Understanding the Kaimai Mamaku with Robert McGowan
"Our wellness depends on the wellness of the landscape."
Rob McGown was the founding chair of the Kaimai-Mamaku Catchments Forum. He is a member and past chairman of the Bay of Plenty Conservation Board, and recognised by the queen for Māori and conservation passion. Ngā mihi nui ki a koe e te rangatira Pa Ropata.
Manaaki Kaimai Mamaku Trust is fortunate to have Rob McGowan (Pa Ropata) as our Patron. Pa has been involved with the Kaimai Mamaku Forum since its inception in 2009 and plays a key role in ensuring the vision "The Kaimai Mamaku thrive; hence we thrive" is realised. He has been involved in decades of work to regenerate degraded land and steams, educate others and work alongside the Department of Conservation's Ngā Whenua Rāhui unit to protect indigenous ecosystems on Māori land. In 2020, he was awarded the Queens Service Medal (QSM) for Services to Māori and Conservation.
Exploring the Kaimai Bush with Shirley Kerr
Mrs Kerr has a background in education, teaching at several secondary schools between 1973 and 2017, specialising in biology. She has been a driving force for mycological exploration and education in the Bay of Plenty area. She has built a database of species on her website Kaimai Bush and in 2019 published A Field Guide to New Zealand Fungi, which has been highly acclaimed nationally and internationally for its accessibility. She has found at least five previously undescribed species and recorded in excess of 600 different species. She served on the council of the Fungal Network of New Zealand (FUNNZ) for 15 years, was Treasurer from 2009 to 2011, and played a key role in organising four annual New Zealand Fungi Forays. The Fungal Forays attract scientists from New Zealand and overseas. Mrs Kerr’s voluntary education efforts in mycology have included running workshops for upskilling in macro photography for botanical work, fostering children’s interest at national forays, organising field trips, public speaking engagements, and providing samples of Landcare New Zealand’s Herbarium or for overseas examination. Quoted from Mrs Kerr's Queen Honours Award Citation.