Over the last decade there has been a growing national awareness of the impacts of invasive species and human development on our precious and unique ecosystems of Aotearoa New Zealand.  Local groups and organisations across Rodney East have been working for many years to protect and enhance the natural environment and the many unique ecosystems our community values.

Currently there are over forty Rodney East initiatives ranging from large landscape-scale programmes with fully formed governance and funding models, right down to individuals conducting heroic solo efforts to improve those ecosystems.  An identified challenge is to ensure this effort and good work can be sustained and grown, and potential gaps and overlaps within and between activities are minimised.  More than ever, we must acknowledge nurture and nourish current and historic work undertaken across Rodney East to improve environmental outcomes.  


Our backbone! tHE rre Team.
The Restore Rodney eAST team is currently funded BY the Rodney Local Board


Sarah Churchouse

Sarah lives in Puhoi with her long term partner on a large bush block, which they are improving with native planting, and protection. Sarah is the treasurer of the Puhoi Hall Society Inc and a member of Puhoi Landcare. With a love of community charities and event planning, Sarah organises and hosts regular fundraising events. Sarah has a professional background in Early Childhood, Animal Management, and business ownership. Sarah has always enjoyed the outdoors, farming, fishing, dogs, horses, and working to help others. She is dedicated to supporting environmental groups, and looking after our native wildlife and environment.

Tim Armitage

Tim’s background is in independent consulting, strategic planning and IT programme management. Long association with Matakana (Takatu born and raised) and with Rodney. Involvement in environmental challenges goes back to 1970’s when I spent a year on Campbell Island and thereafter have spent many years on a variety of restoration projects here, in the Bay of Islands and elsewhere. Have seen enormous improvement in focus on addressing eco-system degradation over the past years and the potential for even greater gains through increased collaboration between initiatives and groups. 
Restore Rodney East
Restore Rodney East

Colin Binsted

Deputy Chair

Colin is currently a member of the Mahurangi College team creating a ‘Living Classroom’ for students and teachers aimed at expanding learning to outside the standard classroom walls. As Forest Project Coordinator he helps link the College with Auckland Council and local environmental organisations to restore endangered ecosystems. He oversees students with their predator control on College grounds and the adjacent forest. He is a member of a number of local environmental groups and societies.

Roger Grove


When Roger and his wife, Kim, moved to Matakana almost a decade ago they were escaping the Rat Race. Reduced work demands meant time for some community focused time. The TOSSI Nursery Group fitted the requirement. He didn’t realise it would also involve volunteering for a trap line, joining the committee and being heavily involved in the planting days. The best part is, they are loving it. They didn’t realise what a great park Tāwharanui was and how much enjoyment they would get supporting the work being done. Having spent many years in scouting, tramping and other outdoor activities it suits Roger perfectly.  Roger lives on a lifestyle block, works as an IT/Business Consultant and his clients know he spends Tuesdays at Tāwharanui.

Fran Ashton - restore-rodney-east

Fran Ashton


Fran is the Monitoring Coordinator for Mahu West Pest, and has lived in Mahurangi West with her husband for six years since returning to New Zealand from a 13-year sailing trip.  Fran is also the coordinator of the Mahurangi West Community Response Group and enjoys volunteering at the Warkworth Information Centre and Harbour Hospice. 

Fran’s interests include tramping, gardening and spending time with her children and grandchildren


Martin is a semi-retired Civil and Environmental Engineer with 40 + year’s experience in major water and wastewater civil engineering and environmental improvement works, mainly in NZ.

Currently, Martin is representing Friends of Awa Matakanakana (FOAM), Algies Bay Residents and Ratepayers Association (ABRRA) and Matakana Community Group (MCG) on the RRE steering group.

Martin is interested in the overall total catchment approach to environmental restoration works including a reduction in sediment entering Kawau Bay as well as water quality improvement and control of pest species.

Restore Rodney East team
Restore Rodney East team


Greg has been a resident of Sandspit since 2014 and is a past Chairman of the Sandspit Residents and Ratepayers Association. A native of Canada, Greg and his family sailed to New Zealand in a 38 ft Yacht arriving in 1983.

Greg is dedicated to enhancing and preserving the amenities of our beautiful country. Greg has been helping with the formation of Restore Rodney East to enable long term solutions to Pest and Predator control in the region.

Greg’s focus on the SRRA has been to achieve actual solutions to issues affecting the community, not just talk about them

peter wilson

Peter has over 45 years of commercial experience, across a number of industries, and is a trustee of The Shorebirds Trust.

Peter has been involved, through Te Uri o Hau, with the transformation of the 616 hectares of predator infested pine forest at Te Arai to a managed land use that supports the re-establishment of native flora and fauna. During this period Peter has also been active in supporting the efforts to see the recovery of the NZ Fairy Tern (Tara Iti) and other New Zealand Shorebirds.

Peter is a graduate of the University of Auckland and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.

Restore Rodney East
Megan Young Restore Rodney East

Megan Young

Megan is a Senior Conservation Advisor for Auckland Council. Megan has been with Council for 5 years as part of the Natural Environment Delivery and Regional Parks teams. She has a Master of Science degree majoring in Conservation Biology and has an interest in seabird and shorebird conservation.   Through previous work experience Megan also has experience with lizard salvaging and bat monitoring.  Megan enjoys working with communities who are working hard to protect their natural environment

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