Forever Protected
QEII National trust

Our mission is to partner with landowners to protect special places on private land for the benefit of present and future generations. Our vision is to inspire new protection and stewardship and to inspire New Zealanders to work with, and support us, to protect private land.

We are an independent charitable trust that partners with private landowners to protect natural and cultural heritage sites on their land with covenants. A covenant is an agreement between us and a landowner to protect land forever. The landowner continues to own and manage the protected land, and the covenant and protection stays on the land, even when the property is sold to a new owner.

Our partnerships have created a growing network of over 4400 protected areas throughout Aotearoa, ranging from small backyard patches to huge swathes of high country. These covenants protect more than 180,000 ha of private land, and play a hugely critical role as a refuge for some of New Zealand’s rarest and most endangered biodiversity and ecosystems.

We have around 20 people in our head office in Wellington – this team covers legal, ecological, health and safety, and policy, and coordinates nationwide activities. You can contact our head office staff here. We also have 27 Regional Representatives nationwide. You can find your local Rep here.

Board of
Directors

Our Board is responsible for executive control and management of the QEII National Trust.

Our Board is made up of six directors. The Minister of Conservation appoints four directors who have the right mix of environmental and conservation values, and who can reflect the interests of rural landowners, and the interests of the Maori community. QEII National Trust members elect the remaining two directors.

James Guild
chair

James is a high country farmer and has a diverse background in agri-business, game animal management, and conservation. He was the inaugural chair of the Canterbury/Aoraki Conservation Board and Pohatu Marine Reserve. James has also been the chair of the NZ Deer Farmers Association, a past Director of Deer Industry New Zealand, and the President of the NZ Association of Game Estates. James was appointed by the Minister in 2011.

Sue Yerex
Director

Sue has farmed sheep and beef with her husband in the Lake Taupo catchment for the past 20 years. She started her governance and environmental protection career with the Lake Taupo Protection project in 2000, and is a foundation Trustee and deputy chair of the Lake Taupo Protection Trust. Sue is a second term director of the QEII National Trust and chairs our investment committee. She also chairs the Lake Taupo Catchment (zone) committee, and she is a committee member of the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee. Sue was appointed by the Minister in 2012.

Bruce Wills
Director

Bruce and his family farm sheep and cattle on the hills north of Napier. He has been farming for 12 years having previously spent 20 years in Banking and Investment, most of this time being in Hamilton, Wellington, and Auckland.

In 2008 the Wills family won the Hawke’s Bay Farm Environmental Award. Bruce is Chair of the NZ Poplar & Willow Research Trust, the Deer industry PGP and Apiculture NZ, a Director of Ravensdown, and Trustee of two of the National Science Challenges as well as Motu Research, Cape to City and the Todd Foundation. He has previously sat on the Board of Federated Farmers NZ and from 2011 to 2014 was its National President. Bruce was appointed by the Minister in 2014.

Gina Solomon
Director

Of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kuri descent, Gina was raised in Oaro and now lives in Peketa, south of Kaikōura. She has extensive community and iwi involvement and is a committed conservationist. She sits on a number of boards and trusts including the Kaikōura zone committee for the Canterbury water management strategy, Nelson/Marlborough Conservation Board, the Kaikōura Marine Guardians Te Korowai o Te Tai ō Marokura, and the Hutton’s Shearwater Charitable Trust. Gina was appointed by the Minister in 2013, after consultation with the Minister of Māori Development.

Donna Field
Director

Donna has a background in resource management, and is a Director of Cleardale Station, a 1400 ha sheep and beef property in the Rakaia Gorge, Canterbury. She has governance experience and is interested in plant, ecosystem, and landscape conservation. Donna is Chair of the Ashburton Water Zone Committee and the Whitcombe Landcare Group, and worked with DOC and Solid Energy on the Stockton plateau to establish the Millerton Plateau Protection Society. Donna was elected by QEII National Trust members
in 2016.

Michael Legge
Director

Michael is a retired Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Pathology at Otago University. He has been involved with a number of environmental organisations and initiatives, including the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust, the National Plan of Action for Sea Birds, and the Dunedin City Council’s Waste Water Committee and Solid Waste Planning Group. He currently chairs the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board. Michael was elected by QEII National Trust members in 2016.

James Guild
chair

James is a high country farmer and has a diverse background in agri-business, game animal management, and conservation. He was the inaugural chair of the Canterbury/Aoraki Conservation Board and Pohatu Marine Reserve. James has also been the chair of the NZ Deer Farmers Association, a past Director of Deer Industry New Zealand, and the President of the NZ Association of Game Estates. James was appointed by the Minister in 2011.

Sue Yerex
Director

Sue has farmed sheep and beef with her husband in the Lake Taupo catchment for the past 20 years. She started her governance and environmental protection career with the Lake Taupo Protection project in 2000, and is a foundation Trustee and deputy chair of the Lake Taupo Protection Trust. Sue is a second term director of the QEII National Trust and chairs our investment committee. She also chairs the Lake Taupo Catchment (zone) committee, and she is a committee member of the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee. Sue was appointed by the Minister in 2012.

