Our Team

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 rangers, captive breeding rangers, marketing, cafe and maintenance.

Emily Court

Emily Court

General Manager

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.

Bob Francis

Bob Francis

Board Chairman

Bob was the mayor of Masterton from 1986 until 2007 and has been chairman of the Mount Bruce Board for the last ten years.

In 1991 he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to local government and community.

Bob was also a rugby referee, chairing the New Zealand Referee Association for 14 years.

Sarah Watkins

Sarah Watkins

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 Flamy

Jess Flamy

Head Ranger

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.

Wayne Pitau

Wayne Pitau

Cultural Tourism Development Advisor

Wayne is qualified in whakairo māori traditional carving and has a background in youth mentorship.

He currently teaches Te Toi Whanake, an introductory programme about kowhaiwhai and whakairo at Te Pātukituki o Wairarapa.

He is of Rangitāne descent and is passionate about te reo Māori me ona tikanga.

Kyleigh Cork

Kyleigh Cork

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.

Raelene Berry

Raelene Berry

Captive Breeding Ranger & Collection Planning Manager

Raelene is a graduate zoology and geography and holds a master of science in ecology.

She has been involved with Pūkaha since 1991, and researched the reintroduction of North Island kākā to Mount Bruce for her thesis in 1994.

Jenna McIntosh

Jenna McIntosh

Café Team Leader

Jenna has been working in hospitality for 19 years, where she has been a sous chef and an award-winning barista at the National Barista Awards as well as at regional championships. She has also been a bar supervisor and a baker.

Jenna has a passion for New Zealand’s native flora and fauna, sparked by her father who taught her about the importance of pest control.

Tara Swan

Tara Swan

Communications Advisor

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 Moore

Kerri Moore

Volunteer Coordinator

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.

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