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 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.
Rachael Randal, Manager, has 14 years’ experience leading communications and community engagement programmes, with specific expertise in ecological restoration. She has an MSc in Environmental Management and a BSc in Biology. She lives in Torbay with her two children (aged 5 and 7) and husband, who teaches English at a local high school. In her spare time, she enjoys long bush walks with her whānau, beachside picnics, cycling and weeding(!).
Kane Kvasnicka, Restoration Advisor, has over 5 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 teaching experience at Forest School in Japan. Kane provides expert field-based guidance and planning support to established and new volunteer groups 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.
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.