Who We Are

Landscape at Dusk
green triangle pattern

Who we are

Tātai whenua,
tātai tāngata,
tātai oranga.

Connecting the land, the people, and their wellbeing.

A non-profit organisation established in 2012, Reconnecting Northland is dedicated to the advancement and development of Northlands environmental restoration, for the benefit and wellbeing of Northland people and communities.

Meet the team

Programme Structure

Currently our programme is delivered via Outreach & Business Support Team(s); overseen by our Pou Manatū (General Manager).

The Outreach Team focuses pre-dominantly on servicing the needs of our Tapere initiatives via access to tools, services, and resources to meet their restoration goals, whilst our Business Support Team fulfil all Charitable Trust requirements, along with provision of internal 'nuts and bolts' operational capability.

Reconnecting Northland also works with a variety of talented professionals on a contract basis to deliver specialist services across the programme.

Looking to the year ahead

2022 is a pivotal year for our programme with our all energy being firmly focused on building and scaling the capacity within Tapere initiatives through implementation of Te Kete Hononga.

A centralised support hub incorporating everything from visioning, training and development, communications, project management, environmental planning, impact investment and more, we anticipate Te Kete Hononga to be fully operational by late 2022.

Our Guiding Values

Our Team

Sian Leith

Business Support Manager

Sian has been with the programme since 2018 and currently manages our Business Support Team.

She is our go to woman for all things operational; thriving on the challenge of working across many aspects of our programme delivery including systems design, comms, HR and finance management.

Sian has been with Reconnecting since 2018 and currenlty manages our Business Support Team.

Our go to woman for all things operational; Sian enjoys the challenge of working across many aspects of our programme delivery including Systems Design, Comms, HR and Finance Management. She is well equipped to support the RN team with a background in legal, finance and trust specialist roles.

Sian was born in Whangārei and raised in the Waikato region before returning to Northland in 2010 to raise her own family. She is passionate about increased human connection to nature and its implications on our collective well-being.

“What I most enjoy about working for Reconnecting Northland is the people I work alongside everyday - we have a progressive and supportive culture that has our wellbeing at its centre”.

Full Bio

Eamon Nathan

Pou Manatū/General Manager

Eamon joined Reconnecting Northland in 2016 as the Pou Manatū (General Manager). 

Weaving a passion for indigeneity, Eamon is a builder of community through creative and experimental means.

A behind the scenes action-man, he has a background in Industry training, research and community-led initiatives which he brings to the Programme.

Eamon joined Reconnecting Northland in 2016 as the Pou Manatū (General Manager).  Weaving a passion for indigeneity, Eamon is a builder of community through creative and experimental means.

A behind the scenes action-man, he has a background in Industry training, research and community-led initiatives which he brings to the Programme. 

Of Te Roroa, Ngāti Torehina, Ngāti Arera, Crete, Scottish and Irish whakapapa, Eamon is passionate about leadership that shifts from assuming the sovereignty of humans to acknowledging the mana of nature to build more cohesive and resilient communities.

“I love the agile nature of Reconnecting Northland and the prospect of affecting transformative impact for Te Tai Tokerau”.

Full Bio

Julie Eaddy

Training & Learning Development Co-ordinator

Julie joined the Reconnecting Northland Team in October 2020 as the Training and Learning Development Co-ordinator.

She grew up in the Waitakere Ranges, West Auckland and after much travelling around has realised her dream of living in Whangarei, Te Tai Tokerau.

She has worked in education as a tutor, co-ordinator and an assessor in Workplace Training and Foundation and Communication learning programmes. 

Julie joined the Reconnecting Northland Team in October 2020 as the Training and Learning Development Co-ordinator. She grew up in the Waitakere Ranges, West Auckland and after much travelling around has realised her dream of living in Whangarei, Te Tai Tokerau.

She has worked in education as a tutor, co-ordinator and an assessor in Workplace Training and Foundation and Communication learning programmes. She enjoys working with people to achieve their goals and aspirations and believes education provides us with more choices and opportunities in our lives.

