NZ Defence Force representative
As the Principal ecologist for the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), based in Christchurch, Stephen brings knowledge and hands-on experience about protecting biodiversity in the project area.
Stephen grew up in Manurewa in South Auckland and started his working life as an electrical fitter where he picked up a lot of other practical skills, like digger driving, along the way. He then spent a few years in Europe and the Middle East before joining the Nature Conservancy Council on the Angelsea Island in North Wales, where he helped restore wetlands and survey seabirds.
Discovering he had a passion for conservation he came back to New Zealand and did a Masters of Applied Science in Animal Ecology. He then worked for DOC in the South Island, in places like Arthurs Pass National Park and the Chatham Islands, where he was mainly involved in managing endangered species.
In 2006 he joined the NZDF to manage their lands in the South Island but now manages NZDF training areas around the country. One of these is the Takapō/Tekapo Military Training Area where he says the aim is to be a good steward of the Crown land, maintaining the natural values including landscape, water and biodiversity.
Stephen says Te Manahuna Aoraki Project is a positive opportunity for landscape wide biodiversity management across the region and he is excited to see what can be achieved in the project area.