Meet the Whakatāne Kiwi Trust trustees…

Malcolm Whitaker

Chairperson - member of the Trust since 2005

Malcolm became involved with the Trust at its inception, and is a familiar face in the local community.  Malcolm was a Regional Councillor for 12 years and initiated the Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy. He was a member of the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Committee, which administered the Strategy’s implementation.

Malcolm currently practises as a Naturopath and Osteo-Therapist, and his motto is ‘healthy people and a healthy environment’.  He wants to see more people take an interest in their environment, to protect and enhance our beautiful surroundings. 


John Hohapata-Oke

Trustee –  Trustee since 2005

John has been a Trustee since the foundation of the Trust in 2005, and has been involved in conservation and environmental management for over 25 years.  John's practical and formal qualifications have seen him lead numerous environmental projects for his iwi, and local and central government. 

John has been involved in managing Whakatāne kiwi since ‘day one’ and has since established the Omataroa Rangitaiki No 2 Charitable Trust's kiwi project on the outskirts of Te Teko. He represents Ngāti Awa on the Trust and is currently chairman of Te Tapatoru ā Toi, the Joint Management Committee responsible for managing the Ōhope Scenic Reserve.


Ron Russell

Trustee –  Trustee since 2008

Ron initially became a volunteer with the Trust in 2006 and was appointed a Trustee in 2008. Ron began his working career in the dairy industry in 1957, showing an aptitude for management. He was instrumental in designing technical improvements for dairy plants and his expertise in this field saw him spend periods of time on technical and research teams, as well as leading a number of international scholarship and study tours for the Dairy Board. In June 1997, he received the Dairy Association of New Zealand Distinguished Service Award for 40 years of service and contributions to the dairy industry.

Ron retired from the dairy industry in 2000 and started his own health food supplements company, which now sells products in several countries. Ron remains personally active and interested in conservation and management issues. Since 2007, Ron has been servicing 150 predator traps lines monthly in the local reserve boundaries.  He enjoys the peace and quiet of the bush and the fabulous views which make his job so rewarding and worthwhile.


Clive Tozer

Trustee - Trustee since 2009

Clive has been a Trustee since 2009 and currently has governance overview responsibility for the Biodiversity Management portfolio. His responsibilities include kiwi management in cooperation with the Department of Conservation, predator (mustelid) trapping, possum and rat pest control, translocation of other native species, and research and monitoring of species.

From his youngest years growing up on the edge of the Waitakere ranges in West Auckland, Clive has been captivated by our native flora and fauna, the complexities of ecosystems and the impacts people and introduced species can have.

With an agricultural science background, Clive has held management positions with large forestry companies and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Clive currently works for Opus Consultants in Whakatāne.

Clive is involved with a number of local charitable community projects through the Whakatāne West Rotary Club and enjoys a wide range of outdoor pursuits and travel.  


Jacqui Hughes

ONZM – Trustee – Trustee since 2009

Jacqui was appointed as a Trustee in 2009 to establish the education portfolio, which she continues to manage.  

Jacqui brings to the Whakatāne Kiwi Trust a broad range of experience in governance, management and community development gained from many years in public, private and community organisations. She has been the CEO of  Eastbay REAP, and a Regional Councillor, for 12 years. During this time she chaired the Environmental Monitoring, Hearings and Finance committees and was also Deputy Chair of the Council.  She has served terms on several national committees and boards including the Port of Tauranga Ltd. She is currently a Ministerial appointee to the BOP Community Response Forum.

Jacqui’s interest in environmental protection and enhancement sees her involved with four other community care groups. She established the annual ‘Birdsaplenty Festival’ 13 years ago as a way to highlight the diverse range of bird species in the region and to showcase the work of the care groups in the area.


Marguerite Timbs

Trustee - Trustee since 2009

Marguerite's background is in business. For 25 years she and her late husband Graham owned and operated the Awakeri Hot Springs, completely redeveloping the complex to the thriving tourist resort that it is today. Semi-retirement has given Marguerite the opportunity to become more involved in community based organisations. Marguerite was a foundation member of the successful Awakeri Events Centre, and has been a member of the local Quota Club since 2005, which has seen her involved in community projects and fundraising for local charities.

Marguerite's involvement with the Whakatāne Kiwi Trust allows her to share her love and committment to the Whakatāne District. Any spare time Marguerite does have is spent with her family, on the farm or at beautiful Ōhope beach.

Mary Hermanson

Trustee - Trustee since 2012

Mary’s previous role as Marketing and Economic Development Manager for the Whakatāne District Council means she is well aware of the importance of Trust activities to the visitor experience in Whakatāne.

She has governance responsibility for the funding and marketing portfolio and is keen to see the Trust activities expand to include other species.

Mary currently manages the ‘Healthy Homes’ project for the Kawerau District Council. She enjoys golf, tramping and water sports.