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MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Chairperson Rick Liefting

Deputy Chairperson Hugh Leersnyder

Treasurer: Eric Verstappen

Members and Partners Liaison: Amy Robinson

National Coordinator: Hugh Leersnyder

National Coordinator: Dr Scott Stephens

Education & University Coordinator: Vacant

Website & Digest Coordinator: Jose Borerro

Website & Digest Coordinator: Renée Coutts

Coastal News Coordinator: Amy Robinson

Central Government Liaison: Sarah McRae

Central Government Liaison: Michael Nielsen

Coastal News Coordinator: Don Neale

Administrator & Communications Coordinator: Renée Coutts

Coastal News Editor: Shelly Biswell

Coastal News: Charles Hendtlass

Rick Liefting

Rick Liefting

Contact details

Chairperson

Email: rick.liefting@waikatoregion.govt.nz

Organisation website: www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/

Rick Liefting is the Senior Regional Hazards Advisor and has 10+ years experience in the coastal, fluvial and natural hazards fields. After completing his MSc from Waikato University, Rick spent five and a half years at NIWA (Hamilton) in the coastal Hydrodynamics/Physical groups and spent a lot of time diving and doing field work. Rick then enjoyed a one year stint as a coastal scientist at Environment Waikato, 8 years at Tonkin & Taylor and now back at Waikato Regional Council. Rick joined the management committee in 2005.

Outside of the coastal realm, Rick is a part time exercise instructor, enjoys motor sport and spending time with his family.

Hugh Leersnyder

Hugh Leersnyder

Contact details

Deputy Chair
National coordinator

Email: hugh.leersnyder@beca.com

Organisation website: www.beca.com

Hugh is an Environmental Scientist at Beca with over 30 years in applied resource management. He has an extensive science (biological and physical) and coastal planning background including a detailed knowledge of regional government resource management responsibilities. Hugh has participated in the NZCS since taking the role of manager Coastal Environment for the former Auckland Regional Council from 1993 to 2005. Hugh is an accredited RMA Commissioner and has been involved in a number of resource consent roles representing either the applicant or the regulator. He has a particular interest in the facilitation and coordination of a range of environmental specialists, ensuring integration across a number disciplines. Hugh is a keen sailor, fisherman and diver, spending as much time as he can by the sea!

Eric Verstappen

Eric Verstappen

Contact details

Treasurer

Email: eric.verstappen@tasman.govt.nz

Organisation website: www.tdc.govt.nz

Eric is a Resource Scientist (Rivers & Coast) with the Tasman District Council, a Unitary Authority blessed with wild rivers and superb coastline. Eric has been working in the regional govt sector since 1986, having graduated from the former Ministry of Works and Development.

Eric has specialist interests in river, coastal and flood hazard processes, investigations, assessment and management. He is particularly interested in furthering his knowledge and understanding of river and coastal systems and hazard risk with respect to the impacts and management of projected climate change on development. He champions the sustainable and holistic management of river and coastal environments, particularly with respect to hazard management and mitigation.

Amy Robinson

Amy Robinson

Contact details

Members and Partners Liaison

Email: amy.robinson@waikatoregion.govt.nz

Organisation website: www.waikatoregion.govt.nz

Amy is employed at Waikato Regional Council as the Coastal Team Leader within the regulatory group. Her main area of work is associated with coastal processes with an emphasis on the issues associated with coastal hazard management and erosion. Amy has also recently enjoyed a stint at Beca (Hamilton) as a Coastal Planner.

Amy studied Earth Sciences at the University of Waikato, majoring in physical coastal processes. She completed her master's degree in 2004 and her thesis investigated the interaction between heavy mineral placers, groundwater seepage and shoreface morphology at Muriwai Beach.

Amy enjoys the challenges of integrated coastal management and is passionate about preserving the natural character of New Zealand's coastline. She enjoys the diversity of the Waikato region's extensive and varied coast. Amy has been a member of the New Zealand Coastal Society since 2001.

Scott Stevens

Dr Scott Stephens

Contact details

National coordinator

Email: scott.stephens@niwa.co.nz

Organisation website: www.niwa.co.nz

Scott is a coastal scientist in the Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes group at NIWA. He is experienced in the areas of wave and sea-level time-series analysis and modelling, extreme-value and joint-probability statistical techniques, and hydrodynamic and particle-tracking modelling. Recently projects have applied these skills to derive sea-level hazards and map inundation zones resulting from multiple hazard drivers such as coinciding high storm tides and large waves. Out of the office Scott coaches junior soccer and tennis, and enjoys fly-fishing and kayaking.

Vacant

Contact details

Education & University Coordinator

Jose Borrero

Jose Borrero

Contact details

Website & Digest Coordinator

Email: jose@ecoast.co.nz

Organisation website: www.ecoast.co.nz

Jose earned a Ph.D. in Coastal Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles in 2002 and worked as a Post-Doc and Research Professor before coming to New Zealand in 2006 to join the team at ASR Ltd. in Raglan. Jose's background is in civil and environmental engineering with an emphasis on water resources and specialised in numerical modelling. He is particularly interested in tsunami hydrodynamics and the coastal effects of tsunamis. Other research interests include coastal processes, sediment transport, wave breaking and design of erosion control and beach protection structures and schemes as well as laboratory physical modelling.

Jose is keen to participate in the NZCS management committee because it is a great way to become involved in the process of coastal management and to help out with the organization of important events such as the annual Coastal Society meeting and the Coasts and Ports Conference when it is held in New Zealand.

Don Neale

Don Neale

Contact details

Coastal News Coordinator

Organisation website: www.doc.govt.nz

Don is a Technical Advisor in the Department of Conservation Marine Ecosystems Team. He has worked for the Department in Hokitika since 1987, in the fields of marine ecology and coastal management. He has an MSc in Coastal Geography (with some Ecology) from Canterbury University, and has developed a broad interest in the natural environment in general. His works ranges throughout New Zealand with topics as diverse as coastal hazards, estuarine ecology, marine protected areas, whale strandings and seaweed taxonomy. In his spare time, he is a keen advocate for Hokitika and the West Coast, and he gets involved in hockey, drama, art, the great outdoors and huhu grubs.

Renee Foster

Renee Coutts

Contact details

Website & Digest Coordinator
Administrator & Communications Coordinator

Email: nzcoastalsociety@gmail.com

Renee has recently completed her MSc degree at the University of Waikato. Her thesis focused on the physical shoreline change and beach rotation of Pauanui and Tairua Beaches, with regards to changes in wave climate due to the presence of offshore islands. Renee's interest in all things coastal has developed from a young age with hobbies including scuba diving, boating and fishing. She joined the Management Committee in 2012 as co-ordinator and is enjoying taking on the new role. Currently she has taken up position at Waipa District Council gaining local government experience in preparation to move into the coastal sector.

Sarah McRae

Contact details

Central Government Liaison

Email: smcrae@doc.govt.nz

Organisation website: www.doc.govt.nz

Michael Nielsen

Michael Nielsen

Contact details

Central Government Liaison

Email: michael.nielsen@mpi.govt.nz

Organisation website: www.mpi.govt.nz

Michael works as an Aquaculture Analyst for the Aquaculture Unit of the Ministry for Primary Industries. After completing a Bachelor of Planning from The University of Auckland, he spent five years working as a planner for MWH in Whangarei and Dunedin prior to joining the Aquaculture Unit when it was established in 2010. Michael joined the management committee in 2013.

Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, and is an avid follower of NBA basketball.

Shelly Biswell

Contact details

Coastal News Editor

Email: shelly@biswell.net

Charles Hendtlass

Contact details

Coastal News