Meet the Trustees


Mayor Celia Wade-Brown QSO (Patron)

Celia has been living in the area, overlooking the Marine Reserve since 1983 and has been a City Councillor since 1994 and was Mayor of Wellington until 2016. Her political career in Wellington was sparked by leading a beach litter clean-up in Island Bay in 1992. She was made a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order (QSO) in 2017.

Celia is a keen kayaker, snorkeller, diver and walker along the reserve. She has been a strong supporter for the marine reserve – she led a Council delegation to Minister of Fisheries, for example, and was an instigator of the Marine Bioblitz in 2007.

Celia has seen the potential of the reserve (education, renaissance of species) and threats (over-harvesting, individual pollution due to oil or paint, widespread run-off and sewage issues), partly due to taking up scuba diving in 2006 and seeing the richness of the sea-life in the area. She was an inaugural Trustee of the Friends.

Colin Ryder (Chair)

Colin has had more than twenty years experience in project managing and resourcing conservation projects in the Wellington region; including eradication of mice on Mana Island (at the time the largest rodent eradication in the world and still one of the largest involving mice); convenor of Wellington South Coast Marine Reserves coalition which applied for the Taputeranga marine reserve; and translocations of several bird, reptile, invertebrate and rare plants species to Mana Island.

He believes that that the Marine Reserve has the potential to be a showcase for marine conservation generally but this will depend, to a large degree, on the buy-in and active involvement of the community.

Ann McCrone  (Secretary)

Ann has been interested in the marine environment ever since she made plasticine SCUBA divers as a kid. She completed her Masters in coastal ecology at the University of Auckland, working many a season at the Leigh marine reserve. She has had over 20 years of experience in marine protected area establishment and management and has worked in the field as a science technician with the New Zealand Oceanographic Institute (now NIWA), participated in numerous research expeditions from the Kermadecs to the Sub-Antarctics, and has been desk bound providing technical advice related to the development, communication and improvement of marine conservation management at the Department of Conservation.

Julian Hodge

Julian grew up playing in the rock pools along Wellington’s coastline. It was the beginning of a life long passion for all things to do with the ocean. Having been a teacher in the greater Wellington region for 7 years he has always been heavily involved in education. Julian now works at the Island Bay Marine Education Centre where he has responsibility for the Discovery Programmes that offer a range of ocean based learning opportunities to schools and colleges. These include Snorkelling, field trips, the Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) programme and more. He is also a very keen snorkeler, diver and fisherman. “One of the best things about living in Wellington is having this amazing coastline at our doorsteps. What other capital city in the world gives you the opportunity to catch your dinner and eat it without fear of being poisoned! We need to make sure that we protect this resource.”

Jen Howe

Jen moved here from England twelve years ago with her family and gained an MSc in Marine Biology in February of this year from Victoria University. Her research was on the symbiotic relationship between the local anemone, Anthopleura aureoradiata, and the dinoflagellate algae within their cells. Since last November she has worked at Victoria University as a Technical Officer preparing undergraduate laboratories for the marine courses. This brings together two of her interests, working with marine organisms, particularly invertebrates, and education. She is a keen diver and loves seeing what has been achieved so far in the Taputeranga Marine Reserve. She also understands the ecological benefits from reserves on the marine environment, near and far. She would like to be involved in retaining and protecting what has been achieved along the South Coast and to help guarantee that the benefits gained by having a marine reserve continue into the future.

Dave Drane

Dave has grown up snorkeling, diving and fishing around the Wellington area and has worked in the dive industry for the past 14 years. With his wife Paula, Dave owns and operates Dive Wellington, which is right across the road from Taputeranga Marine Reserve. Dave is also a Padi Course Director and charter boat operator. Dave says “ It’s great to be able to show new divers and snorkelers the fantastic asset we have right on our doorstep.”

Mike Loughran

Being fairly inept at team ball sports in his youth, Mike found his niche in competitive swimming, then drifting into surf lifesaving and occasionally, water polo. Mike has a military and public service background. He learned to dive while stationed in Singapore in the 1970’s and has continued his interest in things underwater. During the mid-1980’s Mike participated in the initial underwater surveys of the Wellington South Coast in anticipation of a marine reserve. Now retired, Mike dabbles in underwater photography and has an extensive collection of blurry fish photos.  He is an Island Bay resident and loves diving the Wellington South Coast and the South Pacific. Mike has a particular interest in assisting with the Taputeranga Coast Watch programme and the protection of our brilliant South Coast natural asset.

