The people 

The Northern New Zealand Seabird Trust is a non-profit trust established to support funding and understanding of seabirds and the ecosystems they inhabit throughout northern New Zealand, the Three Kings Islands and the Kermadec Islands. 



Professor John Croxall CBE, FRS

One of the world's foremost marine scientists, specialising on seabirds (notably penguins and albatrosses), John played a major role internationally (recognised by many awards) in the conservation of marine species, sites and systems, especially in relation to the Southern Ocean. He was instrumental in establishing the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels and in founding the BirdLife Global Seabird Programme, which (as the BirdLife International Marine Programme) he has chaired since his "retirement".

"If New Zealand is to retain its reputation as the seabird capital of the world, then, in building the partnerships of today to preserve the marine environment for the people of tomorrow, there is no bigger nor more important challenge than securing the future of the iconic islands and the unique seabirds of northern New Zealand. Nowhere else in NZ should so many citizens and visitors be able to see the evidence that healthy marine systems depend on and are reflected in diverse and abundant seabird populations".

Wade Doak QSM - In Memoriam

It was with great sadness that we learnt of Wade’s death on 12 September 2019. A wonderful inspiration to all those wanting to explore the underwater world. Soon after the formation of the Seabird Trust, Wade agreed to be one of our patrons. While largely known for his underwater adventures, he had a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of all life; especially with seabirds’ seamless linking of sea and land, and the resulting enrichment of both terrestrial and nearshore marine environments. Wade was a passionate advocate who remained active in conservation to the end of his life.


Wade wrote after a trip to the Poor Knights Islands Marine and Nature Reserves - "We were bowled over at seeing silvery snapper schooling in the great Southern Archway, on the surface alongside, but just ahead of, electric blue maomao; something special that the no-take reserve has enabled. We never saw that in the past. They were herding tiny pink euphausiid shrimps or krill up against the wall where there was no escape. Nearby in South Harbour masses of trevally had schools of shrimp under similar attack, assisted by shearwaters and gulls, which need the fish herders to obtain dinner. And the canopy of red pohutukawa on the island slopes was testimony to the cycle whereby fish and nesting seabirds provide nutrients to a lush rain forest."



James Ross (Chair)

James has worked with NGOs and as a consultant conserving threatened species and ecosystems in south-eastern Australia.  He became involved in seabird projects through the Tawharanui Open Sanctuary and has since become captivated by seabirds and their extraordinary importance for this country's ecological health.

Peter Mitchell

Pete has had a lifelong connection and passion for the ocean. A career ranging from farm management to architectural design and supervision eventually lead to environmental restoration and project management. In more recent years Pete has enjoyed the challenge and the adventure of working on remote offshore islands to help facilitate a wide range of ecological endeavours.


Steph B. Borrelle

Steph completed her PhD researching seabird island restoration and conservation ecology. She currently holds the David H. Smith Post-Doctoral Fellowship aiming to reduce plastic pollution in the oceans. She has a penchant for procellariiformes and remote islands, find out more at Google Scholar & on twitter @PetrelStation

Karen Baird

Karen has a lengthy background in conservation, working for the NZ Wildlife Service, Department of Conservation, Forest & Bird and BirdLife International - is currently employed as Seabird Advocate (F&B) and Pacific Regional Coordinator for the BirdLife International Marine Programme and its focus on working with fisheries to reduce seabird deaths.  

Sue Neureuter

Sue's family have been the owners and custodians of the Noises group of islands in the Inner Hauraki Gulf since 1933. In her lifetime she's seen some devastating changes in the marine environment and to some of the seabird species which breed on the Noises. Working with marine scientists and seabird experts has provided fantastic opportunities to learn and heightened awareness of the connections between the land and sea. She and her family are now actively engaged in using the Noises to raise broad scale public awareness. 

The Seabird Trust's Project Coordinator

Chris Gaskin

A founding member of the Northern NZ Seabird Trust Chris has worked with seabirds in northern New Zealand for 15 years, first through observing them at sea, then through island visits and surveys including a leading role in finding the breeding site of the NZ storm-petrel. He’s fascinated by seabirds’ lives and their capabilities and enjoys telling their stories. Chris was one of the inaugural winners of the Holdaway Environment Award 2013 (Hauraki Gulf Forum) for his advocacy for seabirds and contributions to conservation and research. 



Martin Berg (website design)

Martin has had a passion for the oceans and especially their seabirds and marine mammals for as long as he could remember. His strong interest in marine research has led him to assist in several seabird-related projects including the NZ Storm-petrel project. Martin completed his Masters study of the foraging ecology of Fluttering Shearwaters. Find out more about his research projects here. The NNZST was delighted to be able to help Martin with his fieldwork - through logistical support, procuring grant funding and providing 'mainland' accommodation on occasion. He is now based in Sweden when he's not leading tours to the Polar north.

Jasmin Duck (office)


Steph B. Borrelle (Social Media)

Steph is one of our trustees. An online presence.

Follow us on twitter



Northern New Zealand Seabird Trust - NNZST 


Edin Whitehead (NNZST field biologist, blogs and news)

Edin is a PHD candidate at the University of Auckland studying the physiology of fluttering and little shearwaters, and fairy prions. A passion for adventure and natural history photography has led to excellent adventures around New Zealand and the Southern Ocean in pursuit of seabirds, which she shares on her blog. She can often be found in somewhat precarious locations with a camera in hand. Edin's NNZST blogs can be found here

'Lost' but not forgotten - Megan Friesen

Following her graduation , Dr Megan Friesen headed back to home in Seattle and with jobs, first with Audubon Seattle as their Conservation Manager, now teaching at St Martin's University. Megan has been a key associate and member of the NNZST 'family' - lead scientist with our work of petrel and shearwater diving behaviour around fishing vessels; lead on the Poor Knights Islands/Buller's shearwater survey 2016-2017 - and through her committed involvement with the NZ Storm Petrel project, research trips to Burgess Island and Tawharanui seabird restoration project. She remains a much-valued and colourful member of the 'team', she is currently helping us with the planning for the Poor Knights 2017-2018 surveys.  


The NNZST enjoys the support of a number of associates and advisors.