Outstanding services to nature recognised

The dedication by many recipients of Queen’s Birthday Honours to looking after our native plants and wildlife and natural landscapes, and improving environmental management is an example of exemplary leadership, says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.

“I’m delighted to see the decades of dedication to conservation and the environment recognised today,” Eugenie Sage said.

Gary Taylor of Auckland has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services for the environment and natural resource management.  

“Gary Taylor has been at the forefront of environmental policy making for decades. Under his leadership the Environmental Defence Society’s (EDS) research and policy work has contributed to Government’s environmental reforms on resource management, and freshwater.” 

“The court cases EDS has taken have resulted in precedent setting protection for nature and landscapes. Under Gary Taylor EDS’s legal proceedings which led to the Supreme Court decision in the landmark “King Salmon” case reset the jurisprudence on environmental bottom lines.

Professor Charles Eason of Nelson has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his significant services to science and wildlife conservation.

“Professor Charles Eason has made an invaluable contribution to the science of how pests like possums, rats, stoats, are best controlled for the benefit of our indigenous species and landscapes.

“Dr Eason has pioneered new pest control tools that DOC use every day to support the restoration of the health of our forests and critically endangered birds.  Dr Eason’s research is directly contributing to the return of the dawn chorus.

Otago based photographer and film-maker, Rodney Morris has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his contribution to documentary film making, natural history, and conservation.

“The power of Rodney Morris’s memorable photographs and filmmaking have bought New Zealand’s natural world to the attention of the public for over 50 years. He has inspired generations of people to care for and love our natural world. Without his powerful images and documentaries, our most critically endangered birds wouldn’t have the support we’re able to give them today.

Jeff Connell of Nelson has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his contribution to conservation.

“Jeff Connell has been a tenacious advocate for New Zealand’s beautiful landscapes and marine areas all his life. Under his leadership as a regional conservator for the Department of Conservation he advocated staunchly for the protection of unique Central Otago landscapes. He fostered a strong partnership with Ngai Tahu in relation to the Buff weka and initiated and delivered the Otago Rail Trail, the first of its kind for New Zealand and now a major recreational and visitor asset.

Tane Davis, Ngāi Tahu Whakapapa to Oraka Aparima Runaka, of Southland has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his instrumental work as a kaitiaki for conservation.

“For over 20 years Tane Davis has demonstrated leadership and a future focus for his iwi Ngāi Tahu. Tane was instrumental in establishing the management plan for Whenua Hou – island near Rakiura/Stewart Island that is home to the largest population of the critically endangered kākāpō in Aotearoa,” Eugenie Sage said.