Gill Wratt  

Gillian Wratt (Chair)

For Gill, the opportunity to work with Project Janszoon to restore the ecology of the Abel Tasman is like returning to her backyard.  She grew up on a farm in Motueka and fondly remembers the annual family picnic at Appletree Bay.

Gill spent six years as Chief Executive of the Cawthron Institute, New Zealand’s largest independent science organisation.  After leaving Cawthron she turned author, writing a book about the history of international co-operation within the Antarctic Managers Council which was published in 2013. 

Her credentials to write such a book come from leading New Zealand’s Antarctic agency for 10 years from 1996 - 2002.  Gill has a Masters in Business Administration from Sydney University, Australia and Bachelor of Science (Hons) Botany, from Canterbury University. 

A former national kayak champion, Gill is currently on the board of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Chair of the Antarctic Science Platform Governance Group and a board member of the Our Land & Water National Science Challenge.  As well as chairing Project Janszoon she is also chair of the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails Trust, and of the New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association. She still manages to fit in mountain biking, kayaking and skiing between reading board papers and attending meetings.


Devon McLean

Devon McLean

Over the years as he kayaked and sailed past the beautiful bush-lined beaches of the Abel Tasman, Devon McLean used to tell his wife Anne that one day he wanted to make a difference to the Park.

That dream saw him become both a trustee and the inaugral director of Project Janszoon. He retired as project director in 2017, and is also the chairman of Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP), Environmental Advisor to the NEXT Foundation, Governance board member of the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, Director of the Taranaki Mounga Project, Chair of Predator Free Wellington and a director of Predator Free 2050.

Previously Devon was the Chief Operating officer with Carter Holt Harvey. He was involved in setting up Project Crimson—a trust devoted to the protection of New Zealand’s pōhutukawa and rātā trees. His involvement in this and many other biodiversity projects saw him awarded a Queen's Service Medal in the 2015 New Year's Honours.

Devon looks forward to the day when the Abel Tasman National Park’s whole coastline is lit up over summer by the vivid red flowers of the rātā, robin’s flit on the beach at Anchorage and mohua can be heard in the upland areas of the park. Along the way he wants to make sure Project Janszoon inspires the next generation to be passionate about our parks and the environment.


 barrie brown


Barrie Brown 

As well as his work as a director with Project Janszoon, Barry is chairman of NEXT, the foundation that helped establish Project Janszoon, and an experienced Company Director.

He was a partner for 25 years at PwC where he headed the company’s Private Client Services and served on the PwC Board. Since retiring from that position in 2002 he has held several Board / Trustee positions including chairing another NEXT environmental initiative Rotoroa Island Trust, which has converted the Haurakai Gulf Island into a Predator Free wildlife sanctuary and conservation park. He was also Chair of the Auckland City Mission Foundation.

Barrie’s other roles include chairing private equity investor Waterman Capital and Hutton Wilson Nominees Limited. He is an Independent Trustee of the W A Stevenson Memorial Trust and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand.

David Flacks

Photo by Rory Harnden, Ink


David Flacks comes to Project Janszoon with a wealth of experience gained in the corporate, legal and financial worlds.

After many years as a senior corporate partner of Bell Gully he has now established a governance career. David is a trustee of Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP), and chair of listed company AFT Pharmaceuticals, peer to peer platform Harmoney Corporation and biotech start up Upside Biotechnologies. He is a director of the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, and the Suncorp NZ group of companies, and chair of the NZX Regulatory Governance Committee.

Originally from the UK, David first visited the Abel Tasman National Park in the mid 90s and says he was struck by the pure beauty of the natural environment. He is really excited to be working with a project that aims to enhance the ecological fortunes of the Park for the generations of visitors to come.



 Jarrod Buchanan


Jarrod Buchanan joined Project Janszoon as a trustee in 2017. Of Ngāti Rārua and Te Ātiawa descent he grew up in Wellington and Waikawa, but always felt a strong sense of belonging to this region, in no small part because of his love for the Abel Tasman.

This affection for the Park saw him consider studying Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management and becoming a DOC ranger, but he ended up on more of commercial pathway, completing a Bachelor of Applied Science with honours at the University of Tasmania, working in Japan, and then for Sealord Group in Nelson.

In 2011, having spent several more years overseas, Jarrod returned home as owner and manager of local accommodation and property management service, Holiday Nelson. He also became an associate director for Wakatu Incorporation and later, a trustee for Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust.

He feels very strongly about ecological restoration and is pleased to finally be engaged in the important work of protecting and enhancing the Abel Tasman. Jarrod looks forward to enjoying more time in the Park with his family and getting ‘hands on’ with the Project Janzoon team!

 philip simpson


Dr Philip Simpson  

A renowned botanist, Philip was born in Golden Bay and has returned to his roots, living at Pohara with wife Wendy on a vineyard, at the northern end of the Abel Tasman.

Phillip has a botany degree and BSC honours from Canterbury University.  He then moved to California to do a PHD on the structure and evolution of the Mojave Desert’s Joshua tree, the American equivalent of our own cabbage tree.

He worked with the Commission for the Environment and DOC as a botanist before turning author. His trademark style of combining the science of a species with its cultural value and human experience has seen him become an award winning and respected author on trees. 

Topics include New Zealand’s cabbage tree, pohutukawa and rata, and totara. A book about the history of the Abel Tasman National Park, called “Down the Bay” is nearing completion.

Philip was a founding member of Project Crimson and in 2009 was awarded the Loder Cup for his dedication to conserving and promoting New Zealand’s native plant life.