Posted By Laura Dalby | June 8, 2022

QEII National Trust regional representative Mark Sutton and several QEII covenantors have been recognised on the Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours List for 2022.

Mark Sutton, our regional representative for the Waiau catchment will become a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Mark has been a regional representative in the Waiau catchment for 17 years, since 2004. His father, Roger Sutton, was the first QEII representative for the Southland region from 1979 until 1997.

During his time with QEII, Mark has overseen the creation of 169 new QEII covenants in the Waiau catchment. He is now responsible for biennial visits to 185 covenants protecting 6,032 hectares, during which he monitors covenant condition and adherence to the covenant deed.

From left to right: Neil Cullen, QEII Board member; Mark Sutton, QEII, Waiau Trust rep; Jesse Buthell, QEII rep; Warrick Day, QEII covenantor.

Mark has been particularly successful in helping landowners understand the biodiversity, freshwater and landscape values on their land and acknowledging and supporting their ongoing efforts to conserve them. His main interest is wetlands and freshwater habitat. The protection of many of these areas is a ‘no brainer’ to Mark.

Mark is well-respected and much admired by landowners, with whom he has formed strong relationships. He is a trusted mentor for his fellow reps and staff, and is a leader in efforts to ensure everybody’s wellbeing.

Mark setting up a photopoint in a Pāmu covenant
Mark setting up a photopoint in a Pāmu covenant

A highlight for Mark came last year, with the registration of the Twin Creeks covenant on Glen Echo Station, 25km northeast of Te Anau (pictured at the top of this story). The station has several QEII covenants but Twin Creeks is a recent addition, comprising of bog pine scrub and shrubland upon a frost flat, and highlighted in our 2021 Annual Report. Mark worked with the landowner over many years and this covenant was the culmination of years of concerted effort by first Roger, and then Mark – who first visited the area with his father at the age of seven.

Mark has achieved outstanding results in his lifelong work to secure biodiversity values in the Waiau catchment. His success is a testament to his knowledge, relationship skills, and ability to connect with and motivate people.

We’re also aware of several convenantors being recognised this year:

Keith Woodley from Miranda, Hauraki

Keith Woodley, Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre manager, has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to shorebird conservation.

Pūkorokoro Miranda Naturalists’ Trust own two coastal wetland covenants in Miranda, south of Kaiaua.

These sites are internationally renowned for bird-watching and are important habitats for wading and shore birds, as well as being the base for the Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre.

Bryan Hocken from Matarata Downs, Taranaki

Bryan has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to agriculture and the rural community.

There are three QEII covenants on the Matarata Downs sheep and beef farm, worked on by Bryan, his wife Helen, daughter Sarah, and son-in-law Jarred. These covenants protect distinct values including; protecting cultural sites, and soil and water conservation.

Bryan was president of Taranaki Federated Farmers from 2006-2008 and also won a Taranaki Balance Farm Environment Award, alongside his wife, daughter Sarah and son-in-law Jarred, in 2019.

The Pawseys from Hawarden, North Canterbury

Harry and Virginia Pawsey have been awarded Queen’s Service Medals for their services to advocacy and conservation.

The Pawseys initiated a 7.5-hectare flax wetland QEII covenant on private rural land they previously owned, protecting the land in perpetuity.

The area is named the Kit Pawsey Wetland, after their son, Kit, 17, who was killed when a viewing platform collapsed at Cave Creek in April 1995.

Ian Wilson from Ōkaihau, Northland

Ian Wilson has been awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for his services to conservation.

Ian has been involved with the Puketi Forest Trust since 2003, preserving and enhancing the 5,500 hectares of forest.

His property has a QEII covenant contiguous with Puketi Forest. This provides a safe corridor for wildlife, including Brown kiwi, shining cuckoo and North Island Robin, which are present in the covenant and benefit from Ian’s trapping efforts.

Wilson was a committee member of the Far North branch of Forest and Bird for more than 30 years until recently retiring.