Gary BramleyDr Gary Bramley, Forest and Bird representative, founding trustee and current chairperson.  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.

Aggie Wheoki, Piki te Aroha Marae representative and trustee since 2021. Aggie’s family are tangata whenua of the Puketi area (hapū Ngāti Toro, iwi Ngāpuhi), having been here continuously since first settlement.  Aggie is one of 13 brothers and sisters and has lived all her life in Rahiri, beside the forest.  Aggie’s family and their ancestors have lived, worked, hunted and protected special sites in the forest for generations.  They are guardians of a rich cultural history.

Aggie is a farmer and an active trustee of Piki te Aroha Marae.  The marae is the hub of the community and her involvement keeps Aggie busy.  On the marae committee she holds portfolios for Corrections Department, Māori Land Court, Department of Conservation, freshwater/marine ecosystems, and tikanga (customary protocols).  Aggie has worked with the Corrections Department for about 30 years, helping to rehabilitate people convicted of minor offenses and to supervise community work sentences.

Aggie and her family have a long-term vision for Puketi.  They would like to welcome everyone to enjoy and help look after the forest, while its natural treasures and historic sites are respected and preserved.

Tricia HodgsonTricia 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.

Laura EdmondsLaura Edmonds, trustee since 2021. At a board meeting in April 2021, the Trustees were pleased to co-opt Laura as a trustee.
Laura introduces herself:

Ki te taha o tōku māmā
Ko Ngātokimatawhaorua tōku waka
Ko Oteamoewa tōku maunga
Ko Waipapa tōku awa
Ko Ngāpuhi tōku iwi
Ko Ngāti Toro tōku hapū
Ko Piki Te Aroha tōku marae
Ko Mangu Te Wheoki tōku karani māmā tuarua
Ko Kataraina Smythe tōku karani māmā
Ko Irene Ireland tōkū māmā
Ko Laura Edmonds (nee Leslie) ahau
On my mother’s side;
Ngātokimatawhaorua is my ancestral canoe
Oteamoewa is my mountain
Waipapa is my river
Ngāpuhi is my iwi
Ngāti Toro is my hapū
Piki Te Aroha is my marae
Mangu Te Wheoki is my great grandmother
Kataraina Smythe is my grandmother
Irene Ireland is my mother
I am Laura Edmonds (nee Leslie)

My mum grew up in Waihou, on the other side of the Waipapa River opposite Forest Pools.  As children and young adults, she and her siblings along with her aunty managed the property there and another property on Pungaere Road.  They rode the long journey between the two on their horses through Puketi Forest.  Ownership of the Waihou land remains in our whanau.  I grew up in Kaeo, where my dad’s family have lived since the mid 1800’s.  I have 12 children and 17 grandchildren and have lived in Whangarei for the past 35 years.  I have a background in accounting and financial audit.  I am the current treasurer of Piki Te Aroha marae.

Puketi Forest is a taonga to our hapū and has been the kai cupboard of our hapū for generations.  I have ancestral ties to this ngahere and will do all that I can to assist in the maintenance and restoration of the ngahere so that this taonga remains for future generations.

Toby RickettsToby 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.