New Conservation Authority Chairperson announced

Edward Ellison is the new Chairperson of the New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA), Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.

A sheep farmer on the Otago Peninsula, Mr Ellison has previously served on the NZCA, Otago Conservation Board, Queen Elizabeth II National Trust Board, the South-East Marine Protection Forum and the Otago University Council. 

The NZCA is a national statutory body that provides strategic policy advice to the Department of Conservation and the Minister.  It also has statutory functions around approving conservation management strategies and national park management plans. 

Mr Ellison is an active member of Otakou Marae and former Deputy Kaiwhakahaere of Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu, with experience in cultural advocacy, Treaty of Waitangi claim negotiations, environmental management, policy development and governance. 

“Edward Ellison was appointed after a public nomination process where 30 people were put forward and is well qualified for this role,” said Eugenie Sage.

“Not only is he a qualified and independent RMA hearings commissioner with experience in policy, plan change and resource consent hearings for councils across the South Island, but he is also chairperson of Otago based environmental consultancy Aukaha and the Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Committee.

“Edward Ellison has broad work experience, covering environmental, land and animal husbandry. This experience is coupled with ambassadorial or representative roles in extending cultural / Treaty partnerships at non-government organisation, community, local government and government sector at all levels.

“He holds advisory roles with the South Island High Country Forum (Land Information NZ), the NZ Biodiversity Strategy (DOC) review and the Kahui Kaumatua (Environmental Protection Authority). I look forward to the level of experience and expertise Edward Ellison will bring to this important role,” said Eugenie Sage. 

“I would also like to acknowledge and thank Dame Kerry Prendergast for her time at the helm of the NZCA as Acting Chairperson.

“Dame Kerry has generously shared her wealth of knowledge and guided the Conservation Authority for the past six months.”

Note to editors

The New Zealand Conservation Authority includes people from diverse backgrounds, for example, farmers, trampers, scientists, lawyers, tangata whenua, writers and tourism operators.

Members are appointed as individuals because of their expertise, experience and links with the community. Individuals do not act as delegates promoting any cause or organisation. Rather, members work by consensus within a team. The diversity amongst members brings together a wide range of knowledge, skills and concerns.

More information is available



Latest Conservation Announcements


NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins

The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to ...
Read More


New pest lures to protect nature

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveilla...
Read More

Thriving Oceans

Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and home to thousands of taonga species, providing us with nourishing food to feed our families, supporting ...
Read More


Greens to protect Aotearoa’s oceans with marine sanctuaries, bottom trawling and set-netting restrictions, and action against plastic

The Green Party has released its Thriving Oceans Plan, which would dramatically increase marine protected areas and ban bottom trawling on seamounts. 
Read More


New tools to make nature more accessible

People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Mini...
Read More


More resources for kiwi conservation

New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect ...
Read More