About LCT

The Halo Project is brought to you by the Landscape Connections Trust (LCT)

The LCT is a New Zealand charitable trust established in 2009. The Trust’s mission is to create healthy landscapes that support resilient communities. The LCT’s role is primarily to support or lead the planning, administration, fund raising, development and execution of projects. Strategic planning, project development and administration will occur in collaboration with the partners and stakeholders of specific and focused projects. 

The Trust has been established to carry out the following Charitable Purposes:

  1. Foster, promote and protect the ecological, recreational, aesthetic, cultural and amenity values of landscapes in New Zealand;

  2. Undertake ecological restoration and enhancement projects at aa water-catchment and/or landscape level;

  3. Restore ecological processes and optimise the provision of ecosystem services in the New Zealand landscape;

  4. Facilitate positive partnerships with and between schools, tangata whenua, community groups, landowners, local and national agencies and non-governmental organisations to achieve these Charitable Purposes;

  5. Support landowners, the community, government and other responsible agencies with making informed decisions whenever these have the potential to impact on landscapes or biota;

  6. Revive the connection communities have with the land, with water, and with nature through education and community-based ecological initiatives;

  7. Promote the application of best land management practices such that economic production, community benefit, and environmental values are maximised.

  8. Carry out any other activity that the Board at its discretion decides may further any of the about Charitable Purposes.

the Community Advisory Group (CAG)

A Community Advisory Group (CAG) has guided the creation of the Management Strategy. This 10 member group includes representatives of the Department of Conservation, Otago Natural History Trust, Kati Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki, local landowners and other interested individuals.

Click here to read more about CAG members.


David Sharp

Dave brings some twenty years’ experience of working within the community/ conservation sphere-both in Australia and here in New Zealand.  A resident of Purakaunui, Dave is keen to support the protection and restoration of biodiversity values within his ‘home-patch’ and across the East Otago landscape.

Nikki Penno

Nikki has a background in landscape architecture, policy and planning, pest management and communications.  With her family farming in Karitane, Nikki is looking forward to helping to support the aims of her local community from both a landowner and biodiversity point of view.

Margaret McFarlane

Margaret has a background in science, biology, outdoor and environmental education; biodiversity work for DoC; revegetation and MAF biosecurity.  As small land owners at Karitane, Margaret and her partner Rob Raill have started extensive revegetation and predator control.  They are involved in several community groups and are passionate about enabling others to care for and enhance their very special environment.

Andrew Lonie

Andrew has a background in conservation, recreation and community development, and currently works at the Graduate Research School, University of Otago. Andrew has lived for 17 years at Upper Junction to the south-east of Mt Cargill/Kapukataumahaka, near the Inner/Outer Halo boundary. With his partner he is currently replacing pasture and exotics on their land with native coastal lowland species

Gerald Fitzgerald

Gerald is a corporate lawyer practising throughout New Zealand, but with a base at Doctors’ Point, Waitati. A concern for the local environment (especially the ecological and recreational values of Blueskin Bay), and his experience with preserving the water quality in Lake Taupo through the reduction in leaching of manageable nitrogen led to his involvement with the Halo Project.

Marion Read

Marion is a retired landscape planner with training in both landscape architecture and resource planning.  She has a strong interest in revegetation particularly and conservation more generally, and continues to work on community revegetation projects.  She lives with her husband, Lee, and Jack Russell, Freddie, on a lifestyle block near Outram on which they aspire to being self-sufficient for most food.  In addition to producing food, they are exploring the use of indigenous species for shelter and to provide bee and bird habitat.

Jillian Hetherington

Jill is an active volunteer in predator eradication and coastal reforestation projects on Quarantine Island. Her background is in invasive plant ecology, having obtained a PhD in this field from Otago University. After a short stint lecturing in the Geography Department at Otago Uni on environmental issues and biogeography she is now working for the Department of Conservation in the National Volunteering Team, based in Dunedin.

David Russell

David is a chartered accountant with Markhams Otago. He provides the LCT with pro bono treasury and accountancy advice, which is very much appreciated.

The Halo Project team


Rhys is motivated by the prospect of enhancing this area within which he lives with his family. He believes that the people, the environment and the landscape of this area are very special and provide a great place to live.  In a rapidly changing world it is important that we collectively look after this place so that the next generation can also be supported by its health and resilience.  The Halo Project has the potential to assist in the enhancement of this area.

Jonah Kitto-Verhoef (Operations MANAGER)

Jonah was bitten by the Predator Free bug while carrying out conservation work on Waiheke Island, where he worked on forming Predator Free Dunedin’s sister project, Te Korowai o Waiheke: towards predator free Waiheke. Jonah is passionate about protecting and enhancing our remaining native biodiversity and is a vision holder of a local environment made up of people and native biodiversity thriving in harmony. Originally born and bred in North Otago, Jonah is pleased to be working alongside a passionate and talented team to enhance our unique place.

Kate Tanner (Halo Coordinator)

Kate is a keen conservationist who is passionate about working with the local community toward achieving positive biodiversity outcomes. She enjoys environmental education and in particular, working with children and conservation volunteers.

Kate’s hopes and visions for the South Island’s south-east coast is to have marine protected areas implemented and for Dunedin to become a predator free city so that our natural flora and fauna can once again flourish for future generations.

Sanjay Thakur (Halo Coordinator)

Sanjay had the very good fortune to grow up in Dunedin – earliest memories include launching paper boats in Ross Creek and family outings to Long Beach and Doctors Point. After finishing high school Sanjay first spent a lot of time cycling over the peninsula, exploring the Silver Peaks and tramping throughout the lower South Island (and wrote a PhD in philosophy in his spare time), then spent 13 years with the Department of Conservation in Fiordland working across a broad range of landscape scale restoration and threatened species monitoring projects.

Sanjay is thrilled to be back home in Dunedin and excited about the opportunity to apply his conservation experience and knowledge to the task of turning the Halo vision into reality.

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