The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust is a conservation organisation highly respected by the Minister of Conservation for its work in the preservation of the endangered yellow-eyed penguin. In 2016 the Trust was formally recognised as a Key Programme Partner both to the Department of Conservation and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu for its conservation work with hoiho.

Lady Beverley Reeves (1988 - 2006)

Anton Oliver (2006 – 2017)

Richard Roberts (2017 - Current)

Kieran Reid (2011 - 2017)

Eric J. Shelton (since 2003)

Board chair

PhD, Dip. Sci., Dip. Tour. Trustee since 2003, appointed Chair 2014. Former academic, wildlife and heritage guide. Convinced that tourism can make a major contribution to achieving conservation goals.

Euan Kennedy (since 1987)

Founding trustee

BA (Hons), M. Appl Sc. (Hons), PhD. Founding Trustee (1987). Now based in Christchurch where he co-ordinates the Department of Conservation’s island biosecurity work nationwide. Has four decades of experience with endangered species recovery in all major vertebrate taxa, marine and terrestrial. Research experience in foreign languages, sociology and conservation biology. Euan’s doctoral research defined extinction risk in today’s two small, highly inbred populations of Chatham Island black robin.

Lala Frazer (since 1987)

Founding trustee

BA (Otago), QSM. Founding Trustee. A qualified teacher, retired from position as Teaching Facilities Manager at the University of Otago. Active in a number of conservation and ecological organisations

Tim Mepham (since 2013)

Trust treasurer

BCom Accounting, Trust treasurer since 2013. Chartered Accountant and member of NZ Institute of Directors, Director City Forests Ltd and Deputy Chairman of Presbyterian Support Otago.

Peter Simkins (since 1995)


Wildlife Film Editor at BBC Bristol and NHNZ. Appointed Trust spokesperson 1999-2008 and Chair in 2010-2012. Whilst working at BBC Bristol Natural History Unit he organised the Bristol Conservation Volunteers. Moved with his family to NZ in 1987. Owns Penguin Café in Portobello.

Margaret Murrell (since 1994)


BSc (Botany). Trustee since 1994 and a retired secondary school teacher. Margaret is actively involved in practical conservation for many years.

Murray Brass (since 2014)


BSc (Geol), Dip for Grad (Environmental), Trustee since 2014, has worked in RMA for 20 years, dealing with both natural resources and the built environment. He has also worked in Economic Development, and been involved in a wide range of community organisations.

Hoani Langsbury (since 2012)


BSc (Zoology & Ecology) PgDipSci Geography. Trustee since April 2012.
Active kaitiaki / Tangata Tiaki for Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Waitaha, Rapuwai, Kati Hawea.
Employed as the Manager of Operations Taiaroa Head. Responsible for the day to day management of the Royal Albatross Centre and Blue Penguins Pukekura.
Environmental Consultant, RMA Commissioner, Trustee of the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group. Past member of various species recovery groups, and the former chairman of the Otago Conservation Board.
Actively involved in the Otago ecological community, taking a holistic approach to environmental management.

Olaf Nilsen (since 2018)


Olaf was raised in Stewart Island and is of Ngai Tahu descent. He had been a commercial fisherman for the past 50 years with deep connections to the Southern Oceans. Fishing from Bluff down as far as The Snares, and all the way to the West Coast of both North and South Islands.
He has been responsible for the pest eradication of Big Mokonui and re-introduction of Saddlebacks and Tutu Kiwi for future generations.
His ethos is to respect the seas and all it has to offer, and he is passionate about conservation for his future Whanau and fellow New Zealanders

Helen Dent (since 2018)


BSc (Hons) Mathematics. Trustee since June 2018. An IT consultant specialising in information and analytics with a side line running a small vineyard. Originally from England now settled in Otago with a desire for tourism to exist in harmony with conservation so that visitors can support and enjoy the unique Otago environment and wildlife.

Eleanor Linscott (since 2018)


Trustee since April 2018. MSc and LLB from Otago University. I currently work for B+LNZ Genetics as their science manager. I have over 10 years experience managing large primary industry and government-funded research projects. I am actively involved in local community environmental projects.

Abby Clarke 2019

Emerging Leader Trustee

4th year University of Otago student undertaking Bachelor of Arts and Science degree, majoring in Zoology and Psychology Moving to Owaka (Catlins) aged 12 grew her passion and curiosity about animals and our unique native wildlife which led into her studies. Hopes to continue into either a Wildlife management course and/or a Masters looking at hoiho breeding ecology. Volunteers for several organisations that have played a vital role in hoiho conservation.

Meg Houseman 2019

Emerging Leader Trustee

Completed her BSc (Zoology) at the University of Queensland in Brisbane Australia. Moved to Dunedin in 2017 to complete her Honours in Zoology where she researched the spatial population dynamics of hoiho on mainland NZ. During this time grew her passion for hoiho and their conservation. She hopes to stay engaged in the hoiho community and actively be involved in their conservation.

James Tweed 2019

Emerging Leader Trustee

BSc (Zool, Geog) and MSc (Geog) from the University of Otago.

Grew up in rural North Canterbury, volunteering on a diverse range of conservation projects. Moved to Dunedin in 2013 to study, finishing his MSc in 2018. Currently working as an ecologist for Ahika with a focus on fauna and restoration related projects. Has a particular interest in helping NZ’s less charismatic threatened species.

Sue Murray (since July 1999)

General Manager (1.0 FTE)

NZCS (Botany), Grad. Dip NFP Management. Lifelong interest in conservation. Employment has included science technician, teacher-aide and her previous position was fundraising/public relations work with a not-for profit organisation.

David McFarlane (since October 2003)

Field Manager (1.0 FTE)

BA(Hons) (History), Dip. Librarianship. Worked for DOC as Regional Librarian (Dunedin) 1990-95 before positions as hut warden, DOC field worker in Coastal Otago, and Conservation Officer with the DOC Community Relations Team in Dunedin. Ran the Dunedin Branch - Forest & Bird Wilding Tree Team since 1997 until 2006.

Trudi Webster (since February 2016)

Conservation Science Advisor (1.0 FTE)

BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD (Marine Science and Zoology). Worked on a variety of terrestrial and marine conservation projects in New Zealand (lizards, birds, marine mammals). Previously employed as Assistant Curator at Otago Museum, teaching fellow at the University of Otago and ranger at the Department of Conservation.

Ben Goldsworthy (since April 2017)

Ranger (1.0 FTE)

BSC (Zoology), Grad. Dip Wildlife Management, Master of Wildlife Management. Lifelong interest in the natural world. Worked for DOC as a Ranger (Stewart Island, 2016) on the weeds team, then as a Ranger (Pureora, 2016-2017) on the pests’ team. Also volunteer roles for DOC (Wanganui) and the Bushy Park Trust (Wanganui).

Louise Ashton (since June 2015)

Nursery supervisor (0.5 FTE)

BSc Zoology (Victoria). Grew up in Hawkes bay, studied Radiography at Waikato Hospital, worked as a radiographer in Hawkes Bay and Dunedin. Took 23 years to get a job in zoology/biology field, but excited to now be here!

Sarah Irvine (since January 2019)

Ranger (1.0 FTE)

BSc (Zoology), PGDip Wildlife Management. Previously Project Manger for the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity
Group. Professional career in education and educational publishing, and recently working in the tourism hospitality
sector in the Catlins. Volunteer experience since 2013 with YEPT and DOC assisting in hoiho management and
recovery work at sites on the Otago Peninsula and throughout the Catlins.


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