Contact The Hutton’s Shearwater Charitable Trust

Email: admin at 
Post: PO Box 58, Kaikoura 7340, New Zealand 
Phone: 022 359 4663


The Trust consists of the following Trustees, plus a part-time Project Coordinator.

Geoff Harrow, Christchurch (Trust Patron)

Geoff is the Trust’s founder but is now retired. His passion for Hutton’s shearwater has spanned nearly 5o years since he reconfirmed the “muttonbirds” breeding high in the Seaward Kaikoura mountains were indeed Hutton’s shearwaters. He is still as passionate and committed to their conservation as he was in 1964 and has actively participated as a Trust patron and kaumatua since. Geoff and his wife Lyndsay have also extensively volunteered in chick translocation projects to the Kaikoura Peninsula colony – and continue to support the Trust in any way they can.

Teri Sonal, Kaikoura

Teri is a founding member of the Tukete Charitable Trust (formerly Kaikoura Charitable Trust) which started Whale Watch Kaikoura – a multiple award winning nature tourism company which takes people by boat to see the sperm whale and other marine life found on the Kaikoura coast. Teri is the Manager of Human Resources & Training. She has been a Trustee since the Trust’s creation in 2008. She is also on the local Water Zone Committee.

Nicky McArthur, Kaikoura

Nicky is the owner of Puhi Peaks Station where the Shearwater Stream colony of is located at 2,000m. This area is protected by a QEII Conservation Covenant. Nicky manages Shearwater Lodge and Kaikoura Wilderness Experience which allows her to share her passion for the environment and the Hutton’s shearwaters with visitors not only from New Zealand but right around the world.

Phil Bradfield, Blenheim

Phil is a Biodiversity Programme Manager for the Department of Conservation (DoC) in Renwick and has extensive experience in management of endangered birds, and is directly responsible for the management of the DoC Hutton’s shearwater programme. Phil has been a Trustee since the Trust’s creation in 2008.

Gina Solomon, Kaikoura

Gina is a Te Runanga o Kaikoura representative on the Trust. She has been an active runanga member for the past 20 years, including Runanga Secretary for 12 years and worked in the Runanga office for 4 years. Gina represents her runanga on a number of committees within the environmental area, sharing the values and tikanga of Ngati Kuri. She represents her runanga on the following committees: Kaikoura Zone Committee, Mahinga Kai Forum; He Timatanga Hou, Molesworth Steering Committee and Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura. She is a Ngai Tahu representative on the Nelson/Marlborough Conservation Board and a member of the National Maori Network Collective who advise the Environmental Protection Authority on various issues. The areas she is passionate and involved in all interrelate and help up-skill her knowledge.

Ailsa Howard, Kaikoura (Secretary)

Ailsa holds a B.Sc. in Botany/Biography, and is the current Chair of the Kaikoura branch of Forest & Bird. Forest & Bird has opened up many opportunities for contribution to nature, including an involvement with Hutton’s shearwater which extends back to more than two years before the first translocations.  She is also studying banded dotterel reproductive success around coastal Kaikoura and Facebook blogs about them reguarly. Ailsa photographs under the name “Expressive Bird Photography”. Ailsa joined the Trust in December 2014.

Courtnay Wilson, Kaikoura

Courtnay has called Kaikoura home since 2008, when she started directing a tertiary-level study abroad programme called Creation Care Study Program (CCSP).  CCSP is a unique living/learning environment offering a holistic approach to an experiential education in the interdisciplinary study of creation care.  Courtnay’s passion for marine animals has found expression in  Kaikoura Ocean Research Institute (KORI), where she serves as Secretary. Courtnay began helping with the feeding of translocated Hutton’s shearwater chicks in 2012 and it was love at first sight!  Courtnay joined the Trust in February 2015.

