New Fiordland Marine Guardians appointed

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Environment Minister David Parker recently appointed two new Fiordland Marine Guardians and re-appointed three existing Guardians.

Fiordland is an incredibly special part of Aotearoa with unique qualities, landscapes and taonga species that need protection.

The Guardians provide advice and promote co-operation to help maintain and improve Fiordland’s marine environment. Collectively they have a deep knowledge and understanding of the place and work hard to maintain strong connections with mana whenua, commercial and recreational fishers, tourism operators, recreational users, marine scientists, conservationists and the local community.  

John Cushen and Gavin Tayles will join the Guardians, while Rebecca McLeod, Mark Peychers and Stewart Bull have all been re-appointed.

New Guardian John Cushen has a passion for Fiordland and has worked there as a tourism business advisor, nature guide and boat skipper. He is involved in several community conservation projects, including Predator Free Rakiura, the Stewart Island/Rakiura Community and Environment Trust, the Wakatipu Wildlife Trust and the Tuckers Beach Wildlife Reserve group.

Fellow new appointee Gavin Tayles’ heritage is in Southland and he resides in rural Northern Southland. He has had a life-long association with recreation in the Fiordland National Park and has been a recreational fisher and diver in the Fiordland Marine Area for more than 20 years. Gavin has a deep connection to the area and a strong desire to preserve it for future generations to enjoy.

Re-appointed Guardian Rebecca McLeod has been with the group since 2012 and Chairperson since 2015. She has extensive knowledge of Fiordland’s unique marine environment and is a keen scientific and recreational diver and boatie.

Stewart Bull and Mark Peychers have served as Guardians since the group’s establishment in 2005. Stewart was nominated by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and has extensive knowledge of customary fishing management and resource use in Fiordland, while Mark provides more than 30 years of experience as a commercial fisher.

The Fiordland Marine Guardians is an advisory group established under the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act 2005. They advise central and local government on the integrated management of the Fiordland Marine Area.