Meet the team
ko tātou te awa, ko te awa tātou
Dedication. Expertise. Passion.
Rivercare Group is a largely voluntary organisation, made up of people from diverse backgrounds and experiences with one thing in common; a desire to improve the mauri of our awa Te Wai o Pareira.
Chairperson / Group Co-Founder / Trustee
Chris is the Director and founder of Second Nature Gardens. Chris has more than 30 years experience in successful business leadership including a number of leadership roles in community and industry organisations. Over his career he has developed considerable knowledge of the built and natural landscape. Chris is a co-founder of RiverCare Group Te Wai o Pareira.
Peter is a retired environmental scientist. He has a B.Sc.(Hons) and Ph.D in chemistry, specialising in environmental chemistry and its applications under the Resource Management Act and the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act. He has worked as a forensic scientist with the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and as a principal environmental scientist for GHD Ltd.
Dion is a Restoration Ecologist. He is an environmental engagement contractor to Manaaki Whenua (Landcare Research). Dion is a trustee and provides our group with advice on the natural integration of a Māori worldview and understanding, namely Te Ao Marama and Mātauranga Māori. Dion has a BSc in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
Kieran has been working in the environmental space as a landscaper for over a decade and has a passion for conservation and community. Kieran brings to our team a younger persons perspective and energy, and is dedicated to our mahi.
George holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Melbourne and has worked in academia for several decades, with a strong background in forest ecology, landscape ecology, palaeoecology, fire ecology, and ecological modelling. His qualifications include a BSc and MSc Hons from the University of Canterbury, and he’s also a PGCAP holder from King's College London.
George has received prestigious awards, including the Te Tohu Taio Award for Ecological Excellence from the Ecological Society of NZ, and a Charles Bullard Fellowship at Harvard Forest. Additionally, George actively contributes to the field by serving on the editorial boards of the ecological journals like Ecosystems and the New Zealand Journal of Ecology
Caitlyn Prince, an experienced engagement facilitator, is dedicated to fostering collaboration and understanding among Aotearoa's diverse communities. Committed to upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a Pākehā tangata tiriti, Caitlyn embodies curiosity, active listening, and meaningful collaboration. With roles at Foodprint and Sustainable Coastlines, she's honed skills in storytelling, leadership, and public speaking. As a Community Engagement Facilitator, Caitlyn excelled in relationship building and management. Serving as the 2020 President of The Sustainable Future Collective underscores her dedication to unity and understanding.
Trina is an advocate for urban biodiversity, bridging landscape architecture and ecology. She serves as Course Coordinator in the Bachelor of Architecture course Plants and Ecology, alongside her role as a dedicated technician at Unitec since 1999, spanning landscape architecture, plant science, and more. Trina actively collaborates with NGOs and community groups on urban restoration and conservation, offering expertise in ecological assessments, monitoring, and weed management. With a background in botany and avian monitoring, she is currently researching urban shorebird conservation and human-avifauna conflict mitigation in the context of coastal recreational activities and urban development, bringing valuable expertise to the field.
Alan is a retired IT Professional. Alan has a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) with a career spanning telecommunications and a variety of leadership roles in IT, culminating in a Programme Manager role at Fonterra. Alan uses his experience and skills to ‘give back’ to nature, managing RiverCare’s day-to-day activities.
Co-Founder and former Trustee
Russell is an avid kayaker and has spent countless hours on Te Wai o Pareira. His experience and attention to detail has made him an adept fact-based problem analyser and solver which, combined with wide community contacts, makes him an invaluable advocate for our awa and its community.
Social media and communication
Vanessa is a lover of anything artsy, walking long distances, collecting random facts no one else cares about and spending time with her important people. She is a lifelong lover of nature and is passionate about reducing her impact on the natural world. She works hard to grow Rivercare Te Wai o Pareira’s platform so that we can increase awareness of the need to protect Te Wai o Pareira.
Chez (Ngāpuhi/Te Rawara/Ngāti Tūwharetoa) is a University of Auckland student majoring in Environmental Science with a background in ecological restoration. He hopes to connect the community to the natural world by bringing people together to help restore and protect Te Wai o Pareira. Chez can be found in his vegetable garden, talking about the Karamu tree to his partner Jess and son Mihaka.
Olivia is a software developer with a passion for creating intuitive and visually appealing digital experiences. Their journey revolves around crafting beautiful website interfaces. At RiverCare, Olivia channels their love for the environment into enhancing the digital space.