Toni Rigarlsford, Rotoroa Island

Over the past 10 years Toni has spent many summers in Kaikoura, including a great summer working for Whalewatch, where she felt privileged to go to sea every day and encounter wildlife attracted to the area. She often had the opportunity to tell manuhiri on the boats about the amazing life cycle of Hutton’s shearwaters, and always felt that these tiny far-travelling birds were more of an iconic emblem to Kaikoura than the mighty sperm whale!  To see the birds en masse feasting on krill is a wonderful sight, with just the sound of fluttering and splashing filling the air. Prior to joining the Trust, Toni had been a Friend Of Hutton’s Shearwater for several years, and enjoyed the opportunities provided for community involvement: the Welcome Home and Farewell events, native planting days at the Kaikoura Peninsula/Te Rae o Atiu colony, collection of crashed landed Hutton’s fledglings, fundraising events and information stalls. Other conservation groups that Toni supports include Greenpeace, Project Jonah and the Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group (where she is Secretary). She also undertakes predator trapping around the Waikuku estuary, plus fundraising and promotional activities. Toni and her husband Kevin relocated to the Hauraki Gulf in mid-January 2016, to work as caretakers for Rotoroa Island wildlife sanctuary. Though the physical distance is great, internet communications make the world a small place and Toni still intends to contribute to the future work of the Trust.

Ted Howard, Kaikoura (Chair) 027 442 4281

Ted holds a B.Sc. in Zoology (marine ecology) from Auckland University, and moved to Kaikoura in 1998. He was a founding member and is currently Treasurer for Te Korowai o te tai of Marokura, is the Chair for the Kaikoura Zone Water Management Committee, is a past district councilor, a member of Forest and Bird, and is very active in many community roles. Ted has a lifelong interest in nature, and as a hunter, fisherman and keen observer. Ted attended early meetings around the setup of the Kaikoura Peninsula colony, and has been a strong supporter of efforts to understand Hutton’s shearwater and to reduce the significant risks to their survival.

Sheryl Poulsen, Kaikoura

Sheryl is the Finance Manager at Kaikoura District Council, where she is involved in corporate and strategic long-term planning, as well as policy development and preparation of all financial reports. She has a Masters degree in Public Sector Management and has lived in Kaikoura since 1996. Sheryl is excited to be assisting Hutton’s shearwater management.

Lorna Deppe, Christchurch (Advisory Trustee)

Lorna is a seabird scientist originating from Germany, where she predominantly studied the spatial distribution of seabirds at sea from boats and planes, before heading to New Zealand’s beautiful shores, and even further, the Chatham Islands to conduct her PhD research on endemic albatross species, tracking their whereabouts across the year using GPS and geolocationloggers. Colony based work on European sea- and shorebirds as well as New Zealand albatross and petrel species has been another vital part in Lorna’s career. Aside from obtaining academic degrees Lorna has worked as environmental consultant, research scientist and scientific advisor. She has a strong conservation background and a passion to work towards the protection of seabirds both professionally and voluntarily. She has visited to help raise Hutton’s shearwater chicks at the Kaikoura Peninsula/Te Rae o Atiu colony during translocation work in 2007 and again in 2012. Fondly following both the project as well as the Trust’s activities ever since, she has now finally found the time and capacity to once again actively engage to support the Trust’s objectives and as such the conservation of Hutton’s shearwaters.

Emma Williams, Christchurch (Advisory Trustee)

Emma has a vast ornithological background and is most well known for her research on the endangered Australasian bittern, of which only ~900 remain in New Zealand. Emma brings a fantastic set of scientific skills to the Trust and we love having her on board.

Project Coordinator

The Project Coordinator role is the Trust’s only paid position, thanks to three year funding from the Department of Conservation Community Fund. The fund aims to enable community-led conservation growth. The Trust’s key aims through this role are to secure long-term funding and sponsorships, assist completion of the strategic plan, increase Friends Of Hutton’s Shearwater membership, social media and website outreach and marketing and educational material.