Protecting New Zealand's rarest of the rare.

Dedicated to tomorrow

Our Trustees bring a depth of wisdom and expertise to the Endangered Species Foundation that is second to none. Dedicated to protecting our endangered species and habitats, their guidance ensures resources are allocated responsibly to where they are needed most to best achieve our goals. 

Stu Muir - Chair

With a genuine passion and enthusiasm for saving NZ's most vulnerable indigenous species and habitats, Stu Muir has a well-respected background in ecological restoration, focused towards wetland and coastal conservation.With a Bachelor of Arts in Education and History from Otago University, Stuart is fluent in Te Reo, with the ability to bring a solid Tikanga Māori perspective to conservation strategy.

Stuart has a proven background collaborating closely with key national and regional stakeholders, including Iwi, NIWA, DOC, Fish & Game, Forest & Bird, Predator Free NZ, Dairy NZ and district councils. Focused on developing sustainable conservation based projects and initiatives, Stuart acts as an educator and adviser to school and university groups, seeking to improve their environmental and conservation impact and participation.

Injy Johnstone - Deputy Chair

Injy is a current New Zealand Fulbright Science and Innovation Scholar pursuing her Masters of Environmental Law at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Injy has leadership roles with the UN Major Group for ChiIdren and Youth and UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Injy has a broad background in environmental law, policy and science having worked at Generation Zero, the Ministry for the Environment and NIWA.

In 2018 she was a Kiwibank Local Hero and Supreme Winner at the New Zealand Youth Leadership Awards. In 2019 Injy was recognised as one the University of Otago’s top 150 alumni heroes throughout its 150-year history.

Richard Allen - Secretary

Richard has been in private legal practice in Wellington for the last 25 years and now works at Buddle Findlay, where he heads the personal property services area. He has wide experience in trust practice and governance, including the establishment and ongoing administration of charitable trusts. 
Richard is passionate about protecting New Zealand’s endangered species and recognises the need for sustainable conservation. He and his family have supported various charities in this area over many years.

Grant Leach

Grant is the GM of Permobil NZ which sells top end Rehab equipment nationwide. Previously, Grant was Managing Director of New Zealand’s leading retail sales and merchandising service provider, CROSSMARK. Grant is experienced in sales, marketing and advertising - having established and built the independent advertising and communications agency, REVO.

Grant is extremely interested in and focused on helping New Zealand reduce and reverse the current rate of decline of its native biodiversity. He is also Trust Board Chair of Te Korowai o Waiheke – Towards Predator Free Waiheke.

Geoff Ross

Geoff is is currently Executive Chairmen of the Moa Group which produces beverages and also runs several leading Hospitality Venues. Geoff and his family also run Lake Hawea Station and aim to build both a productive and environmentally sound high country farming practise. Previously, Geoff was the founder and CEO of 42 Below Vodka. And also Chairmen of Trilogy International. Prior to 42 Below, he was a managing partner and board member of DDB Advertising for two years, and was a client service director and management team member for Saatchi & Saatchi in Wellington for eight years.

Geoff is also a trustee of Pure Advantage. Pure Advantage is a not-for-profit that investigates and promotes opportunities for green growth. It was formed by a group of New Zealanders who want a greener, wealthier future for all of New Zealand. Comprised of business leaders who believe the private sector has an important role to play in creating a greener, wealthier New Zealand.

Professor Philip Seddon

Phil is a Professor of Zoology and Director of the Postgraduate Wildlife Management Programme at the University of Otago. Phil’s areas of expertise include reintroduction biology and conservation translocations; seabird ecology; pest species management; protected area management; and nature-based tourism impact mitigation. 
Phil is currently also a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Conservation Translocation Specialist Group, and a Steering Group member for the IUCN/SSC Penguin Specialist Group; External member of the Black Stilt (Kaki) and Takahe Recovery Groups; Member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and member of the WCPA Task Force on Tourism; an Associate Editor for the Society for Conservation Biology’s journal Conservation Science and Practice, and an International Editorial Board Member of Oryx - The International Journal of Conservation. 

Neil Thorsen - Ambassador Club Chair

Neil has specialised in family and charitable trusts for 59 years. He is a co-founder of the Endangered Species Foundation with his son Michael.

He was instrumental in establishing, in 1991, the Wellington Regional Community Foundation (now the Nikau Foundation) and the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary Trust (now Zealandia). He chaired the New Zealand Association of Philanthropic Trusts (now Philanthropy New Zealand – where he is an Honorary Member). He is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. He has a passion for saving the Maui dolphin. He, with the assistance of Marine Scientists and WWF, prepared the Endangered Species Foundation’s initial strategy, which included the fishers as part of the solution.

Philip Wollerman

Phil Wollerman (MBA) brings a life-long passion for the environment and conservation, as well as a strong background in marketing and strategy. Widely travelled and experienced in stakeholder relationships, Phil was Apparel Marketing Manager for the New Zealand Wool Board before postgraduate study and digital media consulting for a wide variety of clients in commercial, retail and industrial sectors.

Growing up on the Eastern Bays of Wellington Harbour between forest park and ocean, Phil is a life-long surfer and bush-walker who now gives back to the unique New Zealand environment we all enjoy. Phil supports local conservation groups, runs a trap-line in Days Bay and writes about conservation issues. He has recently become involved in a number of pro bono projects for environmental causes, advising on media and supporting digital communications.

Foundation Facts

  • 4,000
    endangered species
  • Just
    of our most critically endangered Māui Dolphins remain
  • As little as
    can save many of our
    endangered species
  • Only
    species are currently in
    conservation programmes