Melanie Mark-Shadbolt (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitane, Ngāti Porou, Te Arawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Tūwharetoa, Whakatohea, Te Ātiawa, MacIntosh, Gunn), is an indigenous environmental advocate, dedicated to working with organisations who are committed to meeting their Treaty responsibilities and addressing indigenous rights and racial equity.
Currently, Melanie holds the position of CEO at Te Tira Whakamātaki, a Māori environmental not-for-profit and home of the Māori biosecurity network, and Kaihautū Ngātahi Director Māori of New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge.
Melanie specialises in understanding and applying mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) to biosecurity, biodiversity and climate change issues. She has a specific interest in decolonising ideologies of conservation and restoration in order to address injustices and harm caused to indigenous peoples and our planet. Her work has covered research in stakeholder values, attitudes, and behaviours; social acceptability of environmental management practices and risk communication; the wider human dimensions of environmental health; indigenous solutions to biosecurity issues; and community disaster responses and preparedness.
Previously, Melanie was the Deputy Secretary Māori Rights & Interests at the Ministry for the Environment where, under her leadership, the Ministry for the Environment won the 2021 Diversity Works - Mātauranga Māori Award, and was a finalist in the Māori Crown Relationships section of the Governments Spirit of Service Awards in 2021
Melanie was named the winner of the Public Policy category award at the Westpac Women of Influence Awards in 2021, and was a finalist in the Innovation, Science & Health category at the 2019 Westpac Women of Influence Awards.
Alongside her Te Tira Whakamātaki team she has won a number of biosecurity awards including the inaugural Dave Galloway Innovation Award from the NZ Biosecurity Institute in 2016, the inaugural Māori Biosecurity Award from the Ministry of Primary Industries in 2017, and Science Excellence Awards at the NZ Biosecurity Awards in 2018, 2019 and 2022.
Melanie currently serves as the Chair of the Resilience to Nature’s Challenges National Science Challenge and B3 Better Border Biosecurity’s Collaboration Council. She is a member on the boards and advisory groups of: Project Crimson Trees That Count, Tāpui Aotearoa, the Kauri Dieback & Myrtle Rust Knowledge Advisory Group, Wallaby Eradication Governance Group, Fit for a Better World Science Accelerator Bundle, NZ Biosecurity System Working Group, NZ Biosecurity System Valuation Project Kāhui, and the Predator Free 2050 Kaitiakitanga and Knowledge Innovation Working Groups. She also sits on a number of research advisory groups including as Chair of the Governments Māori Extreme Weather Science Response Panel and a member of the Governments Extreme Weather Science Response Panel.
Melanie previously served on a number of other boards and advisory groups including; the Prime Ministers Chief Science Advisors Plastics Panel; the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinets Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Masjidain academic outreach group; the 2020 & 2018 International Indigenous Research Conference organising committees; and a number of Biosecurity 2025 working groups and incursion governance/science groups.