In General, News

Project Crimson Trust welcomes Melanie Mark-Shadbolt to its governance team in 2020.

Melanie Mark-Shadbolt is of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Ngāti Porou, Te Arawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Te Atiawa, Mackintosh and Gunn descent. Currently Kaihautū Chief Māori Advisor for the Ministry for the Environment, Melanie’s expertise in biodiversity and driving environmental outcomes are underpinned by an indigenous worldview which Project Crimson is thrilled to have on board.

Melanie has over 10 years’ leadership experience at board, CE and senior management level, and is passionate about using strong research and policy to empower communities and create a healthier environment for all New Zealanders.

Melanie is currently Kaiwhakahaere (Chief Executive) of Te Tira Whakāmataki, a charitable Foundation aiming to provide mātauranga Māori solutions in the biodiversity sector, with a particular focus on ensuring protection of Aotearoa’s biosecurity systems.

Melanie is also Director Māori of NZ’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, one of 11 National Science Challenges funded by the Government, which aims to protect and manage Aotearoa New Zealand’s biodiversity, improve our biosecurity, and enhance our resilience to harmful organisms.

Deeply concerned about New Zealand’s threatened biodiversity and emerging threats to our native flora and fauna, Melanie is actively involved in New Zealand’s investigation into the impact of myrtle rust on native trees within the myrtle family including pōhutukawa, northern and southern rātā, ramarama, kānuka and mānuka.

Melanie said she’s looking forward to joining Project Crimson Trust as they join planters and nurseries across the country to drive environmental projects that support New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery.

“Project Crimson Trust and Trees That Count are active organisations in the environmental space, inspiring thousands of New Zealanders to care about our native taonga.  Every person can make a difference, and these initiatives are fundamental to ensuring people have the means to take action, and make a real difference to our natural environment,” said Melanie.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to bring my skills to the table and join a dedicated group as they continue to make great strides for our native trees and wildlife.”

Project Crimson Chief Executive Adele Fitzpatrick said Melanie’s insight and guidance will help the trust, and its programme Trees That Count, by strengthening the Te Ao Māori view within the organisation and through the roll-out of its national movement to plant more native trees.

“We’re dealing with the restoration of our native taonga, so we want to ensure our approach is appropriate to, and in alignment with, indigenous kaupapa.

“We’re extremely privileged to have Melanie join us, as she brings with her strong links to a wide number of Māori communities and science networks. Her research management skills, commitment to New Zealand’s biodiversity and advocating for a Māori role in this country’s environmental decision-making are second to none.”