Martin AbelWest Coast Regional Advisor

Martin is based in Hari Hari (between Hokitika and Franz Josef) on the South Islands West Coast. He provides assistance to individuals or groups who want to plant native trees throughout the West Coast and also works for the QEII National Trust, helping private land owners on the West Coast to permanently protect land that they value.

Martin spent his formative years in Wainuiomata, roaming the Rimutakas and enjoying going ‘bush’.

A career in the NZ Forest Service saw him posted to the South Island’s West Coast, ending up in Hari Hari where the nice girl behind the counter of the General Store caught his eye, and then his heart.

After some time working in the logging side of the Forest Service, Martin moved over to the Environmental Forestry side, building and maintaining front country tracks and picnic areas and back country tracks and huts.  When DOC came along he continued this work and over time he broadened out to working with threatened species.

Martin’s most enjoyable times at work always involved working in the field and he has a soft spot for species that bite if you let them.  “Nothing focuses your attention more than having a fur seals pup/ Tawaki penguin/Westland Petrel latched onto your hand!”

Looking for new challenges, Martin left DOC, moved back to Hari Hari with his wife and in 2014 picked up the role of West Coast Representative for the QEII National Trust, and more recently the Regional Advisor role for Trees That Count.

When not out visiting people in his Coast-wide roles, Martin can be found maintaining or fixing up old things, namely his house, 5 motor bikes and Landrover, which have a combined age in excess of 300 years.

Martin loves the big podocarps, especially the old kahikatea and rimu that have lots of epiphytes perched in their crown.  Recently he has taken an interest in propagating natives from seed and hopes to add his own trees to the Count.

Phone: 027 912 4179