Our Team

Gill Murray Pukaha To Kawakawa Alliance
Gill Murray – Chair

Gill is the fifth generation to farm on her family land at Mt Bruce. She has long had a keen interest in preserving native bush and planting for regeneration. On farm they have 10 ha of QEII retired bush and wetland that they actively plant and manage.

Gill is the coordinator for the Upper Waipoua Kaitiaki catchment group, this group is focusing on improving environmental quality and biodiversity in the local area with an emphasis on water quality, pest control, riparian retirement, fencing and planting.

From her work in educational psychology, Gill is experienced with problem analysis and solution finding, building relationships with a wide range of people, management of staff and logistics, and facilitation of groups for learning and change.

Gill has governance experience from her trustee role on several other boards.

James Murray McKee Pukaha To Kawakawa Alliance
Murray McKee - Chair, Finance Committee

Murray grew up in Gisborne, spent his senior high school year in California and graduated from Victoria University of Wellington. He then worked abroad for fifteen years in the offshore and oil and gas exploration industry in the UK, West Africa, North Africa and Spain.

Murray returned to NZ in 1987 to work in senior management, strategic advisory and governance roles across the mining, energy and emergency services sectors. Murray was a co-founder of the NZ National Parks and Conservation Foundation in 2000 and served two terms on the West Coast Board, the Tongariro-Taupo Conservation Board and the NZ Conservation Authority.

He is currently a board member of the Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre. He lives in Greytown where he is a keen gardener and Open Space covenantor.

Chris Peterson Pukaha To Kawakawa Alliance
Chris Peterson - Trustee

Chris has always been a passionately committed advocate for social and environmental issues. His primary concern now is climate change in the Wairarapa.

He has been a deer culler, scrub cutter and possum trapper, as well as a biology teacher, and he also established WORT, the Wairarapa Outdoor Recreation Trust, as a successful social enterprise.

Now a Masterton District Councillor in his 7th term, he lives near Mt Holdsworth, where he was DOC’s caretaker for many years, and bushwalks with his dogs to keep body and mind moving.

Esther Dijkstra
Esther Dijkstra - General Manager

An environmental consultant running EcoAgriLogic Limited, Esther is passionate about making connections between resilience, sustainable management and good environmental outcomes. She sees the community as the driving force behind making the decisions for successful environmental outcomes. Esther was a member of the Ruamāhanga Whaitua Committee. This community-led committee was tasked to gather the visions and values of the communities in the Ruamāhanga catchment and make recommendations for water quality and allocation.

Originally from the Netherlands and having completed a PhD degree in Environmental Sciences she emigrated to Aotearoa in 1997. She has managed regional and national projects for the agricultural sector funded by Sustainable Farming Fund and DairyNZ. Locally, Esther has been working with the Mangaterere Restoration Society and was an Enviroschools facilitator.

Esther’s work with WaiP2K presents a huge opportunity for communities to work together positively, solving issues that matter to them, and pulling together the threads of diverse experiences and networks to get things done.

When not working, Esther can be found cycling Wairarapa’s gravel roads or sailing the Hauraki Gulf.

Ali Mackisack
Ali Mackisack - Storyteller