Who we are

Our Land and Water Board

Dr Paul Reynolds (Chair)

Current governance roles are Deputy Chair, Landcare Research Ltd, Director AgResearch Ltd and Trustee, Eastland Community Trust. Chief Executive and Secretary for the Environment 2008-2015.

Mr Hilton Collier

General manager Ngati Porou Agribusiness Unit (Pakihiroa Farms Limited), Managing Director Agfirst Consultants Wairoa Limited.

Current governance roles include Eastern Institute of Technology, NZ Institute of Primary Industry Management (President), Māori Economic Development AdvisoryBoard, Member and Wagyu Producers Group Limited.

Dr Ian Ferguson

Departmental Science Advisor, Ministry of Primary Industries. Fellow Royal Society NZ, NZ Order of Merit, Fellow, International Society for Horticultural Science. Chief Scientist, Plant & Food Research (2008-2013).

Mr Michael McCartney

CE of Horizons Regional Council. Oversaw initiatives such as SULI and One Plan Key architect of the Manawatu River Leaders’ Forum in 2010.

Chairs the NZ Regional Council Chief Executive Group and is the key link from that Group to the Regional Sector Group (collective of all the regional and unitary council mayors and chairs). Chairs MW LASS Ltd – a shared service company to which seven Manawatu-Wanganui local councils are shareholders. Regional sector representative on the Land and Water Forum.

Mr Hone McGregor

Former CE of Forest and Bird.

Currently a director for Wakatū Incorporation and Manawatū Kukutauaki Trust (land conservation and wetlands restoration trust) andKono LLP/GP. Undertaking a PhD in Māori enterprise and cultural capital.

Mr Bruce Wills (Deputy-Chair)

Sheep and Cattle farmer, National President Federated Farmers (2011-2014).

Current governance roles include Ravensdown, Horticulture NZ, QEII National Trust, Motu Research, Resilience to Nature's Challenges (NSC) and Apiculture NZ.

Ms Gillian Wratt (MNZM)

Chair of several review panels for the National Science Challenges. Previous CE of Cawthron Institute and Antarctica New Zealand.

Current governance roles include the Environmental Protection Authority, Chair NZ Outdoor Instructors Association and the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trail Trust, Vice President Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce and Director Project Janszoon Trust Company Ltd.


Ms Traci Houpapa chairs the Kahui. The role of the Kahui is to ensure Vision Mātauranga is embedded throughout the Challenge.

Sir Toby Curtis

Position: Chair Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Member of the Iwi Leaders Forum.

Expertise: PhD in Mātauranga Māori and expert in Māori lore.

Ms Traci Houpapa

Position: Chair of the Federation of Māori Authorities, Chair Landcorp farming.

Expertise: Māori agribusiness.

Mr Jim Peters

Position: Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Auckland.

Expertise: Extensive knowledge of Māori development particularly in Northland; strong linkages with Taitokerau iwi and regional government.

Ms Naomi Aporo

Position: ‎Group Program Manager at Wakatu Incorporation

Expertise: Programme and leadership development, Māori development.

Dr Erica Williams

Position: Scientist - Māori Environmental Research (Te Kūwaha), NIWA.

Expertise: Marine and freshwater environments, National Centre of Māori Environmental Research.


Mr Ken Taylor

Position: Director, Our Land and Water National Science Challenge.





Science Leadership Team 

Prof. Rich. McDowell

Position: Chief Scientist, Our Land and Water National Science Challenge.


Ms Katrina Hall

Position: Operations Manager, Our Land and Water National Science Challenge.


Ms Annabel McAleer

Position: Senior Communications Advisor, Our Land and Water National Science Challenge.


Dr Lian Butcher

Position: End-user Lead, Collaborative Capacity

Expertise: ‎Director Aquatic - ‎Department of Conservation (DOC)

Dr James Turner

Position: Science Team Leader, Collaborative Capacity.

Expertise: Senior Scientist (Resource Economics), AgResearch.

Mr Alistair Mowat

Position: End-user Lead, Greater Value in Global Markets.

Expertise: Director, Thought Strategy Limited.

Professor Caroline Saunders

Position: Science Team Leader, Greater value in global markets.

Expertise: Professor of Trade and Economics, Lincoln University.

Dr Bruce Thorrold

Position: End-user Lead, Innovative and resilient land and water use.

Expertise: Strategy and Investment Leader for Productivity, Dairy NZ.

Dr David Houlbrooke

Position: Science Team Leader, Innovative and resilient land and water use.

Expertise: Science Team Leader, Environmental Research, AgResearch Limited.


Dr Selai Letica

Position: Vision Mātauranga Leader, Our Land and Water.

Expertise: Stakeholder Relationship Manager - Maori Agribusiness, AgResearch Limited.

Science Advisory Panel

The Science Advisory Panel supports the Board and Directorate in assessing and guiding science quality and performance throughout the first phase of the Challenge.

Professor Maggie Gill (Chair)

Position: Chair of the Independent Science and Partnership Council of the CGIAR.

Expertise: Global foresight, international sustainable systems.

Dr David Wratt (Deputy-Chair)

Position: Former Departmental Science Advisor, Ministry for the Environment.

Expertise: Science and policy – Environment.

Professor Ruth Beilin

Position: Professor University of Melbourne School of Land and Environment.

Expertise: Developing the field of landscape sociology within environmental sociology, as a platform for integrating biophysical and social sciences

Professor Ray Collins

Position: Emeritus Professor, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland.

Expertise: Value chains, agribusiness, supply chain management

Dr Tony Petch

Position: ‎Independent Consultant - ‎Tony Petch Consulting Ltd

Expertise: Environment and catchment science