Bream Head Reserve from Manaia

People & Committees

In recognition of the significance of Bream Head, the Bream Head Conservation Trust was formed in 2002 to work in partnership with the local and wider Whangarei communities, the Whangarei District and Regional Councils, iwi, and the Department of Conservation to manage the ecological restoration of the Bream Head Scenic Reserve.

Its vision is to restore Bream Head to a place in which natural ecology has been returned to healthy forest and abundant bird song, and where visitors can experience nature at its best.

The Trust meets once a month to discuss governance, financial and operational issues and receive reports from our committees.


Greg Innes : Chair

Greg has chaired the Trust since 2010. Greg sees Bream Head Scenic Reserve as an icon of scenic and ecological restoration without a fence.  Bream Head is also a passion that is held very strong as a wider community with an appreciation of its bi-cultural significance. Currently he is also the Councillor on District Council for the Whangarei Heads Ward and Chair of the Planning Committee. Previously, he was Director of Planning for Northland and then had a career advising city and local government, worldwide. He enjoys involvement with the trustees, rangers and volunteers where everyone has the same agenda, as well as the results that the Trust is beginning to achieve in times of political uncertainty towards conservation and the conservation estate.


Sheryl Mai : Honorary Trustee

Sheryl is honorary Trustee in her capacity as Whangarei Mayor.


 : Deputy Chair



Annie Everson-Dawn : Trust Secretary

Annie has been our Secretary and Minute Taker since 2011 and thoroughly enjoys the involvement and the passion that the Trust offers. As an advocate of conservation and preservation of NZ fauna and flora she says her involvement in what the Trust is striving for and achieving is both rewarding and fulfilling.  She is also involved with other community groups in the Whangarei District that offer fulfillment.


John Gardiner : Trustee

John’s career in conservation spanned 47 years with the Department of Conservation and its predecessor, the Department of Lands and Survey, where he held numerous positions in many locations throughout New Zealand. He now works part time as an expedition team member or guest lecturer on expedition cruises around the coastline of New Zealand and, in particular, the sub-Antarctic Islands. He also contracts to the New Zealand Walking Access Commission as their Northland Field Adviser.

With an intimate working knowledge of his country’s great outdoors, its national parks and fascinating flora and fauna, John has been a key player in the recovery of many endangered species and threatened habitats, and the initiating force behind a large number of conservation projects.  Now John is happiest when sharing his extensive knowledge of New Zealand’s natural and cultural environments and history, especially with visitors to this country.

Bill Mallett

Bill Mallett : Treasurer

Bill is a retired chartered accountant, having practised in Whangarei for 30 years. He became involved with the Trust initially participating in a planting day in 2011 and subsequently taking responsibility for the finances later that year, becoming a trustee in 2012. These responsibilities entail the preparation of monthly and annual financial statements, GST returns, liaison with auditors and funding providers, preparation of annual budgets and payment of accounts. From his Urquhart Bay bach he looks out at Mount Lion and enjoys making the most of what the Reserve has to offer.

Lil Ruffell

Lil Ruffell : Trustee

Lil says: I have enjoyed visiting Whangarei Heads since my teenage years and from the year 2000 I have been lucky enough to call it home. My children grew up enjoying this special place and have all maintained a strong connection, coming home to put down roots and raise their families here; it makes me immensely proud to think they too appreciate and value this special place, and are supporting local initiatives to conserve this taonga. I am keen to support the Trust in their work to protect, enhance and enrich our natural resource – I am in awe of the incredible work the trust has done over the years. I have had a long career in education, and was privileged to be principal at Whangarei Heads School for 9 rewarding years. I believe it is very important that we connect with our young people to help them appreciate the significance of the conservation areas here at Whangarei Heads. Growing this awareness will ensure areas such as this will continue to be valued by future generations. There is huge potential to collaborate with schools and tertiary education facilities with mutual benefits, and I hope to enhance relationships with all stakeholders to maximize these opportunities. I currently chair the Education Committee for the Trust.