Nicci Wood

Nicci is a water baby. She grew up near, on and around water.  Nicci has chosen to work with water. An earth-scientist by training, Nicci has worked across disciplines to apply scientific knowledge to water resource and environmental management. Nicci’s focus has primarily been stormwater quality and quantity management and its effects on aquatic receiving environments. She has worked to become a known and respected stormwater practitioner in Wellington.

A keen sailor, she spends much of her time on top of the water. Sailing gives her a sense of adventure; riding the wind and waves brings rigors, challenges and freedom. Despite her view from the surface Nicci appreciates the richness of our thriving marine ecosystems. She considers the unique, distinctive coastal waters that surround our city an important part of Wellington’s identity, heritage and economy. For her Taputeranga Marine Reserve brings immense marine biodiversity into close proximity to Wellingtonians, highlighting the significance the marine environment has for the city and our quality of life.

Anne Wietheger

Anne grew up in central Germany, a long way away from the sea but decided to become a marine biologist when she was 12. She followed her dream and finally moved to Wellington in 2008 to do a PhD in Marine Biology at Victoria University. While studying the effects of climate change on tropical unicellular algae living in symbiosis with corals in the lab, she started discovering the Wellington South Coast and fell in love with the Taputeranga Marine Reserve. She has volunteered at the Island Bay Marine Education Centre, has taken children snorkelling for Experiencing Marine Reserves and goes deeper when scuba diving in the reserve (favourite spot: the snorkel trail). She loves finding all the ‘little things’ such as anemones and nudibranchs, and for her, it is still amazing that you can go diving in a marine reserve 15 min from the centre of a capital. After finishing her PhD, Anne joined the Ministry for Primary Industries and is now working on New Zealand fisheries issues.

Sarah Neighbours

Sarah fell in love with the ocean when she was just eight years old.  Ever since, she wanted to pursue her passion and become a marine biologist. In 2013 Sarah did just that and graduated from Victoria University with a Masters in Marine Conservation. Since then she has been working for the Island Bay Marine Education Centre delivering education programmes to schools and community groups throughout the Wellington region.  Sarah is passionate about being able to pass on her knowledge to others hoping to inspire them to discover the beauties of Taputeranga Marine Reserve.    Sarah is keen to get community members engaged with projects that will sustain a healthy marine environment and look after the rich biodiversity we are fortunate to have right at our finger tips.
Dr Malcolm Francis (Honorary Associate)

Malcolm is a Principal Scientist at NIWA and is one of New Zealand’s foremost experts in fish. He has a wide interest in shallow demersal and reef species, as well as oceanic pelagics and all aspects of fish distribution, biogeography, reproduction (especially sharks), age and growth, and recruitment. These are all components of the knowledge which is essential to ensure that fish management is placed on as sustainable a basis as possible.

Besides being a widely published researcher and author, Malcolm has taken a particular interest in great white sharks, assisting in a greater knowledge and understanding of this much-maligned species. Malcolm is a keen professional and recreational diver, underwater photographer, and is a supporter of marine protected areas and Taputeranga Marine Reserve in particular.

Dr Sophie Mormede (Honorary Associate)

Sophie fell in water when she was little. She was a competitive swimmer, and then graduated to scuba-diving and was a lifeguard for years. She spends as much time as she can underwater, and is still looking for the surgeon who will give her gills. After living in four different countries in ten years, she now calls Wellington home. How many other places in the world can you access such wonderful diving straight after work? She loves diving the Wellington South Coast and harbour for their richness, diversity and accessibility.

When she’s not underwater she works at NIWA as a fisheries modeller, investigating the status of New Zealand fish stocks and their ecosystem. She works on providing some of the science which informs the fisheries management system. It mainly involves mathematical computer work in an office. Sometimes she’s lucky enough to get on research voyages onboard the New Zealand Research Vessel Tangaroa, when she finally works with real fish rather than pretend fish.

Distinguished Life Member – Murray Hosking QSO

After a career in forestry and conservation in senior management positions, Murray was the marine reserve facilitator in DOC from 2001 to 2009 and was directly involved in the end stages of the establishment of Taputeranga Marine Reserve, amongst many others. He was made a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order (QSO) in 2009 for services to conservation. He was a foundation Trustee for the Friends and its first Chairman, serving two terms in that capacity. Murray aspires to see Taputeranga demonstrate the benefits of marine protection for the local community for education, diving, recreation and business. He expects that a return to natural levels of biota in the reserve will in time be a draw card for science, education, tourism and public interest to match that of the Karori Sanctuary and Matiu/Somes. He retired from the Board in October 2017.