New chair for NZ Landcare Trust

Rural Women New Zealand National President Fiona Gower has been elected as the first woman chair of the NZ Landcare Trust, following the retirement of long time chair Richard Thompson.

Richard retired from his role after being with the Trust since its inception in 1996. Fiona was elected unanimously – and NZ Landcare Trust CEO Dr Nick Edgar says the move was a positive one.

“Richard has done so much for us in the past 22 years and has been extremely proactive in his role as chair and now we are all excited and happy to have the baton passed to Fiona, who has been on the board since 2016 and is very passionate about sustainable land and water quality,” he says.

“George Matthews from the Federation of Maori Authorities was elected as deputy chair of the Trust. Fiona and George will be a great team!”

Fiona says she is looking forward to the challenge of stepping up from a trustee to the extra responsibility that comes with being Chair of the board.

“It is a real privilege to be appointed as the Chair for NZ Landcare Trust. The Trust has an ever-increasing role in supporting sustainable land management throughout New Zealand, and I look forward to working with the staff and trustees to achieve this. I take this opportunity to thank retiring Chair, Richard Thompson, for his years of hard work, and look forward to carrying this on,” she says.

“For me now, it is getting into it at an even deeper level and seeing where I can help to make the biggest impact in my new role.”

As a passionate member of Rural Women New Zealand for 13 years, Fiona has been on the National Council (now known as the Board) since 2013, and was elected National President in 2016.

Outside of her work with NZLT and RWNZ, Fiona is on the Waikato Conservation Board and is a member of the Port Waikato BeachCare group.

 And in her limited spare time, it is all about family for Fiona. 

“Quality family time is a priority for me, especially as I am away a lot, so doing things like fishing or white-baiting. We love being out on the water and having fun on the land. That is why the work that the NZ Landcare Trust does is so important to me as both a representative of Rural Women New Zealand and for me personally as a mum. It has to be about our future generations being able to enjoy what we have here in New Zealand.”