Our Team

L to R Chris Morris, Gill Murray, Andrea Rutene, Todd Jenkinson , Chris Peterson                                                                        Photo: Katie Abbott
Chris Morris - Trustee, WaiP2K

Chris grew up on a sheep and beef property east of Masterton and has always had a keen interest in agriculture and the natural environment. 

He graduated from Lincoln University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Commerce and Agriculture majoring in Farm Management and Valuation. Chris then worked for 16 years in the rural banking industry holding positions in the King Country, Taranaki and predominantly the Wairarapa, with a period in between abroad in the UK and South America. 

More recently Chris left the banking industry, to pursue a career in agricultural business governance and consultancy, and rural valuation – after getting Registered as a Valuer in 2022. 

He and his family reside at Clareville on a work-style block in the Parkvale Catchment which is a priority catchment in the region. He enjoys a number of outdoor pursuits including farming and tramping in the Tararuas. 

Gill Murray - Trustee, WaiP2K

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.

Andrea Rutene - Trustee

Ko Takitimu te waka
Ko Aorangi te pae maunga
Ko Wairarapa moana te karu o te ika
Ko Ngāti Hinewaka, Ko Ngāti Hinetauira ōku hapū
Ko Kohunui te marae
Ko Iraia Te Whaiti rāua ko Kaihou Aporo ōku tipuna
Ko Ngāti Kahungunu me Rangitāne o Wairarapa ōku iwi
Ko Andrea Rutene āhau
I’m Wairarapa proud! I have lived most of my life right here at home. I appreciate the beauty of our rohe, spending time with my whānau, watching sport, and chasing cows. I have a passion to make a difference by contributing to my whānau, hapū, iwi and community. That is why I look to do this in
many different ways. For instance, whānau support at kōhanga and kura, participating in planting days near our marae and other special places, representing and working for whānau as a member of the Māori Standing Committee for South Wairarapa District Council, in te taiao as the Kahungunu representative on Wairarapa Pūkaha to Kawakawa, at church and in hauora whether its working in the community, within the district health board, or doing kai deliveries during COVID.
It is this service that I love to give. Tihei Mauri Ora!

Todd Jenkinson - Chair, WaiP2K

Todd has been working in the zoo industry since 1999. Starting his career at the Kiwi Birdlife Park in Queenstown, Todd has held keeper, supervisor and management roles in both New Zealand and Australia including both urban and open range zoos/wildlife parks, as well as with private and government organisations.

Todd’s zoo career has provided him with the opportunity to develop field skills with his experience working in-situ with Kakapo on Te Hauturu-o-Toi/Little Barrier Island, kiwi on the Coromandel and Przewalski’s Horse in Mongolia as well previously managing the restoration project at Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre.

Currently, Todd is the Zoo & Aquarium Association manager of NZ partnerships and conservation, NZ Fauna TAG co-convenor and the species co-ordinator for North Island kākā, kea and North Island brown kiwi.

When not at work, Todd spends time with his family on their North Wairarapa property removing pests, planting native trees and trying to squeeze in the odd mountain bike ride.  

Contact Todd via chair@waip2k.org.nz

Chris Peterson - Trustee, WaiP2K

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.

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 General Manager WaiP2K
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