Dr. Heike Schiele
Apart from being an eternal traveller and a keen horse rider, Heike's great passion in life is water. Kei te ora te wai, kei te ora te whenua, kei te ora te tangata - if the water is healthy, the land and the people will be nourished. This vision, chosen by the Manawatū River Leaders’ Forum (MRLF), guides her in her daily actions as an individual, a community member and a business person. She loves challenging what is, changing perspectives, envisioning what could be – and last but not least, contributing to make it happen by being an active member of ENM, MRLF, Te Kāuru, and the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand.
Stewart has been involved in Local and National environment focused action since 1991. As a local volunteer and activist in Education, Green Politics, Preserving Open Spaces, Library, Business and Professional Womens Group, Harvest Festival, PNCC working parties advising on process, to mention a few. Though law has been her main employed life interest, the natural environment is her passion. She says that we cannot leave the responsibility to preserve and maintain our natural environment and resources to Local Authorities and scientists.
The Environment Network Manawatu now having over fifty member groups is testament to growing urgency as a result of climate change and general awareness of our individual responsibility. Having lived in the Manawatu for 46 years she appreciates the enormous contribution that the local Community Sector makes. Active Environmentalism she says is a gift, not only to personal wellbeing but to future generations which will benefit in a tangible way from good people who actively care.
Richard has been involved with ENM for the last couple of years and brings 20 years plus of digital and marketing experience. He’s worked at a range of big corporates locally and overseas and more recently focuses on helping local businesses navigate the new digital landscape.
He sees huge opportunities to use new and emerging digital channels to educate and motivate people to be more aware of what’s going on globally and locally and encourage people to get involved in environmental challenges in different ways. Richard is a member of the Manawatu Chamber of Commerce and is interested in the synergies between business, volunteer groups and local government.
Richard is quite good at growing vegetables and weeds. You’ll often find Richard out and about walking his dog.
Kendall is a Palmy local who has studied and worked in the area her whole life. She has a background in auditing and achieved her Chartered Accountancy by the age of 25. She is now working in a local accounting firm helping small and medium sized businesses, as well as individuals, to achieve their goals and maximise their outputs. She is an avid animal lover and has an interest in living a sustainable life and minimising her carbon footprint.
When she is not working you will find her either curled up with a book or out and about with her two retired greyhounds who are well known as the fashion hounds of Palmerston North.
Nola comes to ENM with many years involved in governance with not-for-profits. She is a Trustee at Wildlife Foxton Trust, holding the positions of Secretary / Treasurer and managing the day-to-day operations. After completing accounting qualifications, Nola moved into business analyst and educator roles, living in the United States for four years before returning to New Zealand to have children. At that point she got get involved in sharing her knowledge with groups such as Petone Community House and Playcentre. After living and working in Feilding, as well as volunteering with many different groups over the years, she and hubby moved to Foxton Beach in 2014, joining the Wildlife Foxton Trust to support administration and grant applications (but now also backup animal feeder, educator and bug handler).
When Nola is not working, she and her husband Graeme are travelling the countryside visiting their three adult daughters, or acting as driver support for her husband’s volunteer work as a Roller Derby referee. Spare time goes into raranga (weaving) and reading, with some computer gaming when not attending meetings.
Originally from Whanganui, Debra moved to Palmerston North over 20 years ago. During that time she has followed a path which involved the care of others; care of the elderly with a special interest in dementia care, a stint as an ambulance officer, and a Diploma in Psychology, to name a few.
Always in the background she’s always been an enthusiastic gardener with a keen interest in growing anything and everything to share with family, friends and neighbours. When she founded Community Fruit Harvest, the same passion she has for vege gardens transferred to fruit trees. Now she enjoys rescuing fruit from backyard properties and distributing to foodbanks, free stores and food pantries.
Debra has four children, one who is very high needs and has shaped who she is today.
Georgina lives in the Tararua region just South of Pahiatua on a dairy farm with her husband and two children. She is currently the Executive Officer of Environment Hubs Aotearoa and an Enviroschools facilitator in both the Tararua and Palmerston North City. Georgina enjoys progressive governance and sits on the Eastern and Central Community Trust, Pahiatua School Board of Trustees, Lotteries Environment & Heritage Committee and is the Co-Chair of Pūkaha Mount Bruce. Georgina studied at Massey University, and has predominantly worked in the environmental and not-for-profit sectors. She is passionate about the interaction between people and nature and acknowledges the key role of tangata whenua in preserving, conserving and enhancing our environment.