Roger Tuck

Roger Tuck : Trustee

Roger says: I was born and raised in the county of Kent (The Garden of England) and developed an early passion for nature and the environment. An avid “twitcher” (bird watcher) from early days influenced by my father, a teacher and naturalist. I trained in medicine in London (UK) and have been fortunate to have lived and worked in a number of countries with my wife Ruth and travelled extensively, including a nearly two year sailing voyage from the East Coast of the USA to the West Coast of the USA via the Panama canal and a wide circumnavigation of the Pacific including Alaska. We finally “dropped anchor” in Northland after a few years in Australia including a memorable year working for Aboriginal communities in the Kimberly region of NW Australia. We arrived in Parua Bay in 1983 by which time Ruth sensibly refused another move as we had three small children and needed to put some roots down. I have worked as a specialist Paediatrician and Ruth as an Ultrasonographer. We have four adult children and eight grandchildren, all living in NZ and keeping us busy since retirement in March of this year (2018). We both feel very strongly that the unique flora and fauna of this beautiful, but much damaged land, must not only be preserved, but restored, Sir Paul Callaghan’s “Apollo Programme”. Many would say an aspirational goal only, but I would say achievable judging by what this trust and other communities around the country are achieving. As a new trustee, I am in awe of what BHCT has achieved to this point. As a recent European immigrant, I am cognisant of the need to walk alongside Mana Whenua in all our efforts to reach this common goal. Should we succeed, I believe that the impact on our physical, mental and spiritual health as a nation could be immense.

Annelies Struijcken : Trustee

Annelies and her husband sailed from Holland to New Zealand entering Whangarei Harbour in 2000. They moved on land in 2007 and settled in Taurikura, looking out on Bream Head Reserve and the water. Annelies has a background in logistics and project management. Having enjoyed so many beautiful places on her travels, she is keen to grow awareness of this beautiful taonga in our midst, to the wider community.


Geoff Pike : Trustee

Geoff Pike is a founding member of the organisation and an enthusiastic volunteer who lives locally and believes strongly in the value of the environment.

Jenny Lawrence : Trustee

Jenny is originally from Canada and moved to NZ with her Kiwi husband in 2011.  She is a keen volunteer and loves the NZ bush.  While in Canada, Jenny worked as a fundraiser and was actively involved in managing a program consisting of a large group of volunteers. Jenny is also the Volunteer and Fundraising Co-ordinator.

Jon Moore : Trustee

You might be forgiven for thinking that salt water courses through Jon’s veins. His professional connection with the sea stretches back to 1975 when he began his career in the British Merchant Navy as a cadet deck officer. This was followed by various shore-based mercantile roles, from port operations superintendent in Papua New Guinea through to marine consultancy and surveying with Houston, Texas-based Noble, Denton & Associates, specialising in transportation and installation of mobile offshore drilling units and offshore fixed structures. Jon’s involvement with port operations in and around Whangarei harbour started in 1994 when hewas appointed operations manager at Northland Stevedoring Services Ltd. He became manager there before transferring to Nelson in 2002, where he ran Stevedoring Services (Nelson) Ltd. He went on to become harbourmaster at the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and deputy harbourmaster and operations manager at the Port of Freemantle, before returning to Whangarei in 2007 as chief executive of Northport Ltd.
The ocean is not just Jon’s livelihood, it’s his playground too. He is a keen sailor, diver and kayaker. He has owned four properties at or near Bream Head over the years and is determined to help ensure that growth and enhanced economic wellbeing in the area does not come at the expense of our environment.

Department of Conservation Liaison : Neil Forrester

Adam WillettsAdam Willetts

Adam was born and grew up on the Kapiti Coast. He loved fishing, tramping, surfing, skateboarding – anything outdoors! This is his brief work history:

  • Lincoln University 1994 -1996 – Bachelor of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
  • Lincoln University 1998 – Post graduate diploma in Commerce (Marketing)
  • DOC recreation ranger North Head Auckland -2002 -2003
  • DOC Ranger Kawau Island 2003 – 2006
  • Project Manager/Ranger Christchurch City Council 2006 -2012
  • DOC Biodiversity Ranger Great Barrier Island – 2012-2013
  • DOC Senior Biodiversity Ranger Great Barrier Island 2013 – 2014
  • Project Manager/Ranger – Bream Head Conservation Trust 2014 – Present

Family, environment and conservation are Adam’s main passions in life. Ben Harper is his favourite music artist. Adam still likes to fish, tramp, surf and skateboard but his favourite thing to do at present is build their house and plant native trees.

