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Te Tira Whakamātaki is home to many full and part time staff - each with their own expertise. Meet them below.


Melanie Mark-Shadbolt

Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitane, Ngāti Porou, Te Arawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Tūwharetoa, Whakatohea, Te Ātiawa, MacIntosh, Gunn

Tumu Whakarae - Chief Executive Officer

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. Expertise 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. Awards 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. Governance Service 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.


Dr Simon Lambert

Tūhoe, Ngāti Ruapani ki Waikaremoana

Kaitohutohu Mātanga Pūtaiao Matua | Chief Scientist 

Simon is from Tūhoe and Ngāti Ruapani ki Waikaremoana. He is an Indigenous geographer and currently holds the position of Chief Science Advisor (Māori) at the Ministry for the Environment in Aotearoa New Zealand. Previously, Simon was an Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. His research has focused on how Indigenous communities are impacted by disasters and emergencies, and how they can better position themselves to enact effective “disaster risk reduction” (DRR). This approach is also important in biosecurity as Māori and other Indigenous Peoples seek to protect their biological heritages that have a fundamental role in Indigenous cultures, food security, and wider planetary sustainability.


Te Taiawatea Moko Painting

Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou, Waikato, Tūhourangi, Kūki ʻĀirani

Pou Whakahaere Kaupapahere | Policy Manager

Te Taiawatea (she/her/ia) is passionate about empowering whānau/hapū-led environmental policy and research, centering whakapapa to the taiao while remedying the violent impacts of settler colonialism. Te Taiawatea has a background in Māori environmental policy, conservation biology, customary fishing and biosecurity. She is a Global Atlantic Fellow, from Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity based in the University of Melbourne. She has graduated with a Master of Social Change Leadership, Master of Conservation Biology and Bachelor of Science majoring in Marine Biology. Te Taiawatea joined Te Tira Whakamātaki because, as she says, TTW is unapologetically ‘by Indigenous for Indigenous’ and that its team provides an opportunity to transform environmental policy without the bureaucracy. Her role as Policy Manager enables her to focus on and support the aspirations of Māori and our relationship with the taiao.


Micheal Heimlick

Tauiwi from Treaty 6 Territory and homeland of the Métis (Saskatchewan, Canada)

Pou Whakahaere Whakamātau | Programme Evaluator and Impact Manager

Micheal Heimlick is a fourth-generation settler born in Treaty 6 Territory and homeland of the Métis (North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada). As far as he knows, his family fled Soviet persecution in the Ukraine shortly before the second world war and eventually settled in Canada in the early 20th century on a farm near Rose Valley. Micheal moved to Saskatoon at the age of 18 to pursue post-secondary education at the University of Saskatchewan. During his master’s degree program in Applied Social Psychology, he found a passion for working in the program evaluation field – so much so that he embraced that passion and turned it into a full-time career after finishing his degree. Starting in 2017, Micheal has helped lead over 75 short and multi-year program evaluations and has designed evaluation frameworks in both community and academic settings. These evaluations have helped organisations to understand the impact their work is having in communities and has assisted in applying for additional funding to continue the work that they do. Micheal is recognised by the Canadian Evaluation Society as a Credentialed Evaluator, is currently the sitting president of the CES Saskatchewan chapter, and the Co-chair of the CESEF Student Case Competition. Micheal, his wife Janelle, and daughter Drew moved to Aotearoa in 2022 from Canada to join the TTW team and we are so pleased to have him here.


Marcus-Rongowhitiao Shadbolt

Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitane, Ngāti Porou, Te Arawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Tūwharetoa, Whakatohea, Te Ātiawa, MacIntosh, Gunn, Ngai Tahu

Kaitātari Rangahau me ngā Kaupapahere | Policy & Research Analyst

Marcus (He/him) has a Bachelor of Science Majoring in Biological sciences and Philosophy from the University of Canterbury, a Post-graduate Diploma in Applied Science from Lincoln University, and is currently working on his Thesis at the University of Canterbury in seed banking methods and cultural protocols for seed banking. Marcus-Rongowhitiao has a keen interest in using both traditional scientific practices, as well as mātauranga Māori research practices. He has experience working alongside Kaumātua across the country as well as researchers across New Zealand Universities and Research agencies in the biosecurity, language and wider science space.

