One team working together to achieve our vision

Meet our Team

Kevin & Gill Adshead


Founders of The Forest Bridge Trust, Kevin and Gill Adshead, are retired from managing a large family farm, Mataia, at Glorit on the south eastern shores of the Kaipara Harbour.

However, retired is probably not quite the right word as they are still managing the biodiversity of the property, including kiwi, through intensive predator control, and fencing and plantingof waterways.

“We work for the Trust because we have a passion for supporting farmers and landowners as they work toward setting and achieving environmental goals for their properties.”

Liz Maire

Trustee and Schools Programme Lead

I’m an environmental educator and facilitator with 30 years involvement in delivery of conservation programmes, managing community partnerships and volunteer programmes. I’ve run my own outdoor safety management business and worked with the Department of Conservation, NGO’s and private business.

I enjoy working with the Forest Bridge team as a Trustee, they are professional and passionate about making this project work. Helping communities that care about their environment – and seeing them take action makes my heart sing.

Gary Simpson


Gary has been a lawyer for the past 40 years and is a partner ( a founding partner) of Simpson Western Lawyers, based in Takapuna and Silverdale. His specialty areas are trusts and governance, and he is presently involved as a trustee of numerous discretionary family and commercial trusts, together with various charitable trust roles.

Gary is passionate about conservation and spends a great deal of time, along with his wife, Diane, in Leigh.

Alan France


I have been working in academia for over thirty-five years and have been at the Waipapa Taumata Rau/ University of Auckland since 2010. Over the last 11 years I have held a number of senior leadership roles in Te Kura Tangata/ Faculty of Arts including Associate Dean of Research. As a result, I have a wealth of experience around strategic development, leadership and programme management. I also have a long history of working with, and in, community lead initiatives that have aimed to bring about social change. Being able to bring my skills and knowledge in these areas to my role as trustee is something I am looking forward to.

The Forest Bridge Trust is an innovative project that is ambitious and forward looking, helping New Zealand ‘reset’ its approach to its unique ecology. To be involved in such an initiative is both a pleasure and privilege and it is a real opportunity to make a difference.

Jade Kennedy


Jade is an experienced finance professional with a passion for the outdoors. He has significant experience working with both profit and not-for-profit entities and enjoys giving back to the community, particularly through sustainability initiatives. Jade is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Certificate of Public Practice.

Jade is the father of 3 kids who also love the outdoors. When not working or volunteering, you will find Jade with the family either in the forest, on the coast or at a sports field making the most of the opportunities that life presents.

Fliss Taylor


Fliss Taylor is a beef and sheep farmer from Tomarata where she has farmed for 29 years along with her husband Stu. A keen trapper, Fliss is co-ordinator of the Logue’s Bush Reserve Trapping Hub where, along with an awesome team of volunteers, she has made a huge difference to the predator population in the reserve and surrounding land. Fliss loves to see the positive changes that come from looking after the environment.

Craig Presland


It is a privilege to lead The Forest Bridge Trust having commenced my role as CEO in April 2022. I am inspired by the purpose and evolution of the Trust over the past 8 years and see real potential in further improving land connectivity and ecological harmony across the region. The Trust has been founded by those with strong vision, passion and perseverance and we now have the opportunity to extend our services, both in terms of depth and breadth, across what is a beautiful part of NZ.

I have strong ancestral, family and sporting links with the Rodney region and am very passionate about its future environmentally, economically and socially.

Matu Booth

Operations Manager

Matu has a Post-graduate Diploma of Ecological Restoration (2009) from Victoria University. Over the last two decades he has been involved with two iconic conservation projects, firstly at Zealandia and then at Ngā Manu Nature Reserve and brings to TFBT a wealth of experience working with local communities and volunteer workforces. Matu has resettled near Mangawhai where he has had a strong connection towards the rohe throughout his youth and adult life. The Forest Bridge Trust appeals to him because it possesses a compelling narrative and undertakes landscape-scale conservation requiring a commitment and vision which he thrives upon.

Emma Dore

Service Manager

Coming from the UK, (where she was schooled in London but spent all her holiday time on their family farm in Wales), Emma has maintained her love of the outdoors and understands the need for balance between agriculture and conservation.

Having settled in Rodney in 2001, Emma brings a background of not-for-profit management and infrastructure development to The Forest Bridge Trust.  Emma is delighted that her new role at TFBT feels like a perfect fit, combining her rural lifestyle based in Puhoi with over 20 years of management and business experience.

Michelle Worth

Field Team Lead

Michelle lives on a lifestyle block in rural Matakana with her husband, 3 young children and an ever-increasing number of animals.

Over the last 15 years, Michelle has worked in New Zealand’s major events and exhibitions industries, including building venues and coordinating sponsor branding for the Louis Vuitton Trophy series, Rally of New Zealand the Rugby World Cup. Recently, Michelle was part of one of Auckland’s largest apartment remediation projects, being the liaison between the project team, owners and residents of the complex.

Michelle feels a deep sense of connection to the land, rivers and our wonderful community. She is excited to work with our people to protect and care for this unique environment we share.

Alastair Beaven

Finance Manager

Alastair is a chartered accountant with an extensive commercial financial background.
Alastair is passionate about conservation and recently relocated to Mangawhai with his young family, where he has become involved in local predator control and assists his local football club with their finances. He is excited to be joining TFBT where he can become more involved in our work and really help to grow the organisation – not just prepare the accounts.

Virginia Moreno

Ecology and Boidiversity Advisor

Virginia has joined The Forest Bridge Trust to develop a monitoring framework for our area of focus.

Virginia, a resident of Whangateau, has a PhD in Conservation Biology and has worked across a range of projects surveying and monitoring water quality, species distribution and habitat, with a particular focus on native frogs – both here in NZ and in her home country of Chile! 

Cam Rathe

Predator Control Lead

Fourth generation Matakana born and bred, our resident Predator Control Advisor extraordinaire has been involved in conservation work for over 15 years. A decade working for the Department of Conservation in Island predator eradication, shorebird monitoring and weed work has provided Cam extensive practical skills and knowledge in all things nasty in our native forests.

Over the past five years he has moved into the private sector and started his own business —Rural Predator Control. Early on in this move, he also partnered with the Forest Bridge Trust where he has been hugely appreciated, passing on his knowledge to keen conservationists in our area.

Cam says, the enthusiasm he has encountered from keen trappers has been some of the most rewarding work of his career and he really enjoys helping people achieve their predator control goals.

Eliane Lagnaz

Predator Control Assistant

Originally from Switzerland, Eliane has lived in the Warkworth area since 1988. She managed to escape her office work in 2001 when she joined the Kaipara salt marsh mosquito eradication team. She has been involved with conservation work since 2007 when she started seasonal shore bird and weed control work for the Department of Conservation. She is a founding member of Tamahunga Trappers and a committee member of her local Forest & Bird branch.

Eliane joined The Forest Bridge Trust’s predator control team in November 2021. She believes that predator control is fundamental to any species protection in New Zealand and is committed to seeing this undertaken at a landscape scale.

Alex Wardenaar

Predator Control Assistant

Alex grew up in Warkworth and has a keen interest in conservation, predator control and hunting. He has lived in Australia for the last few years while on his OE journey working in various outdoor locations. Alex has just returned to Warkworth, and we are delighted that he will join our team next week.

Steve Rigby

Predator Control Assistant

Coming soon

Johziah Tapurau

Predator Control Assistant

I'm a keen hunter gatherer and have been working alongside my father Hemi Tapurau most of my up bringing. The goal is to bring the balance back to our ngahere, from the trees, plants, and wildlife. Planting has a big impact with restoring waterways and to hold riverbanks together to stop land falls. Has also given Kevin Ashead a hand with bait stations around the Mataia House and farm, including Kiwi captures, and Kiwi monitoring. Over the past 6 years I have been working closely with my Dad up Atuanui. Glad to be apart of the TFBT. 

Ginnie Quartel

Field Admin Support

Ginnie lives in the rural community of Ahuroa with her family. She has a vocational background in veterinary nursing and teaching. In 2018 Ginnie trained as a kiwi handler and has assisted with tokoeka and little spotted kiwi projects. In 2020 she studied the Management of Captive Wild Animals with Unitec and gained an appreciation of ex-situ conservation. Ginnie is enthusiastic about conservation and has previously volunteered with predator control, community engagement and Shakespear Open Sanctuary Junior Ranger programme. In her spare time, when she is not working on her own land, she volunteers with the Tamahunga Trappers kiwi tracking team and monitors wētāpunga at Shakespear. Ginnie is studying Business Administration and looks forward to putting these skills into action to support the Trust.

Mandy Burnside

Fencing and Planting Coordinator

Mandy is the Fencing and Planting Co-ordinator; she is passionate about keeping stock out of our waterways which will help return the Kaipara Harbour to cleaner water and then we/our children will be able to go fishing and collecting scallops in the future. She really enjoys walking amongst our beautiful bush and being part of the nature. Mandy lives on a lifestyle property in Tomarata which she feels privileged to have 100 Year old native trees on a Covenanted block.

Katie Forno

Fencing and Planting Advisor

Ko Kapuārangi te maunga
Ko Wainui te awa
Ko Tainui te waka
Ko Tōrerenuiārua rāua ko Manaakiao ngā tangata
Ko Ngaitai, ko Ngāti Pākehā, ko Ngāti Hāmoa ngā iwi
Ko Katie Forno ahau

I am extremely excited and grateful to be part of the Trust and to have the chance to support landowners to protect and care for their whenua. Since I was young, I have had a passion for the kaitiakitanga of the forests and rivers of Aotearoa. My experiences of working in parliament, on a diverse range of organic farms, propagating and planting native plants for reveg and volunteering in conservation projects have shown me that navigating the journey between where we are and where we need to go requires understanding and mahitahitanga. So lets go!

Mauri mahi, mauri ora.

Tris Bondsfield

Senior Community Liaison

Tris, her husband and two children have recently returned home to New Zealand from the UK and have fallen in love with Warkworth and the surrounding area.

Having spent much of her career in Sales & Marketing, Tris has channelled her extensive experience in managing projects into community fundraising and family events. Engaging with the community and making a difference is now her passion.

Having grown up in the country surrounded by nature and a variety of animals, Tris’ family hope to find a lifestyle block with grazing and native bush so that their children can experience the same free-range childhood that they did, and learn more about New Zealand’s unique and diverse native habitats. She is thrilled to be working with TFBT and is looking forward to getting to know the local community and sharing her passion for the protection of our environment for our native species.

Helen Jamieson

Community Liaison

Helen has lived in the Matakana region for more than 13 years with her husband and their two daughters. She has a background in business and community projects and has also been involved in managing the Matakana Markets. With her family Helen has been actively controlling predators on her own bush and wetland section from rats, possums and stoats through to wasps. She is excited to support the vision of Forest Bridge through community engagement.

Karen Ward

Community Liaison

Karen grew up in Yorkshire and now lives on a lifestyle block in Matakana with her Kiwi partner and 2 daughters. She has communications and nursing degrees and a background in business. She and her family live in a straw bale / earth house surrounded by their orchard, chickens and vege gardens and have been trapping pests and planting trees for the last 14 years. She loves community building, growing food and Barnsley Football Club.

Claire Mitchell

Community Liaison

Having spent a large part of her career in legal roles in the UK, Claire moved to Warkworth with her family a few years ago. Claire has held multiple volunteer positions, including with the Lewisham Toy Library in the UK, Garden to Table, and assisting at Woven Earth, an organisation that helps furnish homes for family violence survivors. She is looking forward to working with the community to help enhance and protect our wonderful diverse whenua.

Pablo Fuenzalida

GIS and Data Lead

Coming soon

Charles Montgomery

Data Support

I have lived in Warkworth for most of my life and I just love it here. I am very passionate about the environment and sustainability, so working for The Forest Bridge Trust is a bit like a dream come true. I have a background as a landscape gardener and before that worked in IT for a regional TV station, both of these have given me a good knowledge of the area and some of its people. I love nothing more than getting outdoors and into the wilderness with my young son. Being part of the effort to protect and enhance that environment for future generations, to me is simply awesome!

Anne Ginders

Team Administrator

Anne has recently joined TFBT as the team Administrator, coming from Auckland War Memorial Museum Collection Care team. Her background is in Fine and Applied Arts with Museum Studies added five years ago. Anne lives in the heart of the Forest Bridge Trust area in Kaipara Flats with partner Wayne and son Scott, where they have recently established two native bush plantings on their property.

Anne brings team management skills to her work-from-home role and feels priviliged to work in her local community in a role which enables native wildlife conservation in such a meaningful way.

Her personal mantra has always been “Think global, act local”.

Elena Siun

Volunteer Programme Co-ordinator

Elena worked in the marine industry in Europe and in New Zealand for the last 12 years before switching career paths. Experiencing both the magnificence of nature and some devastating human impacts, the decision to use her skills to help communities take care about their environment was an easy one. After volunteering with Kaipatiki Project for several years she found it is a real opportunity to make a difference. Lover of all things nature she is especially passionate about New Zealand native plants and their medicinal properties.

Her family moved up to Orewa from central Auckland specially for her to join the TFBT team. In her spare time, Elena can be found in nature’s playground on foot, kiteboard or under sails!

Kotaro Watanabe

IT Lead and GIS & Data Support

Kotaro is originally from Japan. After working for 10 years in Singapore, he migrated to New Zealand with his family in 2014. He and this family love the nature and people of this beautiful country so much that they call this place their “home”. They live on the shore and often go to Tawharanui to ride the waves and enjoy watching Takahē and Pukeko roaming around.

He is a Digital All-Rounder with focus on web administration/development and database. His ultimate goal is to become an Information Technology person who can connect between people and the digital world.

Working with the Trust is a perfect opportunity for him to contribute his IT knowledge and experience to the nature. Technology and nature may be two opposites however he strongly believes that those two can walk hand-in-hand towards a bright future.

Maree Johnston

Schools Program Support

Maree has a background in Zoology and is an active member of the Shakespear Open Sanctuary volunteer group SOSSI – with many roles ranging from secretary to kiwi monitoring.  She has also been involved with the translocation of Robins to Shakespear, Urupukapuka, Mt Taranaki and saddleback to Shakespear.