“I am thrilled to be working for an organisation that fosters learning and career development in a supportive setting, and in which the protection of land, the waterways and people is central to its role.”.

Full Bio

Celia Witehira

Connectivity Activator

Celia relocated to Northland and joined the team in August 2018 as our Connectivity Activator. 

Our resident bright spark; Celia thrives on the creation of positive relationships which are a key feature of her role.

With an environmental science background, along with previous roles working for Māori and a passion for indigenous knowledge, Celia played a pivotal role in fronting the Waimā, Waitai, Waiora Project on behalf of Reconnecting Northand.

Celia relocated to Northland and joined the team in August 2018 as our Connectivity Activator. 

Our resident bright spark; Celia thrives on the creation of positive relationships which are a key feature of her role.

With an environmental science background, along with previous roles working for Māori and a passion for indigenous knowledge, Celia played a pivotal role in fronting the Waimā, Waitai, Waiora Project on behalf of Reconnecting Northand.

Her whakapapa is to Te Uri o Hine, Te Rarawa and Ngāi Tawake and Ngāti Toro of Ngāpuhi. Finding ways to help her people fulfil their kaitiaki obligations is one of the main reasons she has moved home to Te Tai Tokerau and sees her role within Reconnecting Northland as a way to achieve that.

“I love the ability to be creative and work outside of the box with a supportive and inspirational team, we have each others backs and I value that” 

Full Bio

Andrea Booth

Outreach Manager

Andrea joined the team initially as an Ecologist in 2020 after working for the Department of Conservation for 25 years, predominantly in Te Tai Tokerau.

Andrea's background is in ecological research and management, centered around provision of ecological advice and support to conservation programmes.

In early 2022 Andrea moved into a new role for the programme as Outreach Manager.

Andrea joined the team initially as an Ecologist in 2020 after working for the Department of Conservation for 25 years, predominantly in Te Tai Tokerau.

Andrea's background is in ecological research and management, centered around ecological advice and support to conservation programmes.

In early 2022 Andrea moved into a new role managing our Outreach Team. 

“I am really excited to be working for Reconnecting Northland, and helping to make a difference for the people and biodiversity of Te Taitokerau”

Full Bio

Te Maapi Simich – Pene

Project Manager

Te Maapi joined our programme in late 2019 as the Project Manager for Clean, Clear, Water (Kānoa - RDU partnership project to deliver riparian fencing and planting on the Whirinaki and Waimamaku rivers). 

In prior years, Te Maapi connected with the environmental community professionally by way of an opportunity that came about with the passage of the Waikato river Treaty settlement legislation, stepping into an Operations Manager role for Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust.

Ko Whakataha te maunga; ko Waitangi te awa; ko Tauwhara te marae; ko Ngāi Tawake ki te Tuawhenua, ko Ngāti Rehia me Ngāti Tautahi ngā hapū; ko Ngāpuhi te iwi. Anō hoki he tātai ā Māori nei ki a Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Hauā, me Ngāti Maniapoto. I also have whakapapa ties to Croatia, France, and most of the -ish tribes of Europe.

Born and raised in Northland, my youth connected me with the communities and environments which surrounded hunting, fishing, diving and rugby in the 90s.

Te Maapi joined the organisation in late 2019 as Project Manager for Clean, Clear, Water; a Kānoa - RDU partnership project to deliver riparian fencing and planting on the Whirinaki and Waimamaku rivers. 

In prior years, Te Maapi connected with the environmental community professionally by way of an opportunity that came about with the passage of the Waikato river Treaty settlement legislation, stepping into an Operations Manager role for Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust. Working across a five-year period, he helped to establish nurseries and plant hundreds of thousands of trees into the around the Waikato river catchment.

I feel humbled and privileged to be able to work with Reconnecting northland on the various projects that are happening and look forward to playing my part in this generation. Mauri Ora

Full Bio

Kathryn Bryan

Programme Administrator

Kathryn joined the Reconnecting Northland team in 2021 as the Programme Administrator.

