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Trustees and Committee Members

Frances van Alphen

Chairperson MET

Frances is a full time Mum in Whakatane but is a regular visitor to the Manawahe to see family. She has a degree in ecology that was going rusty so she joined the trust in 2009 to keep involved in environmental science. She is a keen believer in the corridor concept and is regularly inspired by the Manawahe Bush with its gorgeous views.

Maurice Tooke


Maurice Tooke is a retired road safety coordinator for Whakatane District Council. He grew up on the Rangitaiki Plains and feels a strong tie to the Manawahe hills. He is a founding member of the trust.

Peter van Alphen


Peter was born in Rotterdam (Netherlands) but moved to New Zealand in the late 70’s when his children were still young to provide them with the rural NZ lifestyle . He settled in West Auckland and grew grapes and mandarins Bio dynamically. Peter is now retired and has chosen the Manawahe for its rural charm while enjoying the proximity to daughters and grand children in Whakatane. Peter’s interest in conservation is what led him to join MET in 2010.

Gail Boynton


A long time resident of Kawerau, Gail has been with the Trust for three years, She has been involved in numerous organisations within the town and is currently employed part time in the office at Tarawera High School.

She thoroughly enjoys the administration position with the trust, and whether it be fund raising, working bees, Trapping days, the Interschool Adventure Race and/or just generally helping out Gail enjoys working with the members of the Trust and appreciates their enthusiasm and dedication to achieve their long term goals.

Andrew Collicott


Andrew is retired local teacher having taught secondary science in the eBOP since 1977. He has mostly taught physics and science, at both Whakatane High School and at Edgecumbe college.

Having moved from his mixed orchard and pig and calf rearing property at Awakeri, Andrew is now excited about becoming part of the Manawahe Eco community. He hopes to be able to make a difference in the quality of the local environment and especially in helping the local children to appreciate the treasure in which they live and to learn to nurture it in a sustainable way.

Andrew's life philosophy is to think long term and not to focus on one part of a system but always consider the whole.

John Mackintosh

Recently retired Trustee

The Mackintosh family owns the land that contains the majority of the Kokako population at Manawahe (over 55 birds). Almost all of the native forest on the family property (over 300 ha) is covered by pest control programs and QE11 National Trust covenants. John and his family were the Supreme Winners of the Ballance Farm Awards in 2006. He brings to the Trust valuable knowledge of the area.

Peter Fergusson

Development Coordinator

I have always been interested in conservation and ecological restoration and in 2000 we brought a life style block in Awakeri that has a WDC covenant on the bush remnant. Over the last ten years we have been restoring this by replanting and undertaking pest and weed control.

We have also been involved in a number of volunteer conservation projects over the last 20years. I was a DOC volunteer for many years and have done a lot of work on Whale Island. I currently am working with Bill Clark’s Onepu care group, Fish and Game, DOC and the Regional Council on the restoration of Lake Tamurenui. This project is funded by EBOP and is an eight year project.

I am a long time member of Forest and Bird and am currently Secretary of the Eastern Bay Forest and Bird branch. We are also members of the Manawahe Kokako trust volunteer group involved in pest control and monitoring on John McIntosh’s land.

Liddy Bakker

Environmental Educator

I am a qualified and practicing techer and I have always had passion for the environment, being a long-time member of NZ Forest and Bird. I consider myself extremely lucky to live in the Eastern Bay, where we have such beautiful and rich natural ecosystems of bush and ocean and I am humbled to live so close to a population of a rare New Zealand bird, the Kokako.
I believe that this is the type of role where I can combine my love for the environment with my love of learning. I am looking forward to contributing towards the development and implementation of quality environmental education at the Manawahe Eco Trust

Ian Crossan


Met has also recently partnered up with Ian Crossan who is currently a pest control contractor for DoC and has extensive knowledge in outdoor risk management, business management and future directives planning. He has been instrumental in advising the Manawahe Eco Trust of the changes we need to make to be successful in achieving our visions.

Janet Milbank

Previous Secretary

Previously from Manawahe, Janet has many years of experience working in the administration sector for both small and large businesses. She commenced her work for the Trust on a volunteer basis in 2008 and has recently become more involved with the operational running of the Trust. Janet’s excellent financial experience and organisational skills ensure that the Trust runs efficiently and meets its short term goals.

Peter Murnane


Lisa Eve


Although Lisa is a waste management professional, she has a background in ecology and environmental science, with a Masters in Environmental Science from Auckland University. She lives on a lifestyle block outside Whakatane with her family, where they fit in revegetation and pest control around work and school.
First becoming interested in the activities of the Manawahe Eco Trust through discussions about how to minimise waste on school camps with the Education Officer, Lisa subsequently became a trustee in late 2019.

Trustees and Committee Members

of days gone by

Just as the Manawahe hills are continually rising and the plains sinking, so must the make-up of the trust evolve. We have nine members who are no longer on the trust or are committee members but we would like to acknowledge the huge contributions they have made both in the development and work of the Trust and socially. Yvonne Skudder and Brian Crawford, Deborah Budd and Wiel Jongmans, Pete McLaren, Julie McBeth, Dave Wright, Darryl Howard,  Margaret Wennink, Ed Bekker and Natasja Boon, we can’t thank you enough for the fantastic contributions you have all made.