Bruce Wills
Director

Bruce and his family farm sheep and cattle on the hills north of Napier. He has been farming for 12 years having previously spent 20 years in Banking and Investment, most of this time being in Hamilton, Wellington, and Auckland.

In 2008 the Wills family won the Hawke’s Bay Farm Environmental Award. Bruce is Chair of the NZ Poplar & Willow Research Trust, the Deer industry PGP and Apiculture NZ, a Director of Ravensdown, and Trustee of two of the National Science Challenges as well as Motu Research, Cape to City and the Todd Foundation. He has previously sat on the Board of Federated Farmers NZ and from 2011 to 2014 was its National President. Bruce was appointed by the Minister in 2014.

Gina Solomon
Director

Of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kuri descent, Gina was raised in Oaro and now lives in Peketa, south of Kaikōura. She has extensive community and iwi involvement and is a committed conservationist. She sits on a number of boards and trusts including the Kaikōura zone committee for the Canterbury water management strategy, Nelson/Marlborough Conservation Board, the Kaikōura Marine Guardians Te Korowai o Te Tai ō Marokura, and the Hutton’s Shearwater Charitable Trust. Gina was appointed by the Minister in 2013, after consultation with the Minister of Māori Development.

Donna Field
Director

Donna has a background in resource management, and is a Director of Cleardale Station, a 1400 ha sheep and beef property in the Rakaia Gorge, Canterbury. She has governance experience and is interested in plant, ecosystem, and landscape conservation. Donna is Chair of the Ashburton Water Zone Committee and the Whitcombe Landcare Group, and worked with DOC and Solid Energy on the Stockton plateau to establish the Millerton Plateau Protection Society. Donna was elected by QEII National Trust members
in 2016.

Michael Legge
Director

Michael is a retired Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Pathology at Otago University. He has been involved with a number of environmental organisations and initiatives, including the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust, the National Plan of Action for Sea Birds, and the Dunedin City Council’s Waste Water Committee and Solid Waste Planning Group. He currently chairs the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board. Michael was elected by QEII National Trust members in 2016.

Our
Legislation

QEII National Trust was established under the Queen Elizabeth the Second National Trust Act in 1977, to aid in conservation on private land. The purpose of the Act is “to encourage and promote, for the benefit of New Zealand, the provision, protection, preservation and enhancement of open space.”

We were named after Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second to mark her Silver Jubilee.

As well as our own Act, we also often interact with the following legislation:

Conservation Act 1987
Overseas Investment Act 2005
Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998
Resource Management Act 1991
Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993
Walking Access Act 2008

QEii Act

Our Act establishes the QEII National Trust as a statutory organisation independent from Government, and gives us power to protect open space in Aotearoa. Specifically we can:

  • Register open space covenants to protect land forever
  • Manage land we own
  • Advise the Minister of Conservation, and other Minister’s as appropriate, on matters related to open space
  • Promote research into matters related to open space
  • Provide grants for projects related to open space

Working
With others

We work closely with regional and district councils around the country, as well as the Department of Conservation, to get the best outcomes for open space around New Zealand. This can be in the form of financial support, as well as advice and training for landowners so that they can best manage their protected land.

We play a lead role coordinating Weedbusters. Weedbusters is a weeds awareness and education programme working together to stop weedy plants taking over New Zealand’s amazing natural areas. If you would like to be involved, please contact your Regional Rep. For more info check out their website here.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) is a unique network of forest conservation initiatives, which involves all 52 countries of the Commonwealth. The QCC is committed to raising awareness of the value of indigenous forests, and to saving them for future generations.

QCC uses the Commonwealth network to facilitate a programme of knowledge exchange activities, to share best practices, and to create new collaborative initiatives that contribute to forest conservation across the globe.

New Zealand was one of the first countries to support the QCC. The Government allocated $1 million over three years to help the QEII National Trust extend the network of protected private land. The first of these covenants was Mt Terako, which was established by Sue and Peter Turnbull in partnership with QEII National Trust.

A QCC covenant provides the same legal protection as a standard covenant. The landowner will need to be willing to have additional signage on their covenant, be happy for the possibility of some publicity of their covenant and have the QEII National Trust compile a summary of the values being protected and sent to the Governance Groups of the QCC initiative.

The criteria for a site to be eligible as a QCC covenant include:

  • Be permanently protected as an open space covenant by the QEII National Trust
  • Be at least 3 hectares
  • Be predominantly a closed canopy of primary or advanced secondary indigenous forest
  • Meet at least one national priority for biodiversity protection on private land or add to a protected corridor/landscape
  • Have a willing landowner who agrees to the branding conditions, publicity, and aggregate info sharing linked to the QCC programme

When an area proposed for protection meets the following criteria, and the landowners don’t mind some potential publicity, the covenant proposal can be put forward as a ‘Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy covenant’. We report back to the Commonwealth about these covenants, which make up some of our most spectacular protected areas.

Other Organisations &
Groups

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