Pūkaha has a dedicated team of staff and volunteers from a variety of backgrounds including zoology, ecology, marine biology and anthropology.
The workplace comprises Visitor Centre guides, captive breeding rangers, marketing, cafe and maintenance.
Emily took up the reins as General Manager in October 2017. She has a diverse management background including banking, retail, economic development and international education, and holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Business Administration.
Emily is committed to taking Pūkaha to the next level both as a tourism destination and as a leader in New Zealand’s conservation community.
Meet the entire Board here.
Georgina is the Executive Officer of Environment Hubs Aotearoa and Enviroschools facilitator in both the Tararua District and Palmerston North City.
Georgina also sits on the Boards of Eastern & Central Community Trust and Pahiatua School.
Georgina is a mum to Harry and Anna, who attend Pahiatua Primary School, and lives on a dairy farm with her husband Duncan.
Commercial Development Manager
Sarah has 18 years experience in eco-tourism, managing high ropes courses and suspended airwalks in Australia, the UK and New Zealand.
She draws upon a solid skillset that includes operations, marketing, general management and even graphic design.
Sarah is also a professional photographer.
Jess has 16 years experience working with birds, a passion born after being given a pet lovebird at age 5.
In her native France she worked with a number of different species including flamingo, tucan, and various parrots including 2 kea.
This led Jess to New Zealand, where she has been ever since, heading up the captive breeding team at Pūkaha.
Lead Forest Restoration Contractor,
Backblocks Environmental Management Limited
John Bissell has a lifetime of experience in the mountains and farming country of New Zealand. Before starting up Backblocks in 2016, John had a successful career in conservation and all aspects of environmental and land management and planning.
Visitor Centre Team Leader
Kyleigh has been part of the Pūkaha team for 4 years, running the Visitor Centre and Retail shop.
She coordinates all tours and talks, and hosts school education groups.
Kyleigh has a background in early childhood education, which helps her plan and run the school holiday programmes.
Social Media Communications
Tara is an ecologist and member of the captive breeding team at Pūkaha.
She is also a wildlife photographer and social media strategist, implementing all of Pūkaha’s social media communications.
Kerri has been part of the Pūkaha whanau for the last five years, starting out as a volunteer herself as part of the restoration team.
She has a diverse background including as a farmer. She loves her job, especially working with people and the beautiful forest scenery.