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Whaitua te Whanganui-a-Tara committee members

Whaitua te Whanganui-a-Tara committee members

Updated 29 August 2019 2:52pm

Meet the Whaitua Te-Whanganui-a-Tara committee members:

Louise Askin
Committee Co-Chair
Roger Blakeley 
Quentin Duthie  Peter Gilberd
Tui Lewis Peter Matcham
Zoe Ogilvie Jonny Osborne
Anya Pollock Kara Puketapu-Dentice
Committee Co-Chair
Naomi Solomon Paul Swain
Morris Te Whiti Love Gabriel Tupou
Pat van Berkel Wayne Guppy
Hikitia Ropata  

Louise Askin

 Louise Askin - Committee Co-Chair

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.

Louise Askin

 Roger Blakeley

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.”


 Quentin Duthie

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.


 Peter Gilberd

Dr. Peter Gilberd is a Wellington City councillor, who holds the Natural Environment and City Science portfolios. He trained as a scientist, has a research and teaching background in physics, and has worked in research funding with the Royal Society Te Apārangi. At a practical level, Peter is a passionate grower and planter of native trees, determined to extend the halo right through the northern suburbs of Wellington to Newlands.

“Born and bred in the northern suburbs of Wellington, I am the programme manager at the Royal Society of New Zealand for the $60 million Marsden Fund, a fund for research. A former university physics lecturer and government scientist, I have led many community activities including being the founder of the Woodridge Planters, a community planting group based in Northern suburbs of Wellington. The group is part of a riparian tree planting project with the Million Metres Streams and we're crowdfunding to plant out 400 meters of the Belmont Stream.”

Peter has shadowed Councillor David Lee through the latter part of Te Awarua o Porirua Whaitua process so is familiar with the expectations of the committee and the commitment required to improve water quality.

 Tui Lewis

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 Matcham

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 Ogilvie

Zoe is a committed communications and engagement professional who brings her invaluable experience of working collaboratively in cross-functional teams challenging the status quo and delivering high-quality innovative solutions. Since 2014, she has been delivering various work programmes in the field of biosecurity, flood protection, environment and strategy. A passionate community volunteer, Zoe is member of the Alex Moore Park Board in Johnsonville and works closely with four clubs, community and Wellington City Council. She is responsible for coordinating operational matters of Sportsville project in Johnsonville since 2016.


 Jonny Osborne

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 Pollock

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.

 Kara Puketapu-Dentice - Committee Co-Chair

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.

 Naomi Solomon

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.


 Paul Swain

Councillor Swain represents the Upper Hutt constituency on Greater Wellingtons Regional Council. He is chair of the Finance, Risk and Assurance Committee and sits on the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committees, the Hutt Valley Flood Management subcommittee as well as Te Upoko Taiao. 

Notably, Paul was made a Companion of the Queen's Service Order (QSO) in March 2009 for services as a Member of Parliament. He has been employed by the Crown as their lead negotiator for a settlement of historical grievances with Ngāti Porou and has chaired the NZ Fire Service board since 2016. 

Before being elected to GWRC Paul was MP for Eastern Hutt (which later became Remutaka) from 1990 until the 2008 election, which he did not contest, retiring from national politics. He has held a number of ministerial portfolios, including Associate Minister of Finance, Minister of Commerce, Minister of Communications, Minister of Corrections, Minister of Immigration, Minister for Information Technology, Minister of Labour, Minister of Statistics, Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Minister of Transport, and Associate Minister for Economic Development.


 Morris Te Whiti Love

Tēnā e te iti, tēnā e te rahi,
e noho maii ngā takiwā o te motu.
Tēnei te mihi atu ki a koutou katoa, nō reira tēnā tātou katoa.
Ko Morris Te Whiti Love ahau.
No Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngati Ruanui me Ngati Tama.
Ko Te Tatau o Te Po, Waiwhetu, Pipitea, Waikawa me Owae, oku marae.

Morris Te Whiti Love is recently retired, and was a member of the Committee from January to June 2019.

I have a BE (Agricultural). I am a trained hearings commissioner under the RMA and a self-employed resource management and fisheries consultant with Raukura Consultants. I have advised on West Wind and Mill Creek (Meridian Energy - Wellington), HMR, Contact Wind in Waikato, and NZTA roading projects, Basin Bridge and Tunnel Duplication, and War Memorial Park in Wellington and other projects. I was Chairman of the Te Wai Maori Trust, on fresh water fisheries of TOKM, and the Waste Advisory Board. 

I was elected a Trustee of Wellington Tenths Trust in 2012. My personal interests include waka taua, waka culture and waka ama. Other positions held include Chair of the Wharewaka o Poneke Charitable Trust; Kaitiaki of Te Hononga, Te Rerenga Kotare and Poutu; Trustee of Te Atiawa o Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui Potiki Trust.


 Gabriel Tupou

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 van Berkel

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.

 Wayne Guppy

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.

 Hikitia Ropata

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, including a role for Auckland Council managing the Parks and Open Space Policy team. 

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 is a Manager in the education sector and lives in Pōneke.