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Milner’s new role in conservation

David Milner from Masterton has been appointed to one of New Zealand’s 15 conservation boards. PHOTO/BIOHERITAGE

ARTHUR HAWKES
[email protected]

David Milner of Masterton has been appointed to one of New Zealand’s 15 conservation boards [Tongariro/Taupo] as part of a wave of new positions announced by Environment Minister Eugenie Sage last week.

Sage said the new appointments would bring greater diversity to the groups that made key decisions about the country’s conservation areas.

“Conservation boards play a vital role in advising the Department of Conservation, and influencing and regulating how public conservation lands and waters are managed.

“I’m pleased that these appointments bring the proportion of women members on conservation boards to 53 per cent, while 38 per cent of board members identify as Maori.”

Milner had been involved in environmental work for many years, and worked with an iwi [Ngati Rangi] before his role at Perception Planning, a group of resource management, ecology, kaupapa taiao, and communication specialists.

“Before Perception Planning, I worked for the Ngati Rangi iwi for five years on the environmental team. I always wanted to maintain a connection with the iwi and the other iwi that are affiliated, so this appointment is a pretty cool opportunity to reconnect.”

Milner said it was important to champion diversity and that having more women on conservation boards was very beneficial in all parts of the decision-making process.

“I really support more females being a part of everything, they bring a different and better view. It’s great that there’s more wahine being involved, especially in environmental mahi.

“Matauranga holds big opportunities alongside western science, so this is governance level management, and operational level management that is coming through really well – so it’s good to support that.”

Milner said he would now be dividing his time between his home in Masterton, his job in Martinborough, and his commitments to the Tongariro/Taupo board. He was excited to support the coming changes to legislation around that area.

“The Tongariro/Taupo national park management plan is in need of an update, so I’m looking forward to being a part of those discussions. There’s also a treaty settlement that’s being discussed now for the national park, so it will be really interesting to see how that progresses.”

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