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. 

Grant Leach - Co Chair

Grant is the CEO of Living Green Group, which produces innovative, sustainable natural and organic consumer products. Previously, Grant was Managing Director of New Zealand’s leading retail sales and merchandising service provider, CROSSMARK. Grant is experienced in advertising and marketing, 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.

Rose Hiha-Agnew - Co Chair

Rose has an affinity for our natural environment and is passionate about sustainable, economic, cultural and environmental development, and creating an understanding and resilience within communities through education and engagement. 

As previous Chairperson of Keep New Zealand Beautiful, Rose is experienced in governance, leadership and strategic thinking, and has significant experience leading high-level behavioural change projects and communicating best practice to a wide range of sectors and groups. 

Richard Allen - Secretary

Richard has been in private legal practice in Wellington for the last 18 years and has worked in both large and small firms and private practice. He now works for Buddle Findlay. He has wide experience in trust administration, including three years at a statutory trustee company. Richard is very interested in protecting New Zealand's natural resources and recognises the need for sustainable conservation. He and his family have supported various charities in this area over the years. 

Geoff Ross

Geoff is an Auckland entrepreneur. He is currently CEO of the Moa Brewing Company, and Chairman of Trilogy International, a successful company producing the natural skincare range Trilogy and scented candle brand Ecoya. Geoff has been heading these companies since 2011. Previously, Geoff was the founder and CEO of 42 Below Vodka. 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 the Melanoma Foundation and 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.

Neil Thorsen - Ambassador Club Chair

Neil has been the managing Director of Thorsen Gempton Consulting Ltd since 1996, and is one of the co-founders of the Endangered Species Foundation.

He has held management roles with New Zealand Guardian Trust from 1968 to 1995, and was instrumental in establishing the Wellington Region Community Foundation (now called the Nikau Foundation) and the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary Trust (now Zealandia Ecosanctuary).

Neil chaired the New Zealand Association of Philanthropic Trusts (now Philanthropy New Zealand) for 5 years, and is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.

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 application of conservation translocations; seabird ecology; pest species management; protected area management; and nature-based tourism impact mitigation.

Phil is currently also Chair of the Bird Section of the IUCN Species Survival Commission's Reintroduction Specialist Group; External member of the Black Stilt (Kaki) Recovery Group; Member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and member of the WCPA Task Force on Tourism; and International Editorial Board Member of Oryx-The International Journal of Conservation.

Injy Johnstone - Young Ambassador Club Chair

Injy Johnstone is a fourth year Law and Environmental Science student at the University of Otago, and a social entrepreneur. Injy has a passion for protecting the environment and the endangered species that call NZ home.

As a Blake Ambassador in 2016, Injy undertook research at NIWA and, as a result of discovering the challenges of connecting environmental science back to the community, founded an online sustainability hub featuring news, research articles and community networks.

Inspiring on the ground efforts for communities to take action is important to Injy, which is why she is treasurer of Sustainable Dunedin City and has lead outreach as part of the Foster Child Support Network and the Sir Peter Blake Trust Dream Team.

Injy also helps to coordinate New Zealand’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals through the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Having worked at the Ministry for the Environment and in her present position as National Administrator for Generation Zero she also enjoys using her policy and organisational skills to advocate for the environment and conservation.

Stuart Muir

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.

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 post-graduate 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
  • $1.5Million
    projected annual income
    available to save our species
  • As little as
    can save many of our
    endangered species
  • Only
    species are currently in
    conservation programmes