Ron does not want to be ‘pigeon-holed’ but it’s fair to say birds have been a big part of his life.
He did his masters on kākāpo and a PhD on kākā. Then, after joining DOC he spent 15 years working as a scientist on the response of kākā populations to predator control, then another 10 years as scientist for the Kākāpo Recovery Programme.
For a someone who was born in Hong Kong, and grew up in the suburbs of Auckland it may seem a surprising career path but once Ron discovered the forests, lakes, mountains and rivers of the South Island, and particularly the Nelson Tasman region, it was love at first sight.
This region, with its proximity to so many national parks has proved the perfect spot to settle and Ron says he is relishing the opportunity to restore species to an iconic national park like Abel Tasman that is virtually outside his own backdoor.
As well as his work with Project Janszoon Ron is a free-lance conservation consultant, science editor and an amateur musician.
The chance to restore populations of native species is something that Ron, like all conservationists dream about. Ron says he looks forward to walking in Abel Tasman after he has retired, seeing lots of kākā and other native species and thinking “I helped do that”.