The Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand board comprises up to 15 trustees from a wide range of backgrounds, organisations and locations around the country. The trustees have long term experience in a wide range of fields, such as botany, dune morphology, raranga, governance and community restoration projects.

Greg Bennett - Chair (North Canterbury)

Chair of the Amberley Beach Coast Care where he and other locals have been actively involved in the restoration of cobble and sandy beaches in north Canterbury. Greg is actively involved with local councils in improving vehicle management on beaches and in restoring dunes and coastal wetlands. He is currently a water and drainage engineer at a north Canterbury district council.

Greg will be away and unavailable 30 April - 2 September 2018, during which time Laura Shaft will be acting as Chair.


Colin Ryder - Treasurer (Wellington)

Colin Ryder has over twenty five years experience in successfully initiating, managing and resourcing conservation projects in the Wellington region. He has also led several campaigns to protect conservation values locally, including the purchase of Baring Head and the establishment of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve. Colin has been instrumental in forming a number of conservation groups, such as the Friends of Baring Head and the Friends of Mana Island. He has received several national and regional awards for his volunteer work.


David Bergin (Rotorua)

David is a restoration ecologist covering a range of ecosystems including coastal sand dunes, riparian areas, shrublands and forests focusing on the planting and management of native plants. He is Senior Scientist and Director of Environmental Restoration Ltd and has nearly 40 years of experience in restoration to meet multiple purposes from enhancing indigenous biodiversity and management of cultural resources, to sustainable production potential of planted native forests. He is founding trustee of both the Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand and Tane’s Tree Trust, and is a trustee of The Project Crimson Trust. 


Justin Cope (Canterbury)

Programme manager for coastal and river systems at Environment Canterbury. Experience in coastal geomorphology and monitoring of sand movement on beaches and sand dune systems throughout the Canterbury region in collaboration with city and district councils. Justin is chair of the Research Committee for the Coastal Restoration Trust.


Jim Dahm (Coromandel)

Coastal scientist providing advice in coastal restoration, coastal hazards and estuaries. Private consultant since 1999. Previously worked for Waikato Regional Council (8 years) as a coastal scientist and prior to that in an engineering consultancy (7 years). Jim was responsible for initiating beach care/coast care work in New Zealand in the early 90’s and has worked extensively in coastal restoration for over 20 years.


Graeme La Cock (Wellington)

Technical Advisor Ecology working for the Department of Conservation. South African dunes, research, management, botany, ecosystems, processes, impact assessments, 30 years experience. Extensive experience with coastal flora in South Africa. A senior coastal botanist specialising in rare and endangered plants in New Zealand for two decades; a member of the Threatened Species Unit in DOC.


Lyle Mason (Southland)

NZ’s second most southern coastal sheep and beef farmer. An experienced cropping and land development contractor who understands the critical need to preserve the fragile fringe of coastal sand dunes that are the first (and most effective) buffer against storms and erosion to protect valuable farm and forestry land. A strong advocate of native vegetation restoration and appropriate methods for control of coastal exotics.

Tim Park (Wellington)

Environment Partnership Leader at Wellington City Council. An avid plant ecologist dedicated to the protection and restoration of the coastal ecosystems found throughout New Zealand. Tim assists with the Coastal Restoration Trust Facebook page and web development work and is interested in maximising the use of technology to help us restore our ecosystems.


Betsy Young (Far North)

Betsy is a trustee for both the Coastal Restoration Trust and Te Roopu Whakaoranga a Te Taha Moana. She is a master weaver and works closely with Northland communities and schools to restore, preserve and sustainably use pingao and toheroa along local beaches.


Laura Shaft (Whangārei)

Laura is Coast Care Coordinator for Northland Regional Council and has extensive practical experience working with community-based coast care groups.


 Jo Bonner (Whakatāne)

Jo has 27 years experience in the Nursery Production and Amenity Horticulture industry and carries a Diploma in Horticulture. She owns Coastlands Plant Nursery, which specialises in coastal plants and currently provides the largest volume of spinifex and pingao in the country. Jo is also involved as a volunteer with Forest and Bird, DOC, local coast care groups and other organisations, in growing and planting rare and endangered coastal species.


Alison Waru (Uawa – Tolaga Bay)

My whakapapa is deeply imbedded in Uawa – Tolaga Bay so the work I do for the whenua and Iwi go hand in hand. My role as Project Co-ordinator for Uawanui allows me to work closely with Iwi, farming, forestry and local community members on a day to day basis. This involves establishing native and fruit trees at our 5 working Marae, Tolaga Bay Area School & Kahukuranui Uawa river restoration, Taku Tai moana pingao and spinifex, Kaitawa Estuary and riparian planting of Hauiti Maori Land Blocks. I am a strong advocate for dune restoration at a local level and I’m concerned about the impact that camping, horses and other livestock have on our water ways, dunes and beaches.