Meet The Team

The Steering Group in late 2019 at Te Herenga Waka o Orewa

Our Steering Group, chaired by Richard Hursthouse, helps to drive the Restore Hibiscus & Bays initiative, providing expert guidance, feedback and advice to our staff team. We are fortunate to have on our Steering Group highly experienced representatives from Friends of Okura Bush, the Forest and Bird Pest Free Hibiscus Coast project, Centennial Park Bush Society, Friends of Long Bay, Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society Incorporated, Pest Free Okura, the East Coast Bays Community Project, Auckland Council and the Department of Conservation. They meet monthly and contribute an immense number of hours to the initiative.

Our backbone staff team (below) is currently funded partly through a grant from the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board and partly through the Auckland Council Community Coordination and Facilitation grant.

Ko Mauo te maunga
Nō Scotland rāua ko Brazil ahau
Ko Helen ahau

Kia ora tātou, I am Helen Parry, Manager at Restore Hibiscus and Bays.
I came to New Zealand in 1995 and have lived in Takapuna for 10 years after spending sixteen years in the Bay of Plenty. I have three wonderful, amazing grown-up children who are so very dear to my heart, living across three different countries. Over the last 20 years I have held management and leadership roles in finance, education and consultancy. I have worked on environmental restoration projects in the Bay of Plenty. I am passionate about nature, the ecosystem, with a slight addiction to the beach, the oceans and fauna and flora of Aotearoa. I enjoy bush walking, beach walks, kayaking, music and dancing. I am very much looking forward to joining the team at Restore Hibiscus and Bays, to support the team to make a pivotal contribution to the environment and sustainability so that we can continue to enjoy our place, Aotearoa.

Kia hora te marino
Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana
Kia tere te kārohirohi i mua i tō huarahi

May the sea glisten like greenstone
May the shimmer of light
Guide you on your way

You can contact Helen at manager@restorehb.org.nz

Kane Kvasnicka, Ecological restoration advisor, has over 7 years’ experience in ecological restoration, working for both a volunteer community organisation within our rohe as well as for a professional eco-contractor. He also has started his own specialist contracting company. Kane provides expert field-based guidance and planning support to established and new volunteer groups, eco contractors and other local organisations. Outside of field work, he enjoys visiting remnant forest types and predator free areas, as well as supporting underground music scenes.

You can contact Kane at kane@restorehb.org.nz

Amanda Kirk (Mandy), Restoration Advisor, graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Ecology. She has spent the last ten years working in a range of different roles including ecological restoration, environmental monitoring, and as a Park Ranger. Mandy has a passion for stream restoration and creating environments suitable for all fauna and flora to thrive. She loves hearing native bird life in urban areas. Mandy spends her spare time enjoying nature and exploring new places. Her first job at RHB is to develop our monitoring plans to fruition.
You can contact Mandy at amanda@restorehb.org.nz

Deborah Colson,  Advisor – Ecological Restoration, Communications & Community Engagement has been working in ecological restoration for the past 3 years in a variety of roles including with Pest Free Hibiscus Coast, Conservation Volunteers, Wildlands and Auckland Council. She is absolutely passionate about restoration,  communications and community engagement. Previously, Deborah was a practising nutritionist and tertiary education teacher in London, before moving back to her native Aotearoa where she lives on the spectacular Hibiscus Coast. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time in the bush, hiking and gardening.

You can contact Deborah at deborah@restorehb.org.nz

Julia Clavel, Restoration Advisor (Schools and Community Training), is an Auckland Geography graduate with a strong passion for protecting and enhancing our natural environment by engaging with the wider community. Originally from Germany, she has lived in Red Beach for 8 years with her family of four. Julia’s hobbies include international cuisine, hiking, yoga, travelling, weeding & conservation events such as beach clean ups and tree planting, Escape Room & strategic board games.

You can contact Julia at julia@restorehb.org.nz

Jocelyn Sanders, Catchment Community Activator (Taiaotea-Rothesay Bay Catchment Project) has lived with her husband and family in Rothesay Bay for many years.  She is a relief teacher at an enviro-school, and is the secretary of the North Shore Branch of Forest and Bird Protection Society, as well as secretary of her local Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association.  Jocelyn’s interests include walking (especially in our bush and beach areas), gardening and kayaking.

You can contact Jocelyn at jocelyn@restorehb.org.nz

Simon van den Berg, Catchment Community Activator (Waiwera Catchment Project) has a BSc in Biological Science and Marine Science and is currently working towards an MSc in Marine Science at the University of Auckland. He has been a volunteer lifeguard for 5 years and enjoys spending his free time surfing or just enjoying the beach.

You can contact Simon at simon@restorehb.org.nz

Meg Spittal, Catchment Community Activator (Long bay and Awaruku Catchment Project, Campbells Bay Catchment Project), is a University of Auckland graduate in Biological Sciences. She has a strong passion for protecting and restoring the natural environment here in Aotearoa, and helping the community reconnect with the joys of working in nature. Originally growing up and living in Whangaparāoa for 18 years, she is now living in Birkdale. Meg’s hobbies include; hiking, gardening, cooking, sewing, and playing Dungeons and Dragons.

You can contact Meg at meg@restorehb.org.nz



Network members at the strategic planning hui in 2018. Photo by Geoff Reid.

The Restore Hibiscus & Bays vision can only be achieved through the incredible number of volunteer hours put in by our expanding network of groups, projects, neighbourhoods, individuals, schools, businesses and other organisations. The network meets bimonthly to connect and share ideas, plans and success stories.