Ranger: Hadden Morrison

Kia ora koutou katoa,
Ko Rangituhi te maunga
Ko Pauatahanui te moana
Ko Mana te whenua
Ko Ngati Toa te whare
Ko Hadden Morrison tōku ingoa
It’s been a real pleasure and honour getting out into some of Aotearoa’s ātaahua taiao and helping with the mahi BHCT have so successfully sustained over the past 25 years. Having recently moved to Whangārei Heads after stints managing remote lodges in Kangaroo Valley, NSW and Pureora Forest Park, I’m now happy to call the Heads home and have been grateful for the welcome so many of you have given my wife, my newborn son Munro & I since arriving.
I’ve had a varied work history, not one you would call a career. To mention a few; producing major events, touring with bands and comedians, snowmaking, canyon guiding, managing and building various restaurants and bars, managing sponsorships, selling radio advertising and DJing shows, installing artworks or ‘placemaking’ and policing the internet.
Hence, I’m currently a ‘dog’s body’ – doing whatever is needed on the hill and learning the ropes quickly. I was lucky enough to spend a bit of time with Simon Braithwaite before he left and have voluntarily been doing G-Line for the past year and a half. I’m currently doing SW Mustelids, C & A West, Au, B, Q, Placo, NW Boundary and the Predator Free 2050 install but happy to pick up anything that needs doing. There’s no better office in the world!

Ranger: Keith Townsend

…Keith grew up under the shadow of Pukaha Mount Bruce on the banks of the Ruamahanga river. A bush bashing Wairarapa boy that came seeking warmer weather and fall in love with Whangarei Heads landscape and community. Now living at Ocean beach, when he’s not on the hill he’s in the water. Keith has a background in biodiversity restoration and monitoring having studied environmental management at Otago University and worked in DOC’s tier 1 monitoring team and offshores islands teams on Raoul Island and the Hen and Chicks.
“For me working on Bream Head Scenic Reserve combines two great joys in my life. I can be up on the hill and looking out at the surf, or I can be out in the waves and looking up at the bush, thinking how lucky and grateful I am to live and work in a place like this!”

Volunteer & Fundraising co-ordinator: Jenny Lawrence

Jenny is originally from Canada and moved to NZ with her Kiwi husband in 2011.  She is a keen volunteer and loves the NZ bush.  While in Canada, Jenny worked as a fundraiser and was actively involved in managing a program consisting of a large group of volunteers.


A number of committees have been established to assist the Trust to achieve its aims.

Education Committee

Education is a key component of the Trust’s purpose. The role of the Education Committee is to provide education resources that link to the various New Zealand education curricula, provide visits to the Reserve and recognise volunteer programmes for youth. With the support of the sponsors, the Education Committee has taken a huge step towards meeting its vision by completing the Bream Head Education Resource.

Key projects and activities include:

  • developing and maintaining the Bream Head Education Resource
  • guided school tours

Committee members

  • Lil Ruffell
  • Claire Pearson
  • Shirley Peterson
  • Jacqui Knight
  • Adam Willetts
  • Jane Norman
  • Claire Braithwaite

Communication and Events Committee

The role of the Communications and Events Committee is to provide guidance and support so as to communicate the aims of the Trust effectively, as well as to plan, organise and run the Trust’s events.

Key projects and activities include:

  • maintaining the Trust’s website
  • providing recognition of sponsors, partnerships and supporters
  • management of the Friends’ database and correspondence
  • producing and publishing the Trust’s newsletter and external promotional material
  • writing and publishing articles and media releases
  • planning and running the Trust’s events

Committee members

  • Annelies Struijcken
  • Adam Willetts
  • Corinne Scott
  • Mick Buckley
  • Dane Higgison
  • Sally Prince

Science and Technology Advisory Group (STAG)

The newest committee under BHCT, the STAG committee is responsible for two key roles:

  • to analyse and produce potential scientific and technical solutions to challenges that arise with the operational plan using best evidence.
  • keep abreast of scientific and technological developments in the pest management and species monitoring.

Such work will involve monitoring the grey faced petrel using remote sensing technology, using drones to monitor the health of the canopy and look at producing an electronic ‘digital’ boundary.

