Forever Protected
QEII National trust

Our mission is to inspire private landowners to protect and enhance open spaces of ecological and cultural significance. Almost 70% of New Zealand is in private land ownership, so protecting biodiversity and heritage on private land is critical to reversing the decline of indigenous biodiversity and preserving our history.

We are an independent charitable trust that partners with private landowners to protect 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 4,600 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.

Bruce Wills
chair

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 and was a director on the QEII National Trust board of directors for five and a half years before being appointed chair. Bruce was appointed as chair by the Minister in 2020.

Karen Schumacher
Director

Karen is a dairy, beef, and forestry farmer with four QEII covenants on two farming properties. She is a chartered accountant with experience in both the commercial and not for profit environment. She has extensive experience at Board level in the area of evaluating’ supporting and funding conservation efforts by the community and is the current General Manager and Chair to the East Taranaki Environment Trust. Karen was appointed by the minister in 2020.

Alan Livingston
Director

Alan has extensive governance experience and is the current Chair of the Waikato Regional Council. He has served on the Waikato River Authority, the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust, the Waipa River Catchment Committee, and numerous Joint Management Committees with Waikato-Tainui, Raukawa, Maniapoto, Tuwharetoa, and Te Arawa. He also offers skills in financial acumen with over 20 years of experience preparing, consulting, approving, and monitoring large budgets. Alan was appointed by the Minister in 2020.

Neil Cullen
Director

Neil is a farm owner with a 50-year career in forestry and farming. He has extensive experience in the farm and forestry sector and has previously won the Otago Ballance Farm Environment award. Neil is the current president of the NZ Farm Forestry Association. His family whakapapa to Ngāi Tahu, and he has an understanding and appreciation for the Māori concept of Taiao. Neil has five QEII covenants on his farm. Neil was appointed by the Minister in 2020.

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 is  serving her second term on the board, originally being elected by QEII National Trust members in 2016 and again in 2019.

GRAHAM MOURIE
Director

Graham was raised on a Taranaki dairy farm, with the first of the four QEII covenanted areas he has been involved in establishing on his family farm in the late ‘80s. Being an early adopter of riparian planting and pest management, his current farm partnership was recognized with a Taranaki Regional Farm Environmental award 2012. Graham is a shareholder and Executive Director of farming for dairy fund Southern Pastures and has worked with DOC, WAC and regional councils on conservation/management projects including access to the Mokaihaha Kokako conservation area and access  along the Rakaia River. He is also a trustee of the Rugby Foundation and The Graeme Dingle Foundation Wellington and is a former director of New Zealand Rugby and the International Rugby Board where he chaired the Rugby Committee. He was elected by QEII National Trust members in 2019.

Bruce Wills
Chair

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 and was a director on the QEII National Trust board of directors for five and a half years before being appointed chair. Bruce was appointed as chair by the Minister in 2020.

Karen Schumacher
Director

Karen is a dairy, beef, and forestry farmer with four QEII covenants on two farming properties. She is a chartered accountant with experience in both the commercial and not for profit environment. She has extensive experience at Board level in the area of evaluating’ supporting and funding conservation efforts by the community and is the current General Manager and Chair to the East Taranaki Environment Trust. Karen was appointed by the minister in 2020.

Alan Livingston
Director

Alan has extensive governance experience and is the current Chair of the Waikato Regional Council. He has served on the Waikato River Authority, the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust, the Waipa River Catchment Committee, and numerous Joint Management Committees with Waikato-Tainui, Raukawa, Maniapoto, Tuwharetoa, and Te Arawa. He also offers skills in financial acumen with over 20 years of experience preparing, consulting, approving, and monitoring large budgets. Alan was appointed by the Minister in 2020.

Neil Cullen
Director

Mr Neil Cullen of South Otago. Neil is a farm owner with a 50-year career in forestry and farming. He has extensive experience in the farm and forestry sector and has previously won the Otago Ballance Farm Environment award. Neil is the current president of the NZ Farm Forestry Association. His family whakapapa to Ngāi Tahu, and he has an understanding and appreciation for the Māori concept of Taiao. Neil has five QEII covenants on his farm. He was appointed by the Minister in 2020.

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 is  serving her second term on the board, originally being elected by QEII National Trust members in 2016 and again in 2019.

Graham Mourie
Director

Graham was raised on a Taranaki dairy farm, with the first of the four QEII covenanted areas he has been involved in establishing on his family farm in the late ‘80s. Being an early adopter of riparian planting and pest management, his current farm partnership was recognized with a Taranaki Regional Farm Environmental award 2012. Graham is a shareholder and Executive Director of farming for dairy fund Southern Pastures and has worked with DOC, WAC and regional councils on conservation/management projects including access to the Mokaihaha Kokako conservation area and access  along the Rakaia River. He is also a trustee of the Rugby Foundation and The Graeme Dingle Foundation Wellington and is a former director of New Zealand Rugby and the International Rugby Board where he chaired the Rugby Committee. He was elected by QEII National Trust members in 2019.

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 strongly support Weedbusters, the interagency weeds awareness and education programme encouraging communities and landowners to work 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

Latest News

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