Toitū Te Whenua LINZ representative
James is the manager of the Pastoral team at Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). He has a long-held passion for the project area.
James grew up in Dunedin, studying at Otago for his BSc in zoology and ecology, and postgraduate degrees in marine science. During his summer holidays, he worked for Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, surveying the Mackenzie Basin and Otago as part of its rabbit and land management programme. That work, and an earlier school visit to Mt Aspiring, sparked his interest in the high country and the great outdoors.
Prior to joining LINZ, James spent 15 years working for DOC across New Zealand. Highlights include working with threatened species, a dive survey of all 14 fiords, and leading the science and advice team for the South Island during a time when it was studying the pressures on alpine and sub-alpine eco-systems.
James says Te Manahuna Aoraki Project is taking some of the basis of that research in its work to remove pests across such a huge landscape. He is excited about the opportunity to improve biodiversity outcomes in Te Manahuna, enhancing our connection to the land, and the prospects for other dryland areas to learn from the project’s experience.
As LINZ increases its focus on biosecurity and biodiversity James says he is looking forward to working more with leaseholders as a manager of the whenua.