee. So I am very familiar with the Whaitua process as well as the NPS-FM.
Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngati Raukawa ki e Tonga, Te Ati Awa ki Whakarongotai.
Hikitia represents Greater Wellington’s Te Upoko Taiao (Natural Resources Management Committee) on the Whaitua Committee and has done so for Te Awarua o Porirua Whaitua also. Hikitia has a background in public policy across a range of social, economic and sustainable development areas.
A passionate advocate for her people and a papakainga shareholder of land in Hongoeka Bay, Hikitia brings with her a keen focus on our role as stewards, guardians and protectors of our land and water. Currently, Hikitia manages her own contracting business and lives in Pōneke.
Sean Rush is a newly elected Wellington City Councillor holding the infrastructure (including 3 waters) and low carbon energy portfolios. He is a father of two under 6 and he and his wife live in Roseneath. Before leaving on his OE in 1994, Sean was a criminal and family lawyer in Napier. After a season of rugby in the United States, driving trucks and working in bars in London, Sean spent the following 18 years in London as an energy and infrastructure lawyer, with two years in Calgary, Canada, and a year in the Middle East. He became Chairman of the UK Energy Lawyers Group, an adviser to the British Secretary of State for Energy and completed a Masters in Petroleum Law and Policy with distinction through the University of Dundee, obtaining the highest grade ever awarded for a thesis. Sean returned to New Zealand in 2013 and worked for the Todd Corporation as their Commercial Manager. He then set up his own legal consultancy specialising in energy and infrastructure, with particular emphasis on low carbon energy. This year he is completing a Masters in Climate Change Science and Policy at Victoria University of Wellington.
Naomi Solomon is the Ngāti Toa representative to Whaitua te Whanganui-a-Tara. She has recently been appointed as the Manager of Resource Management and Communications at Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Inc. Prior to this, she worked as a Senior Policy Analyst at Te Puni Kōkiri where she was responsible for international indigenous rights and intellectual property policy; as a Private Secretary in the Office of the Minister for Māori Development; and at the Ministry for Primary Industries working on Biosecurity and Animal Welfare Regulatory Reform. Naomi has spent a number of years as a Board Member of Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira and was the Chairperson of the board’s Audit, Risk and Investment Committee for a number of years. Miss Solomon also served as the Ngāti Toa representative to Te Upoko Taiao, and as a committee member on Te Awarua-o-Porirua Whaitua Committee. She is an experienced policy analyst with a background in Crown-Maori relationships and has experience in iwi governance issues. Naomi has a Bachelor of Law (LLB) and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Political Science from Victoria University of Wellington. She is also an alum of the World Intellectual Property Organisation Summer School Programme.
Gabriel is an active community member serving both as a volunteer and at a governance level who enjoys making a positive impact on people’s lives. An outstanding representative of our Māori and Pasifika communities, he leads through inclusion and respect for others. Gabriel connects with all parts of the community – from youth through to the elderly. He finds his passion for the community to be inspiring and is a constant support for those around him.
“As kaitiaki of the taiao, our taonga, it is incumbent upon each of us to preserve the integrity of our environment and way of life. Being part of the Whaitua Whanganui-a-tara Committee is an opportunity for us to examine the past, present and future of water. And to use that knowledge to influence positive outcomes that will improve the quality and management of water for generations to come,” he says.
Pat is now focusing his energies on the environment and conservation in New Zealand after a career with land administration systems in New Zealand and overseas. He is active in the committee of Forest & Bird Upper Hutt where he advocates for the green belt, the Hutt River, and local wetlands.
He has recently helped start community-based predator control in Upper Hutt. He chairs the committee of Friends of the Hutt River -- an advocacy group for the river – and has sought improved management of its toxic algae. Pat is passionate about the health of our rivers and streams and having a thriving natural environment for birds and trees for people to enjoy. In his spare time, he is a keen orienteer and tramper.