PUKETI FOREST TRUST BOARD
Cherry Beaver, trustee since 2010 and current chairperson. Cherry and her husband Ian have lived on a small farm bordering Puketi forest next to Forest Pools for more than 20 years. Ian grew up locally and went to school in Okaihau. They met overseas and travelled a lot before returning to Northland about 30 years ago. They have two adult children. Cherry owns and operates the Cherry Blossom Florist shop in Kerikeri. Cherry spends her working days surrounded by colourful flowers and the rest of her time with the restful hues of the Puketi Forest trees. She feels a duty to do whatever she can to preserve and enhance the forest. Cherry and Ian have been members of the Puketi Forest Trust since 2005 and have monitored kiwi from the hill in the forest above Forest Pools, which is just behind their house.
Dr Gary Bramley, Forest and Bird representative, founding trustee. Gary is a local of Kaeo, where his family has lived since 1859. Many of his father’s family were bushmen and Bramley’s Ridge in Puketi Forest was named after his grandfather, Jack Bramley. Gary and his wife Carey have three children and own a small farm near the forest (formerly owned by Gary’s father and grandfather). Gary works as a consulting ecologist and has degrees in zoology and ecology from Massey University and the University of Waikato. He was the chairperson of the Far North Branch of Forest and Bird for many years. Gary provides valuable scientific support to the Trust and is closely involved in strategic planning.
Wiremu Williams, Piki Te Aroha Marae representative and founding trustee. Wiremu and his whanau live in Moerewa. Wiremu has been a trustee of the Waitangi National Trust that administers the Treaty Grounds and visitor centre at Waitangi. Wiremu is a keen carver and was responsible for the pou erected in 2003 at Waihoanga to mark the establishment of the Puketi Forest Trust.
Wiremu has been a keen supporter of conservation at Puketi since the first reintroduced kokako were killed by stoats in the 1990s. His comment that “before we can bring these birds back we need to clean out the nest” has resonated with all the trustees and is regularly referred to. Wiremu is also involved with his mokopuna and on other committees, including the marae management committee, and in training young people to paddle traditional waka.
Ian Wilson, founding trustee. Ian and his wife June purchased a 143 hectare dairy farm on the southern side of Puketi Forest in 1980. They quickly realised that the biodiversity in the 40 hectares of forest on their property made it an area worth protecting. Over the next ten years they erected 12 kilometres of fence to keep stock out of the bush, streams and wetlands. They also protected the main block of bush in perpetuity with a QEII National Trust Open Space Covenant.
The Wilsons’ commitment to minimise the impact of their operation on the environment was recognised in 1998 when the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Northland presented them with an Environmental Management in Business Award. For many years, Ian has been actively involved with the Far North Branch of the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society, being chairman for four years. His contribution to conservation in the Far North was acknowledged in 1993 when he was awarded the “Old Blue” Award. A year later the Department of Conservation “acknowledged the contribution (he) has made to the conservation of New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage” at their annual awards function. Ian is a member of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand and the Auckland Botanical Society.
The couple sold their high producing dairy herd in 2007 and are now beef farming with their son, David. David has a strong interest in Puketi and was the contractor responsible for marking out the new rat lines in early 2007. Ian and June are the Trust’s powerhouse, with June producing the newsletters and administering the database of members and sponsors. Ian organises the pest control contracts and equipment and does much of the detailed planning required to keep the trust running.
John Dawn, trustee since 2007 and current treasurer. John and his wife, Seok have lived in Kerikeri since 2005. John grew up and went to school in Kerikeri and trained as a civil engineer. He has worked in New Zealand, Brunei and Singapore and is now retired with a small orchard. The couple have one son. John has long had an interest in conservation. His father, John senior, was an active member of Forest and Bird in the Far North. John junior has been a member of Forest and Bird since 1987 and prior to that was an active member of the Malaysian Nature Society. John became involved in the Trust’s work when he organised the transport of several hundred rat traps into the forest via helicopter in 2007.
Jo Baguley, trustee since 2013. Jo’s family (nee Morris) has been part of the Kerikeri community since the mid-1970s. Jo attended Kerikeri High School and then moved to Auckland where she gained degrees from Auckland University in law and linguistics. During the 1990s she worked for city law firms in Auckland, Christchurch and London. But in her heart Jo has always been a Bay of Islands girl, and she moved back to Kerikeri in 2005 with her family. She now has her own legal practice, Atlas Legal Limited, in Kerikeri.
Jo is passionate about New Zealand’s outdoors way of life and has spent many years tramping and alpine climbing here and overseas. Jo met her husband David through mountaineering and they climbed extensively in the Mount Cook region together while they lived in Christchurch. Jo and David have two daughters who keep them busy, but they still keep their hands in with mountain biking and tramping when they can, and the family also loves camping at Northland beaches, especially their favourite – Maitai Bay.
Jo believes Puketi Forest is an important resource both locally and nationally and must be given the focussed support that it needs to flourish for generations into the future.
Tricia Hodgson, trustee since 2017 and current secretary. Tricia has lived in Kerikeri since 1988. She is a primary teacher and feels very fortunate to have worked across the year levels in most of the Bay of Islands primary schools. She takes every opportunity to talk to schools about the importance of our unique forest and the need to protect and restore our flora and fauna.
Tricia enjoys the outdoors, tramping and cycling in particular. For many years Tricia has been tramping through Puketi and taking visitors to see the ancient beauty and grandeur of the forest. Since 2009 she has been one of the many volunteers who sustain the Puketi Forest Trust. Tricia was part of the team that went to Mangatutu in 2009 and 2010 to capture North Island robins that were released in the centre of the Trust’s rat control area. Then, she was responsible for monitoring, recording and collating all the data relating to the robins. Tricia is also part of the annual kiwi listening team, and as part of our continual pest control Tricia helps maintain possum trap line P1 – checking, baiting and resetting the traps.
Tricia believes the unique flora and fauna of Puketi Forest are an important part of our history and also an equally important part of our future.
Toby Ricketts, trustee since 2018. Toby is a relatively new arrival to Northland, having moved into the area in 2013. He currently resides near Mangonui on a 2.4 hectare patch of native bush which is heavily pest-managed and home to Miromiro, Riroriro, Tui, Kiwi, and Kukupa.
Toby’s key skills are in the areas of media, marketing and broadcasting, having worked for major broadcasting networks in NZ, owned a recording studio in Christchurch, and producing video media for corporate clients. He currently has a very unusual occupation – working from home as an international voice over artist. He can be heard regularly on commercials and videos all over the world for brands such as BMW, Facebook and Samsung, although he is relatively unknown in New Zealand. He brings these media skills, his youthful energy and new ideas to the trust to support the next generation’s kaitiakitanga and ensure the health and well being of the forest into the future.