Madz comes to ENM after a number of years immersed in family life. While raising her five children, she has been active in helping to organise and facilitate activities and communication channels for the local home school community. She is the founder and coordinator Community Fruit Harvest Manawatu, and was instrumental in helping to establish the Manawatu Urban Foraging online community. Madz is also a playing member of the community music group, Palmerston North Brass. In her down time, she loves to get outside into her garden where she has a lot of old fruit trees to reinvigorate and lawns to turn into vegetable gardens amongst an overgrown park of tree and flower gardens.
I am an experienced accountant/administrator with a public sector background in large organisations. My career includes significant experience in the electricity and tertiary sectors; initially at the Ministry of Energy (13 years), followed by Massey University (22 years) and the Universal College of Learning (just over 5 years).
I have considerable experience in office management and administration, with technical expertise in financial management and strategic planning to a senior level. I am looking forward to utilising my experience and knowledge in my new role at Environment Network Manawatū.
Outside of work, my wife and I have three adult children all of whom are working professionally. Apart from family, my passions are the outdoors and sport. Currently, I am Chairman of Old Boys Cricket Club here in Palmerston North and manage the Premier team.
I was born and raised in New Zealand, and gained a Masters degree in Ecology at Victoria University of Wellington in 1997. My university divided it into two separate subjects, plant ecology and animal ecology, and humans were mostly not considered as part of the ecosystem. I took cloth shopping bags to the supermarket, to the puzzlement of checkout staff and other customers, and rode my bicycle to work and to the shops; this was very unusual in those days.
To me, the solution to our ecological problems lies, not in yet more scientific or technological advances, nor in individual survivalism, but in radically changing our values and the structure of our society to fit sustainably into the planet’s ecosystems. ENM is in the vanguard of this change, and I'm pleased to have worked for the organization for a few years now, first as a volunteer, and now as part-time paid Communication Coordinator.
Coordinator, Manawatū River Source to Sea
Heather has always been passionate about protecting our planet and reducing her personal environmental footprint. After having children, she became more proactive about wanting to make a positive difference, especially by instilling a love of nature in the next generation. She started a range of “Play Palmy” projects in 2015, including the Palmy Dirty 30 and Palmy Rocks, and has received four awards for these to date. Her vision is that, by helping people to get outside and build a connection to their local environment, they will be more inclined to preserve and care for it.
Heather has a MChem and PhD in biophysical chemistry. In her professional career, she has worked in a range of science-related business development and investment management roles. Prior to joining ENM, she worked at AgResearch for nearly 14 years and was involved with establishing and managing the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre. Heather voluntarily left AgResearch at the end of 2019 to travel the world with her family for a year during 2020. Due to world events, Heather returned to Palmerston North early and was happy to join ENM in a role which maximises her scientific, project management and community-related skills.
Cesar Britto da Graca
Methodology Supporter, Manawatū River Source to Sea
Cesar came all the way from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to develop himself and find his role in the Conservation area in New Zealand. His Bachelor of Science in Biology was at the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and he studied Ecology as a postgraduate at Massey University. He has been involved in many wildlife conservation and environmental management projects in both countries, volunteering in places like Refauna and Chico Mendes in Brazil, Zealandia and Wildbase Recovery Centre in NZ. His passion for helping and working with nature brought him to ENM Source 2 Sea, where his energy and scientific knowledge is developing fieldwork, data sampling and analysis for Manawatū rivers. When he is not working with nature he enjoys spending his time camping, hiking and drinking with friends in Palmerston North and in other exciting and beautiful places in New Zealand.
Coordinator, Food Action Network Manawatū
Helen describes herself as ‘food resilience nerd’. She has a background in university teaching, community engagement and the arts. She has had coordination roles at the Palmerston North City Library and for the Palmerston North City Environment Trust. She was on ENM’s management committee for several years and was the co-chair (alongside Alastair Cole) for one year. She’s a writer and has written two books ‘The Comforter’ and ‘Write To The Centre’. She completed a Permaculture Design Certificate through RECAP. A passionate environmentalist, she’s especially interested in soil regeneration and community food resilience. After many years volunteering in the environmental sector, she is happy to be in a food resilience role at ENM.