Our Guardians provide a long-term strategic perspective on the sanctuary’s evolution and have an active interest in the long term future of the Trust. Guardians are not required to bring a specific technical or professional skill, however knowledge and experience in areas relevant to the Trust’s mission are welcomed. These areas include education, conservation science and research, conservation and biodiversity management, and visitor experience.

Roy Sharp (Chair)

Roy is the former Chief Executive of the Tertiary Education Commission, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Canterbury and former Deputy Vice Chancellor at Victoria University. Roy has also been a volunteer guide at ZEALANDIA for several years.


Julia Bracegirdle

Julia has been volunteering at ZEALANDIA since1996 in a variety of capacities across conservation, education, and visitor experience. A long-time member of the ZEALANDIA community, Julia says her life has been enhanced in many ways through the animals and people she has met at the sanctuary. Julia has a degree in zoology and botany and until retirement was Deputy Principal at Kimi Ora Special Needs School. Her other activities  include  triathlon and dragon boating. Also she takes a keen interest in the predator free NZ concept and is proud to live in Crofton Downs, the first community to be declared predator free.


John Burnet

John has been a founder member since 1996 and an active volunteer guide for many years. In 2002 he was recruited to manage the conversion of the Visitor Centre from a weekend to a seven day operation. He has recently retired from a project management career within the banking industry and is running an apiary consultancy and supply business having been a keen beekeeper for over 30 years.


Dr. Peter Gilberd

Dr. Peter Gilberd is a Wellington City Councillor, who holds the Natural Environment and City Science portfolios. He trained as a scientist, has a research and teaching background in physics, and has worked in research funding with the Royal Society Te Apārangi. At a practical level, Peter is a passionate grower and planter of native trees, determined to extend the halo right through the northern suburbs of Wellington, to Newlands.


Jim Lynch, QSM

Jim is the originator of the sanctuary concept and founder of the Trust in the early 1990s. He has wide experience of ecology and conservation management at a national level and in 2001 was awarded the QSM for services to conservation in Wellington.


Kevin Mason

Kevin is a foundation member and a foundation guide. He continues to be an active volunteer guide. He is also a long standing member of the Tararua tramping club, a past Rotarian, and has a passion for our natural heritage and the great outdoors. He is an IT architect, and has Post Graduate Diploma’s in Management and Marketing.


Dr. Nicola Nelson

Dr. Nicola Nelson is an academic at Victoria University of Wellington in the School of Biological Sciences. Her research involves conservation biology, in particular, of reptiles. She is a founding member of the Sanctuary and helped to manage the tuatara translocation from Stephens Island.