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Connecting with the environment

NZ Landcare Trust’s new Tairawhiti/East Coast catchments co-ordinator Sam Gibson has hit the ground running and is already knees deep in catchment work around the region.

Mr Gibson, who was born and bred in the region, comes from a strong background in environmental work and is happy to be working on home whenua (land).

“My last role saw me travel around the country a lot, but it’s good to be at home and working on our land, for our people and in our region,” Mr Gibson says.

“I have accumulated a skill set through my work and am excited to be bringing it home to make a difference here.

“I want to see more people connecting with our landscapes, working on our land and caring about it.”

Mr Gibson’s previous work includes working as a technical trapping expert for Goodnature Traps Ltd, and he has an extensive conservation background specialising in large landscape predator control and ecosystem management.

He has a background with the Department of Conservation and as a private contractor, which has given him a diverse range of skills.

In the short time he has been with NZ Landcare Trust, Mr Gibson has started working with a number of groups including the Eastern Whio Link in the upper Waioeka Gorge, and is working with the Waimata Catchment Group to run a trapping and predator-control workshop next month.

NZ Landcare Trust CEO Dr Nick Edgar says the demand for the organisation to have a presence in the Tairawhiti region has been strong in recent months and it was one of the first areas looked at when new funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries Productive and Sustainable Land Use fund was announced.

“Sam is one of seven new staff members we have brought on with this funding, and that will double the impact we can have around the country, which is great,” Dr Edgar says.

NZ Landcare Trust is a national, independent, non-Government organisation that focuses on healthy waterways, profitable farms and connected communities — through action on the ground.

It has been operating since 1996 and now covers most of the country.

Sam the trap man: NZ Landcare Trust’s new Tairawhiti/East Coast catchments co-ordinator is Sam Gibson, who has a passion and long history working with the environment. He is pictured here with his dog Bonnie. Picture by Liam Clayton