Committee members

  • Roger Tuck
  • Adam Willetts
  • Rod Gates
  • Andrew Glen
  • Dai Morgan
  • Bradley Case
  • Mike Butcher

Rangers Committee

A key initiative for the Trust has been implementing a ranger for the Reserve which has been a major step forward.

The Ranger’s Committee is responsible for overseeing and supporting the rangers and their associated activities to enable those activities to be undertaken in a sustainable manner. These are primarily the resources for the restoration of the Scenic Reserve and the Trust’s relationship with funding agencies and its surrounding community.

Key projects:

  • ranger activities
  • extension of the restoration programme from the core area to cover the whole Reserve
  • securing funding to enable sustainable programmes in conjunction with the Restoration Committee.

Committee members

  • Greg Innes
  • Geoff Pike
  • John Gardiner
  • Keith Hawkins

Recreation Committee

The Recreation Committee’s primary role is to liase with the Department of Conservation to advocate for appropriate and well designed recreational development that is maintained to a high standard.

Key projects:

  • maintenance of the Smugglers Bay and Peach Cove track
  • car parks and signage

Committee members

  • John Gardiner
  • Greg Innes


  • Adam Willetts

John Maasland

On 26th October 2017, The Trust had the very great honour of welcoming our new patron, Mr John Maasland.

Mr Maasland was born in the Waikato and gained a BA in law and then an MA in law from the University of Cambridge, UK. Trained as a lawyer, John Maasland has a distinguished career in business including being a former Chairman of Airways Corporation of NZ, Carter Holt Harvey, Auckland International Airport, Hellaby Holdings, the South Auckland Health Foundation, The Royal New Zealand Ballet and was 20 years with Wilson Horton and its successor company APN, in CEO, Chairman and Director positions.

He is currently Chancellor of AUT, a director of Waterman Capital and Chairman of their No3 Investment Fund. He is also Chairman of the Pacific Oceans Initiative and other fund raising trusts. The Trust looks forward to a bright and successful future with John.

Sir Paul Reeves

Sir Paul was appointed Patron of the Bream Head Conservation Trust in 2010 succeeding Sir Edmund Hillary, the founding Patron.

Sir Paul Alfred Reeves, ONZ, GCMG, GCVO, CF, QSO (6 December 1932 – 14 August 2011), had a distinguished public life.  Trained for ordination in the Anglican Church, he progressed from service as a deacon in 1958 and a priest in 1960, to Bishop of Waiapu in 1971, Bishop of Auckland in 1979, and Archbishop of New Zealand in 1980.

He was appointed Governor General in November 1985, on the advice of Prime Minister David Lange.  Sir Paul was the first person of Maori descent to take the position, and Iwi leaders welcomed his appointment as a significant step toward the spirit of cooperation described in the Treaty of Waitangi.

Not only did Sir Paul bring his mana to Bream Head, in his meetings with the Trustees he projected his total commitment to protection of the environment and the responsibilities of this generation to begin mitigating the damage done by human habitation.  He recognised the inherent value of Bream Head (Te Whara) as a unique surviving example of an earlier landscape.  As both an environmentalist and an educationalist, he saw its potential as an educational resource for promoting teaching and learning to succeeding generations in their guardianship ofNew Zealand’s heritage.

Sir Edmund Hillary

Sir Edmund Hillary: July 20, 1919 – January 11, 2008 was appointed foundation patron of the Trust in 2002 and was inaugurated at the official opening of the Trust at the Bream Head Scenic Reserve.

Sir Ed, (as he was affectionally known to all) was best known as the conqueror of Mt Everest with Sherpa Tensing Norgay during an expedition led by Sir John Hunt in 1953.  He turned to Antarctic exploration and led theNew Zealandsection of the Trans-Antarctic expedition from 1955 to 1958. In 1958 he participated in the first mechanized expedition to the South Pole. Hillary went on to organize further mountain-climbing expeditions but, as the years passed, he became increasingly concerned with the welfare of the Nepalese people. In the 1960s, he returned toNepal, to aid in the development of the society, building clinics, hospitals and 17 schools.

In accepting patronship of the Trust, Sir Edmund Hillary said, “A new century has dawned and with it the realisation that we now stand at the crossroads – the planet’s survival is in our hands, and each of us must contribute to the process of renewal and restoration. With your help, the forests of Bream Head will flourish again and be filled with bird song.”