Our people

Tom Smits

Predator control team lead

Tom leads the project’s predator control operations. He first started possum trapping when he was 11 and says being involved in a cutting edge project to rid such a huge area of predators is his “dream job”.

Tom has previously been a biodiversity ranger with DOC. and worked with the country’s rarest parakeet, orange-fronted parakeet/kākāriki karaka in Arthurs Pass for ten years. Before joining Te Manahuna Aoraki Project in 2018 he managed predator control for the Rakaia Braided River programme protecting similar birds to the ones he will be working with as part of this project. 

Our board

Dr Jan Wright
Chair
Devon McLean
Director
John Henry
John Henry
Rūnaka Director
Julia Mackenzie
Julia Mackenzie
Director
Jo McPherson
Department of Conservation senior liaison officer
James Holborow
James Holborow
LINZ representative
Rynee de Garnham
Rynee de Garnham
Rūnaka observer
Stephen Phillipson
NZ Defence Force representative
Julia Rata Te Raki
Manawhenua project lead
Peter Scott
Environment Canterbury observer