Meet the committee
Māui and Hector’s Dolphin Defenders became an Incorporated Society in 2012.
It is run by a committee elected at our AGM every year. All decisions and transactions are transparent and open to the public. We make campaign decisions by negotiation and agreement. We follow best available science to inform our views.
We meet at least four times a year, including committee members from around the country, who join in by Skype.
Christine is the Founding and current chairperson of Māui and Hector’s Dolphin Defenders. She has been campaigning for these special ocean dwellers for about 25 years. She is lucky enough to have seen them from sea and land all around New Zealand, and will work to save them until her last breath.
Moira Barber joined in 2014 She has lived on the west coast for years, in Raglan and Muriwai, and was captured by the elusive Māui dolphin who travel this coastline. An ocean lover, and strongly believing in doing what we can for future generations, Moira feels these beautiful creatures need more humans to be aware and take care of them, so they can share their joy for many years to come.
Hi my name is John and I have been on the committee for about 8 years now. I decided to join the committee because I am passionate about saving the Māui and Hector’s Dolphins from extinction. These beautiful Dolphins are under threat from trawler and set nets as well as other threats, so I am doing my bit to help save them.
Over the last 10 years I’ve become aware of climate change and the impact our lifestyle is having on the wildlife, sea life. I started supporting causes, and dolphins, whales and Māui and Hector’s become my passion. I find it hard to believe how incredibly short-sighted our governments are. We are caretakers. We have no right to rape, plunder, destroy for our oceans. The fishers have a lot to answer for, so do our governments. I read the history. Over the last 10 years we’ve lost so many dolphins and we seem to have very little impact on the government. Future generations of New Zealand have the right to enjoy Maui’s and Hector’s. We need to protect them from extinction for future generations. We need to become one voice.
Born and raised in Dunedin surrounded by the natural beauty of the Otago harbour and peninsula, Genevieve has always had an affinity with the ocean and what lies beyond the waves. But she only saw Hector’s dolphins for the first time after moving north to Christchurch in 2011. Having trained in journalism, Genevieve finds herself investigating issues halting the conservation of the resident Banks Peninsula dolphins, including Project20, which questions the methodology and associated noise levels of the Lyttelton Port Company’s new cruise ship berth design. Genevieve’s plans include developing a conservation hub, where groups focused on protecting the Hector’s, can meet and collaborate.
I became involved with the Māui and Hector's Dolphin Defenders because I wanted to do something practical to help our endangered marine wildlife. I believe it is crucial to raise awareness with people through education and advocacy about the plight of not only NZ's indigenous endangered species but also iconic species globally and to be their voice. By becoming actively involved in helping to save and protect endangered species such as our Māui and Hector's Dolphins, I believe I am doing something meaningful to make a difference, albeit in a small way.
By networking with like-minded and inspiring people, who share the same mission to help the natural world and the creatures in it, means that you are not making this journey alone and have support.
Gemma has 20 year’s experience working with cetaceans, she concentrates on Hector's and Māui dolphins as a conservation priority. Gemma works with multiple NGOs, iwi and stakeholders. She conducts shore-based research around Southland and goes out on boats when she can. Her post-graduate research focusses on the historical abundance and distribution of Hector's and Māui, as well as indigenous traditional ecological knowledge pertaining to the species.