About us

The NZ Nature Fund is the new operating name for the NZ National Parks & Conservation Foundation, which has been supporting conservation projects for the last 20 years.
Water Meets Landscape Crystal Brindle
Image credit: Crystal Brindle
NZ Nature Fund

The fund manages private donations to a wide range of conservation projects alongside the NZ Department of Conservation and multiple delivery partners.

Despite significant support for our most vulnerable environments and as highlighted in the recent Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy (Te Mana o Te Taiao) published by the Department of Conservation, it has become increasingly clear that the battle is not being won. The rate of decline continues to increase and a major step-change in effort and approach is required if the decline is to be reversed.

The New Zealand Nature Fund and its new approach was established in 2020 to raise significantly higher levels of private investment and donations into conservation and to maximise the impact of those funds. We work in concert with, but separate from the Department of Conservation, and are aligned with and contribute to wider planetary goals for nature. We are determined that a new approach can and will protect our most vulnerable and precious habitats and creatures for generations to come.

The NZ Nature Fund is the registered brand name for the NZ National Parks & Conservation Foundation and is a registered charity with the NZ Department of Internal Affairs and has IRD approved donee status. Certificate of Registration Number: CC32894)

Our people

Trustees of the New Zealand Nature Fund have a wealth of public and private sector experience and expertise.

