Our executive team is small in number but large in impact. We have respect and passion for the work that we do together to live a sustainable life and share in nature's revival.
Charmaine grew up just down the road from the Kaipātiki Project centre and has been involved with Kaipātiki Project since 2000 in many different roles. Charmaine is also a Director of Uru Whaakaro Ltd - a natural heritage company.
Cerasela joined the Board in October 2016. She has had senior roles in environmental NGOs in her native Romania and in Hungary. Here in New Zealand she has led sustainability management programmes at Fonterra and Landcare Research and is now a consultant sustainability strategist.
Nigel joined the Board in October 2018. He has worked as a Manager in the Social Profit sector since 1993. He has a broad experience in all aspects of management with a particular focus on developing and supporting community.
Jenny has been on the Board since July 2016. Her background is in community engagement & development, and she also worked at Waitakere City Council as a Strategic Advisor on Project Twin Streams.
Hilary joined the Board in October 2018. She has over 22 years’ experience as Manager Education for Sustainability at Auckland Council.
Ben is an experienced resource management policy planner, environmental economist and project manager. He brings over 15 years experience in the practical application of sustainability and is actively involved in local community conservation.
Leading the team since January 2016, Janet has worked at Council, in the community and as a consultant. Although residing in her beloved western beaches, she has ‘come home’ to Kaipātiki (Janet grew up in Beach Haven) where she is excited to be supporting the team to address the biodiversity and climate crisis.
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Joining in November 2015, Sandra’s role has grown to include HR, Health & Safety, financial reporting, while continuing to oversee some of the Compost Collective digital delivery. With a growing organisation and changing technology, Sandra continues to support the team to be even more effective while holding wellbeing and belonging at its core.
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Derek joined the team in May 2016 and admits he is a lucky chap to have a full-time job that represents his passion and uses all his training. Derek’s main responsibilities are to manage plant production in the nursery and work with our volunteers. His advice and support to community groups and individuals is highly sought after.
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Joining the team in June 2019 Joanne is keen to identify, analyse and action opportunities for organisational growth, and communicate the positive impacts Kaipātiki Project’s activities deliver across the community. She enjoys applying creative thinking to the workplace and building strong partnerships between our organisation and our funders.
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Blanka joined the team in July 2019, and brings 20 years of marketing experience with several of New Zealand’s leading companies. As an enthusiastic brand champion, Blanka is responsible for brand and marketing strategy, and will continue to celebrate Kaipātiki Project through authentic stories of our achievements, vision and values.
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After working in restoration in the Waitakere Ranges and the Whau River Catchment for over a decade, Neil joined our team in November 2018. As project manager for Weed Free Trust, Neil developed many useful tools and educational materials to assist private property owners as well as volunteers working on public land.
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Joining in November 2018, Sam has served community through his roles in education trusts Ako Mātātupu and Manaiakalani, as well as leading pilot programmes for positive parenting and youth development. With proven ability to connect with the students, Sam has established strong relationships with the local schools and community networks.
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Takutai Moana Watts is qualified in mahi raranga (traditional weaving) and is a kaitiaki (guardian) of the land. Joining in 2019, Takutai has experience in teaching traditional weaving and sustainable harvesting. Takutai ensures tikanga is followed in our harakeke programmes.
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Anna worked as a volunteer in the Kaipātiki Project nursery for 18 months before joining the team in August 2017. Originally from Sweden, she has lived in Glenfield for the past 13 years with her Kiwi husband and two daughters. Anna manages a comprehensive Compost Collective digital platform to ensure our courses are well promoted and attended.
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Previously one of our longest-serving and most treasured volunteers, Crystal is now on the payroll part-time, doing what she does best; tending to plant health in our Birkdale nursery, and assisting volunteers with disabilities to be part of the team.
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First as a volunteer, Dalida joined in March 2019. As a manuhiri in Aotearoa, Dalida came from Kazakhstan to expand her professional skills, learn to resolve environmental issues and learn about Māori culture and their connection with nature. Falling in love with Kaipātiki Project, Dalida is pleased to continue contributing her skills.
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Judith has joined the team to coordinate and develop our teaching garden, as well as to establish a community composting hub at Hobsonville site. Judith also teaches a zero waste program in pre-schools and is passionate about getting people growing food in their backyards and communities, growing her own food forest in her backyard.
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Amber worked in high and complex needs education across Tāmaki Makaurau and the Far North, as well as with the Sustainable Schools and Enviroschools of Kaipātiki. Amber is happiest empowering students and communities through Kaitiakitanga, while also being an artist, documentary maker, environmental educator and sometimes blue water sailor.
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Robyn is a North Shore local and is passionate about zero waste initiatives. In addition to being part of our team, Robyn also teaches business and project management at Te Wananga o Aotearoa based at the YMCA Akoranga and is a part-time info centre staffer for Kainga Ora’s Northcote information centre.
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Maria joined the team in July 2021, following a stint in restoration volunteering. Maria has MsD in Ecology, and was doing research on dynamic of the karst cave geosystems in Bulgaria, her home country. Now her interest focuses in native New Zealand forest and riparian zones and their conservation.
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Julie is a tutor, author and columnist who is passionate about living sustainably in Auckland’s urban environment. A horticulturally trained, historic food practitioner, Julie is the Wild Crafter that weaves together the classes for the Oak and Thistle team. Specialising in teaching food initiatives, brewing, foraging, making medicine and household products, Julie is passionate about fostering strong communities through bartering, sharing and teaching.
Small Scale Sustainable Gardening Tutor, Permaculturist, Garden Mentor, Organic Grower. Judy has worked as a Community Garden Coordinator for 6 years with Triangle Park in Massey, Kainga Ora maara in Ōrakei marae and Kaipātiki Project in Birkdale.
Trish is determined and focused on her vision; always finding ways to build networks, influence people, and bounces back from setbacks. She is the key mover and shaker for Zero Waste in the North has played a key role in getting community feedback and support for Auckland Council’s first Waste Management and Minimisation Plan; ran zero waste workshops back in the 1990’s (before zero waste was on most people’s radar), and is a founding member of Mahurangi Wastebusters.