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Rāwiri Alexander Walsh

Ngā Rauru Kītahi, Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Te Āti Haunui a Pāpārangi, Ngāti Rangi

Kaimahi Taiao | Biosecurity Lead

Rāwiri grew up in rural Manawatū and was more interested in the trees and birds than hunting. University in Dunedin saw his interests turn to alcohol before 10 years making wine in Australia, U.S.A., Canada, France, Austria and Hungary. Returning home to study his MBA at Te Herenga Waka sparked a final change in focus back to trees and birds and led to work in the taiao space with Predator Free Wellington, Te Kāhui o Rauru and now, Capital Kiwi. Now a self-confessed taiao nerd he believes the best way to learn is to teach and if we can throw in a hunt at the same time, why not? He’s passionate about lots of things including taiao restoration, native plant propagation, toi Māori and anything to do with trees and birds 😊 Ka rongo, ka wareware. Ka kite, ka mahara. Ka hangaia, ka Mārama au. I hear, I forget. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.


Kiri Hurunui

Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Tūwharetoa

Kairuruku Pūtere Me Ngā Kirimana | Project and Contract Co-ordinator

Kiri is currently Kairuruku Pūtere me ngā Kirimana (Project and Contract Coordinator) for Te Tira Whakamātaki Ltd. She previously held a similar role as Logistics Manager to the Māori Bio Protection Research team based at Lincoln University, and project managed the many contracts and accounts, built relationships with our Māori communities and stakeholders inclusive of Māori Champions, Māori Research and Teaching Committee and the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge Kāhui Māori. Prior to taking the position at Te Tira Whakamātaki, Kiri was a Whānau Kaimahi working in the sector of family violence at He Waka Tapu, a Māori NGO delivering a variety of services to strengthen and support the needs and issues our whānau face and walk beside them in their journey.


Caroline Whittaker

Batley and McCallum

Pou Whakahaere ā-whakapā me Hononga | Communications & Engagement Manager

Caroline was born in Kirikirioa, and has since worked in Australia and Europe in Event and Communications Management. Raising her family in North Canterbury, Te Waipounamu, she now lives in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Caroline has a degree in Communications from Massey University, as well as a post grad Diploma in Small Business Management (majoring in Project Management).


Grace Miller


Ringa Hoahoa | Design Technician

Grace Miller is of Pākehā and Lebanese descent. She grew up on the West Coast and is now based in Ōtautahi. She completed her studies in Digital Media and Design in 2021. She has experience running social media campaigns, design work, and animation.


Trina Mark

Ngāi Tahu

Pou Whakahaere ā-Tari | Office Manager

Trina takes pride in fostering a positive working environment and wants her team members to thrive within their roles so providing guidance and support is an area she is passionate about. With a career spanning nearly three decades in the banking industry, she has cultivated a deep understanding of all facets of financial operations within the retail banking world. Her journey began on the frontlines of customer service, allowing Trina to gain a firsthand appreciation for customer’s needs and concerns. Over the years, she has progressed through various roles, acquiring invaluable insights into risk management, regulatory compliance, and process optimisation. Born and raised in the culturally rich landscapes of Ōtautahi (Christchurch) Trina has profound appreciation for her heritage uri (descendant) of Ngāi Tahu. Fostering a strong sense of responsibility toward her community, culture and enjoys an interest in protecting our taiao (environment) She firmly believes in the value of quality whānau time, whether it's a cozy movie night at home or embarking on exciting outdoor adventures. Trina and her family often visit Kaikoura where she spends time with relatives and enjoys her favourite food, Kai moana, when she can. Trina’s adventurous spirit comes to life through her passion for travel. Traveling both locally and internationally Trina has enjoyed learning cultures, cuisines, history, and landscapes which fuels her curiosity and broadens her perspective. Her goal is to carry on with this journey as she is inspired to build on her knowledge for the future in turn enriches her role as an Office Manager. During her down time Trina also enjoys reading and Photography. Trina’s 28 years of experience in banking, combined with her Ngāi Tahu heritage, have shaped her into an Office Manager who values collaboration, diversity, and personal growth. When she’s not immersed in the world of finance, you can find her relishing family time, exploring new horizons through travel, and embracing the role as a supportive leader. Trina looks forward to continued growth, new connections, and the opportunity to make a lasting impact in the world around her.


Hayley Shadbolt

Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitane, Ngāti Porou, Te Arawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Tūwharetoa, Whakatohea, Te Ātiawa, MacIntosh, Gunn, Ngai Tahu

Kaiāwhina Tari | Office Assistant 

Hayley has a passion for photography, nature and human rights. She is an enthusiastic member of Te Tira Whakamātaki who has not only supported the work of the Kāhui for a number of years but has also travelled Aotearoa and offshore to represent TTW. Hayley works alongside the administrative team providing support.

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