Hon Denis Marshall QSO
Trustee and Co-Chair
Hon Denis Marshall QSO
Trustee and Co-Chair
Hon Denis Marshall QSO, was founding Chairman of New Zealand National Parks & Conservation Foundation in 2001. He is a Nuffield Farming Scholar and a former Government Minister, with portfolios including Conservation and Lands. Denis was Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association based in London and has consulted on democracy programmes with the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank Institute. He lives near Queenstown where he is proprietor of Hawkshead Wines.
Prue, Lady Wallis
Trustee
Prue, Lady Wallis
Trustee
Prue, Lady Wallis, together with her late husband Sir Tim Wallis and her entrepreneurial family, have a long and productive involvement in farming, aviation and high-end tourism. Prue is an active supporter of trusts and charities for the environment, the arts, medical research and local groups.
Maggie Barry
Trustee and Co-Chair
Maggie Barry
Trustee and Co-Chair
Maggie Barry, a three-term Member of Parliament for Auckland's North Shore, is a passionate advocate for conservation. During her tenure as Minister of Conservation, she spearheaded the launch of Predator Free 2050, a visionary program to protect New Zealand's native animals from predatory threats. As Chair of the Environment committee in opposition, she continued championing environmental causes. Beyond politics, Maggie has served on the Board of Directors for Outward Bound and Auckland City Mission, chaired the Board of the NZ Book Council, and acted as Patron of Tennis Northern. 
Neil Mulholland
Trustee
Neil Mulholland
Trustee
Neil Mulholland is based in Marlborough and brings extensive private sector fundraising, funds management, and non-profit governance experience will be invaluable expanding the NZNF’s fundraising reach and capacity, and programmatic impact. Neil is the former President & CEO of Washington, DC (USA) National Park Foundation. His career encompasses successful tenures with private / public / non-profit organizations. Neil is a graduate of Iowa State University and has completed Executive Education studies at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
Graeme Ayres
Trustee
Graeme Ayres
Trustee
Graeme was very recently the Chief Assurance Officer at the Department of Conservation, former Operations General Manager at Antarctica New Zealand and former officer of the Government of The Ross Dependency. He is from a family of renowned explorers and mountaineers and has a strong connection and deep care for the natural environment.
Lou Sanson
Trustee
Lou Sanson
Trustee
Lou has an incredible career in conservation, including time as the Director General of the Department of Conservation, and Chief Executive of Antarctica New Zealand, alongside decades of leadership in significant environmental roles from Fiordland to the Subantartic Islands. With 35 years’ experience in governance, leadership, general management gained in the Public Service and Crown Entities Lou also has extensive experience in working with iwi, whānau and hapū.
Jonathan Eriksen
Trustee
Jonathan Eriksen
Trustee
Jonathan is a highly experienced and respected actuary with a deep understanding of the financial industry. With over 40 years of experience in actuarial and superannuation consulting, he has established himself as a leading expert in his field. In 1995, Jonathan founded EriksensGlobal, and as its Managing Director, he provides his clients with unparalleled advice and guidance on a range of investment matters. His expertise encompasses governance, transfers to master trusts, preparing SIPOs, asset allocation, platform selection, investment manager selection, and performance monitoring. Jonathan's wealth of experience, combined with his commitment to delivering results, has earned him a reputation as a trusted advisor in the Australasian business, Māori and charity communities.
Nicky Sygrove
Trustee
Nicky Sygrove
Trustee
Nicky is the Chief Executive of Kinross Winery in Queenstown. She has extensive experience in marketing, strategy and digital optimisation. She has two children and loves spending as much time as she can in the outdoors hiking, skiing, biking and trail running. She is a strong advocate for conservation and is keen to protect our native taonga for generations to come.
Jules Fulton
Ambassador
Jules Fulton
Ambassador
Jules is a professional civil engineer who studied at University of Canterbury and then worked as a consultant in New Zealand and UK before joining Fulton Hogan in 1993. Jules has been immersed in Fulton Hogan ever since, from project management to regional and general management and for the last 9 years in executive leadership. Jules is now the Group Executive for Culture with responsibility for the leading the culture programmes and being the cultural champion for the company. Jules has been an integral part of impactful partnership between Fulton Hogan, NZNPCF and DOC to save the Takahē. This programme continues to grow and gain traction across multiple regions in New Zealand. A highlight has been the release of 30 Takahe in to the Kahurangi National Park in 2018, the first time in over a century since the Takahe have lived in this area. Jules joined as a trustee in December 2019.
Sam Neill, DCNZM, OBE
Ambassador
Sam Neill, DCNZM, OBE
Ambassador
Sam Neill is an actor with many leading roles in film and television in New Zealand and overseas, and an environmentalist. He is also proprietor of Two Paddocks winery in Central Otago.
Mark Christensen
Ambassador
Mark Christensen
Ambassador
Mark Christensen is an expert in resource management and biodiversity law. Mark is a recent member of the New Zealand Conservation Authority and Chair of the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust. He is actively involved in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and the New Zealand Sustainable Business Council.
Greg Lind
Ambassador
Greg Lind
Ambassador
Greg was a foundation staff member when the Department of Conservation was formed in 1987. Previously he served with the NZ Forest Service and National Parks & Reserves in the Department of Lands and Survey. During 32 years with DOC Greg was based in various field locations from the Catlins, Rakiura/Stewart Island, Southland including managing the NZ Sub-Antarctic Islands, Queenstown and Te Anau/Fiordland National Park. He brings a lifetime of knowledge and achievements in conservation, including the creation of National Parks, Marine Reserves, major pest eradication projects, and visitor management, to our team.
John Ombler
Ambassador
John Ombler
Ambassador
John Ombler, QSO, has extensive experience in public sector management. He has more than 30 years experience in conservation management in New Zealand, in operational, policy, and research and development roles. He is currently involved in a variety of governance, contract and voluntary work.
Richard Riddell
Ambassador
Richard Riddell
Ambassador
Richard Riddell is an Executive Director and Principal of NZAM (New Zealand Assets Management) and has more than 30 years experience in the banking and investment management industries. Richard hails from a farming family. He is a director of a number of private companies and trustee of family and charitable trusts.
Tane Davis
Consultant
Tane Davis
Consultant
For more than 20 years Tane Davis has contributed his services to conservation efforts and Māori interests throughout New Zealand. Representing Ngai Tahu, working in partnership with Nga Iwi, and the Treaty Partner to better the whenua. Tane Davis has demonstrated leadership and a future focus for his iwi Ngāi Tahu and was instrumental in establishing the management plan for Whenua Hou – island near Rakiura/Stewart Island that is home to the largest population of the critically endangered kākāpō in Aotearoa
Sarah Lyttle
Executive Officer
Sarah Lyttle
Executive Officer
Sarah comes from a background in non-for-profit governance, project marketing and brand development and works with the Board of Trustees to support the efficient and effective governance and operation of the Trust through the provision of marketing and business planning and stakeholder relationships communications. For the past 25 years Sarah has worked passionately in the Queenstown Lakes region and has a proven track record in fulfilling vision through a strong commercial and strategic leadership. Along with this Sarah can be found part-time guiding clients in the mountains, is a qualified ski patroller and part-time musician.
Our donors & supporters

The work we do would not be possible without the contribution of our generous donors and supporters.

Whangarei, New Zealand Photo Credit: Casey Hornerfaacfbebcceaeaabcfa
"Nowhere is the loss of biodiversity more pronounced than in Aotearoa New Zealand"
Dr Mike Joy
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