Our Story

Conservation Communicators Aotearoa (Te Kāhui Hōrapa Taiao) is a community of over 500 volunteers and professionals who are communicating about conservation in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Our community started in 2018 through a Facebook group. We wanted to create a support network for people who are communicating about New Zealand’s wildlife and wild places while encouraging a stronger sense of community. We expected to attract a few dozen people, but the group quickly grew to a few hundred. Today, we have more than 500 members from across New Zealand — from volunteers to professionals and Tangata Whenua, to community groups, environmental charities, national science organisations, and governmental organisations.

In August of 2018, we ran the first ever Conservation Communicators Hui with around sixty participants coming together at ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary in Wellington. Over two days, we heard from expert speakers and started conversations about four key themes — changing hearts and minds, inspiring rangatahi, engaging with Tangata Whenua, and merging the digital and natural worlds. After such a successful event, we have decided to run a second hui in 2019 — with more details to come.

We are currently in the process of becoming an incorporated society. This will allow us to apply for funding to support future events and give us a formal structure to operate within. We aim to make this as open and inclusive as possible, with minimal cost to members.

Cam Hayes

Cam is Senior Marketing Advisor and Tuatara Wrangler at ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary.

He is passionate about harnessing the power of marketing and communications to affect positive change, particularly around conservation and the environment.

Cam has worked with a variety of organisations to tell their stories and is excited to hear your story at Te Kāhui Hōrapa Taiao.

Eeva Kumpula

Eeva has always been interested in wildlife, specifically birds.

Upon starting her studies in an unrelated field in New Zealand, she went absolutely nuts and started volunteering for Takahē Recovery, Orokonui Ecosanctuary, Zealandia, and the New Zealand Sea Lion Trust.

She creates content for them about the animals she loves.

Judi Lapsley Miller

It’s all about the birds for Judi. She’s a conservation volunteer specialising in kākā, a scientist, and an artist.

Judi assists Zealandia with their communications. She created and currently convenes the volunteer “storyteller” team – a group of around 20 writers and photographers who share Zealandia’s stories with the world.

Through her art she continues her wildlife advocacy with a creative interpretation of our bird life, realising that for many people, care and action for conservation comes from an emotional connection to nature.

Kimberley Collins

Kimberley is an ecologist turned science communicator whose fascination with nature comes from growing up in Waiouru with the Rangipo Desert as her playground.

She runs Fledge Media, a marketing and communications company that works with sustainable brands, businesses, and not-for-profits. 

After gaining her Masters in Science Communication, she has become an expert in using digital media to engage people with science and has previously worked for a range of conservation groups including Forest & Bird and Zealandia.

Paul O’Shea

Paul is the administrator for Kiwis for kiwi, the national charity working with community and iwi kiwi conservation groups to protect our national icon.

Over his last 5 and a half years with Kiwis for kiwi Paul has among other things managed the organisation’s social media accounts and been the event planner for a range of fundraising and conservation events.

Paul is a man of many hats both figuratively and literally and believes in the importance of sharing our conservation stories both good and sad with the public so they can further understand why we need to protect our national taonga.

Terese McLeod

Terese (Taranaki Whānui) describes the three Wellington Harbour Islands, Matiu/Somes, Makaro/Ward, and, Mokopuna, as the greatest love stories of her life.

She is a kaitiaki, and, sits on the Wellington Harbour Islands Kaitiaki Board.  She began her island life 20 years ago, apprenticeship styles, and continues to be a life long student of Te Taiao.

Connecting people from all walks of life to the conservation conversation fills her with purpose, pride, priviledge, and, pleasure.  She does this on the Wellington Harbour Islands, Kawau Island, and, Kāpiti Island.  

Te Kawa Robb

Te Kawa (Ngāti Awa, Ngāt Ranginui) is an educator, consultant, and photographer based in Te Whanganui A Tara (Wellington).

Te Kawa supports a number of NGO’s to develop and deliver their programs and projects focussed on environmental education and restoration, as well as studying full-time in Kaitiakitanga Pūtaiao.

Sharing a family passion for the environment, Te Kawa draws insight from his whakapapa, and from a childhood shared with sisters and parents in the oceans, forests, and rivers of Aotearoa.