Photo John teaching the Jobs for Nature kaimahi compass and map skills

Farewell John Dawn

John first joined the Trust in approximately 2006.  His father, John Dawn Senior, was a Trust supporter from the beginning, and it wasn’t long before John was actively involved, both as a volunteer and a Trustee.  John was the first to admit that he knew nothing about trapping or pest control when he joined the Trust, but his background in engineering meant that he brought a combination of practical skills and analytical thinking to the Trust which was enormously helpful in both planning and delivery.  He attended a lot of seminars for trappers and other workshops where he soon learnt the essentials of trapping was able to apply his analytical skills to the task at hand.  He also spent a lot of time in the forest becoming intimate with the layout of our lines and the traps.

John became a Trustee soon after joining and then became the Treasurer.  John’s attention to detail and understanding of what was required meant that he was completely across the Trust activities, both operationally and from a governance perspective and he developed a wealth of knowledge that was enormously helpful when we started the Jobs for Nature programme and for supporting the project managers and the kaimahi.  As Treasurer, John also took charge of budgeting and applying for grants and was always successful with his applications on behalf of the Trust.  He also always provided accurate and timely reports to the funders as they required.   John’s level-headed and practical contributions to our Board meetings were always well-considered and helpful.  He told me once that one of his most valued opportunities as a Trustee was that it brought about his first opportunity to visit a marae – at Piki Te Aroha, well after he had retired from professional life.  After his first visit he was a regular visitor there and enjoyed contributing in that way and at events like the Waimate North show.

As Trustees we were also very grateful for John’s big shed, where much of the Trust’s equipment was stored prior us leasing premises in 2021.  John also took responsibility for shooting rabbits and mincing and preparing bait for the contractors when that was required.  John’s many and various contributions to the success of the Trust have been outstanding and he will be very much missed.