Originally from Auckland, she lived abroad in Scotland for over a decade before moving home to New Zealand in 2013 with her husband, two daughters, Iona and Mhairi and pets, Toby & Buster.

Kathryn has worked in a variety of industries including, real estate & recruitment as well as more recently running her own natural skincare business. 

Kathryn joined the Reconnecting Northland team in 2021 as the Programme Administrator. Originally from Auckland, she lived abroad in Scotland for over a decade before moving home to New Zealand in 2013 with her husband, two daughters, Iona and Mhairi and pets, Toby & Buster.

Kathryn has worked in a variety of industries including, real estate & recruitment as well as more recently running her own natural skincare business. She enjoys interacting with people and is an enthusiastic supporter of environmental advancement initiatives.

“I am overjoyed to have joined an organisation with such an amazing vision to support the connection of thriving and resilient ecosystems across Northland. My hope is to add value in progress of this vision.”

Full Bio

Our Board

 

The Reconnecting Northland programme is overseen by a Board of between three and nine Trustees and two Advisory Trustees.

The board bring a diversity of skills and experience to provide a governance role in helping to develop, approve and monitor the Reconnecting Northland Trust's strategy, policies and key systems.

The Board also appoints the Pou Manatū and ensures performance targets are met and approves major expenditure via approval of an annual business plan.

The board currently meet on a regular quarterly basis to ensure they deliver this role effectively. All of our Trustees are volunteers.

 

Liz Oliver

Chairperson

"Community groups across Northland are embracing the huge challenge of ecological restoration. It’s an exciting and humbling experience to support those efforts as part of the RN team.”

Liz Oliver

Chairperson

Liz is an experienced Director who brings: a passion for the environment, strategic ideas to support transformational change and philanthropic fundraising experience to the Board. She runs a boutique private equity investment company and advisory firm where she assists companies with international expansion.

"Community groups across Northland are embracing the huge challenge of ecological restoration. It’s an exciting and humbling experience to support those efforts as part of the RN team.”

Paul Martin

Deputy Chairperson

“Northland is lucky to have more remnant indigenous ecosystems than many regions of New Zealand, and I am excited to help RN to achieve its vision for the good of all Northlanders”

Paul Martin

Deputy Chairperson

At home in the bush” Paul enjoys working to preserve and enhance the extensive native bush on both his own farm as well as on other people’s farms. He has significant experience in the primary industries, living on and running a family farm in the Whangarei district when not working as an Agribusiness Consultant. An experienced Director, with a passion for New Zealand’s flora and fauna, Paul enjoys tramping in the New Zealand bush in his spare time.

“Northland is lucky to have more remnant indigenous ecosystems than many regions of New Zealand, and I am excited to help RN to achieve its vision for the good of all Northlanders”

Chris Jenkins

Trustee

"I was attracted to the Trust by its independence and willingness to try new and innovative ways of working with Northland Iwi and communities"

Chris Jenkins

Trustee

Chris has worked in Conservation for most of his career including 28 years working for the Department of Conservation including nearly two decades of senior leadership experience as the Conservator Bay of Plenty and more recently the Northland Conservator. Chris lives in Whangarei and is actively involved in a number of trusts and conservation projects. He has two adult children.

"I was attracted to the Trust by its independence and willingness to try new and innovative ways of working with Northland Iwi and communities"

Brandon Edwards

Trustee

“I was drawn to Reconnecting Northland by our shared vision and values. It’s a privilege to work with people who are passionate about the same things I am passionate about.”

Brandon Edwards

Trustee

Brandon is from Te Tai Tokerau (Ngāpuhi, Ngātiwai) and lives at Matapōuri with his wife, Kiri, and their three children. He has legal, investment banking, farming, business and governance experience. He is a kaimanaaki of his ancestral mountain, Huruiki, and is passionate about enhancing the wellbeing of people and the environment in Te Tai Tokerau.

“I was drawn to Reconnecting Northland by our shared vision and values. It’s a privilege to work with people who are passionate about the same things I am passionate about.”