Our Team

The Trust is led and guided by a volunteer Chairperson and Board of Trustees. A part-time Nursery Manager and Trust Administrator are also appointed. The wealth of knowledge shared by Te Kākano's dedicated team ensures that the Trust is managed in the best of interests to support our mission in restoring local native habitats.

Ben Taylor


Ben Taylor particularly enjoys helping the trust with its long term strategy and governance. He has a passion for the outdoors and our wonderful environment. He works as an investment adviser for Forsyth Barr.

Andrew Gawith


Andrew has been an irregular planting volunteer for the past decade. He has taken on the treasurer role at the Trust relying on past experience starting and managing economic consulting and financial services businesses. He also has interests in improving river health and  water quality generally.

Nick Mills


Born and bred in Wanaka, Nick has been passionate about local conservation and biodiversity from the very start. Along with Gerald Davies, Nick helped the Te Kākano concept come to fruition and also served as  Chairperson. He is also the artisan winemaker at Rippon Vineyard and has his staff volunteer their time at the nursery during their shoulder seasons.

Ali O'Brien


Ali became a trustee after volunteering for 5 years. She contributes skills from her career in the IT industry and handles much of the Trust's administration.

Murray Walker

Anna Hiatt


As owner of the event management company Pure Chaos Ltd Anna brings business experience and rigour to the Trust. She is the Commercial Manager for the Winter Games NZ.

Emma Conyngham

Carrie Williams


Carrie brings her skills as a solicitor with experience in both the private and public sectors to the Trust. When not wearing a bike or ski helmet, conservation and environmental stewardship are enduring values for her.


Murray has a business background, particularly in Tourism and a long association with the Wanaka area. He believes we need to vigorously protect the stunning natural aspects of what attracted us to come here. Getting closer to ‘Mother Nature’ provides true happiness, particularly getting our hands in the soil and native bush regeneration.


Emma has a media and communications background in the humanitarian aid and non-profit sector such as UNDP, UNIFEM, World Vision and TEAR Fund. She was most recently the editor of the Wānaka Sun. 


Kris Vollebregt

Nursery Manager

Loran Verpillot

Trust Administrator



A: Off Mt Aspiring Rd, Lake Wanaka

    PO Box 550, Wanaka 9343

Text: 021 298 1068 (Volunteer sessions, Nursery)

E: info@tekakano.org.nz (other enquiries)



John & Jill Blennerhassett

Sargood Bequest

© Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust