New Fiordland Marine Guardian appointed

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Environment Minister David Parker recently appointed a new Fiordland Marine Guardian and re-appointed two existing Guardians. Dr Simon Childerhouse has joined the Guardians, while Ali Ballantine and Pete Young have been re-appointed. 

Simon is a marine scientist with more than 25 years’ experience undertaking applied science in and out of government. His experience includes working for Fisheries New Zealand, Department of Conservation, the Australian Antarctic Division and independent research organisations. His work focuses on both conservation and sustainable utilisation. He has a love of remote places especially Fiordland, with experience in both Antarctica and the New Zealand sub-Antarctic region. Simon in based in Nelson and presently works as a Senior Science Advisor at the Environmental Law Initiative.

The Chairperson of the Guardians, Dr Rebecca McLeod says “We are excited to welcome Simon to the group. He brings such diverse experience in science and policy, and we have no doubt he will make a very valuable contribution.” Dr McLeod acknowledged outgoing Guardian Dr Kerri-Anne Edge Hill, who was instrumental in rebuilding the Guardian’s connection with the community through her focus on communication.

Re-appointed Guardians Ali and Pete have been with the group since 2018, with Pete also contributing during the formation of the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act.

The Fiordland marine environment is currently facing several threats including marine heatwaves, increasing visitor pressure, biosecurity and overfishing. The Guardians are instrumental in ensuring the agencies work to mitigate these threats in a coordinated manner, and that the community is also onboard. Collectively they have a deep knowledge and understanding of the place and work hard to maintain strong connections with mana whenua, commercial and recreational fishers, tourism operators, recreational users, marine scientists, conservationists and the local community.  

The Fiordland Marine Guardians is an advisory group established under the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act 2005. They advise central and local government on the integrated management of the Fiordland Marine Area.

For more information contact Dr Rebecca McLeod,  Ph. 027 3312041