We are a small, hard-working group and we take pride in continuing to work on behalf of the Inlet. Each year, at our AGM, volunteers are elected to stand as members of the committee having various functions within the team.
Below are the members of the committee for the year 2023-2024.
Lindsay Gow, Chair
Lindsay has had an extensive background in public policy and strategy, especially environmental policy, working as Deputy Secretary for the Environment. He retired from public service in 2009. He was a founding Trustee of the Te Awarua-o-Porirua Catchments and Community Trust and a member of the Pāuatahanui Inlet Community Trust (PICT). He became a Committee member of GOPI when it merged with PICT in 2015.
Lindsay lives in Whitby, overlooking Pāuatahanui Inlet, and is an active user of Porirua Harbour’s waterways and shores. He enjoys kayaking, walking, biking and sailing. He is passionate about improving the quality of the harbour system, the condition of the contributing catchments and public access to the harbour and its edges.
Jessica Taylor, Secretary
Jessica Taylor is our most recent arrival to the area having moved to Whitby with her husband Rob in 2021. She was motivated to join the Committee by the desire to make a contribution towards protecting and enhancing the Inlet and its surrounding waterways. In particular, Jessica loves to see the value of the Inlet as enhancing the whole community, and is herself a frequent kayaker, runner and walker around it.
Jessica explains that the Inlet has incredible value for Aotearoa/New Zealand’s biodiversity, and is aiming to do her part by supporting the Committee’s meetings, helping with restoration planting and taking part in the annual Cockle Count.
Marg Glover, Treasurer
Marg returned to NZ in 2016 after spending 36 years in the UK and now lives in Paremata with husband Simon. She enjoys lots of outdoor activities, paddle-boarding, kayaking, sailing, hiking, cycling and really enjoys the facilities of the Inlet. She is passionate about the environment and the preservation of native flora and fauna, really enjoying such events as the visits of the Orcas to the Inlet.
GOPI has provided an opportunity to give back and, together with Simon, Marge has enthusiastically contributed to litter picks, Inlet planting projects and the most recent cockle count. The position of treasurer will benefit from the university management roles of her later career, after shifting from a scientific research background. She is looking forward to participating fully in the activities of the committee.
Janet Ryan, Membership secretary
Janet joined the GOPI committee after the 2005 AGM. She had been involved with stream monitoring, a former Guardians activity, for about a year when she was invited to join the committee. She is now the Membership Secretary. Janet and her husband Ray have lived in Pāuatahanui since 1997, overlooking the Inlet. She is interested in conservation generally, with a leaning toward biological matters. Enjoying the views of the Inlet from her home, and driving around it, Janet is very aware of the need to protect it.
Michael Waldron, Newsletter and Webmaster
Michael has been a Whitby resident since 1997 and was elected to the committee in 2012 as the newsletter editor. He subsequently took on the role of Webmaster and in 2023 designed and launched a completely new website.
Arriving from England, in 1983, he found Pāuatahanui Inlet had many similarities to an area in South Devon called Slapton Ley and feels considerable empathy towards the protection of this beautiful body of water.
With a science degree in biology from London University, Michael has always had a keen interest in the natural world and in conservation, while, for many years, pursuing a career in electronics, television and telecommunications.
Christine was one of the three founders of GOPI in 1991 and has remained closely involved with the Inlet since that time. Subsequently she was an active participant in the formation of the Pāuatahanui Inlet Community Trust (PICT) and became a founding trustee in 2002. Her other local work includes co-founder of the Pāuatahanui Preschool, a past board Chairperson and librarian of Pāuatahanui School and past member of the Horokiwi Ward Committee.
Christine also headed the Pāuatahanui History Group responsible for the research that went into creating the book Pāuatahanui – A Local History. She is a trustee of the Porirua Harbour and Catchment Community Trust and has lived on a farm on the northern shores of Pāuatahanui Inlet for 40 years.
John McKoy was the most recent Chair of Pāuatahanui Inlet Community Trust (PICT). He has lived in the Porirua Harbour catchment for more than 40 years and has been an active user, particularly of Pāuatahanui Inlet, for most of that time.
John is a marine biologist with over 40 years of experience, primarily in the area of research for sustainable fisheries in New Zealand but also internationally.
He is a member of the Te Awarua-o-Porirua Whaitua Committee established by Greater Wellington Regional Council to develop recommendations for land and water management specific to local needs and values.
John is also the current president of Friends of Mana Island.
Andre van Halderen
Andre joined the GOPI Committee in 2019. He lives on the edge of the Pāuatahanui Inlet at Golden Gate – drawn here by its uncanny similarity to Knysna in South Africa, where he grew up, and all the activities that waterside living offers the family.
Andre is avid about the restoration of the Inlet as well as of New Zealand’s native wildlife, and coordinates the GOPI revegetation projects and triennial cockle count.
Alistair has been a Whitby resident since 2015, living close to the Pāuatahanui Village. Together with his wife and son, he enjoys the walkways around the suburbs that surround the Inlet and throughout the Pāuatahanui Wildlife Reserve.
He grew up in Tawa and studied at Victoria University, graduating with Science (Ecology) and Commerce (Economics and Commercial Law) degrees. Since 2007 he has worked for the QEII National Trust as a land protection advisor which involves protection and enhancement of natural areas on private land across the country. He finds the work particularly interesting, bringing him into contact with some great practitioners around the regions, and with inspirational landowners who represent some of the best NZ has to offer in terms of custodianship of our natural environment. Having been a member of Pest Free Whitby since 2017, and creating safe garden spaces for our local lizard species, he enjoys helping support the important advocacy and community work of GOPI.