• simon gomez 2

    I was born in Rangiora, I am Ngai Tahu and my ancestors are from  Rakiura. I was raised on the Island as my family moved there when I was four years old. I am part of the Island and the Island is part of me. I left Rakiura to gain an education when I was 13, although I returned for all my holidays, and did so for some time into my working life, until I was living and working overseas.  I have worked at corporate and international levels and currently live in Palmerston North as my occupation in the radio industry (for the past 30 years) has led me there.  I travel to the island once or twice a year and plan to move back to the south island and maintain a residence on Rakiura in the next few years.  My wife and I have recently built a home in Cromwell and will move South in the next few months to be closer to Rakiura and our whanau, this move will make it easier to have a more active involvement with Rakiura and RMLT.

    My goal is to improve communication between the beneficial Land owners and The Trust, to work within the established  mission and values of  RMLT for as long as I can, with an open mind and a collegial attitude.

    Simon Gomez is a Contract Media Sales Consultant based in Cromwell.

  • Eliza Snelgar

    Ka tangi te titi
    Ka tangi te kaka
    Ka tangi hoki ahau

    As the Sooty Shearwater voices its presence
    As the parrot voices its presence
    So too do I!

    Tuatahi, e mihi ana ki a to tātou matua-nui-i-te-rangi, nāna nei ngā mea kātoa.
    Tuarua, e tangi ana ki te hunga wairua, kua whetūrangitia.
    Tuatoru, ka hoki mai ki te hunga ora e kaha nei te tiaki į o tātou taonga tuku iho.
    Tēnā tātou kātoa.

    First, I acknowledge our creator, from whom all things orginate.

    Second, I remember and acknowledge all who have passed on

    Third, I come back to us all here today, those who work to ensure the treasures we have inherited live on for generations to come.

    Greetings to us all

    My name is Eliza Sophie Snelgar, eldest daughter of Alexander Fraser Wakefield and Ruiha Kake Wakefield. I am married to Denis & we have 3 adult children, 7 mokopuna and 2 great mokopuna. I am a Company Directory working in area of Maori Health, Chairperson of two Maori Land Trusts with whenua on Rakiura and actively involved in whenua management and Marae in Tai Tokerau.

    Rakiura Trust is entrusted with a significant number of assets that have commercial, social and cultural performance drivers requiring strong effective governance. I am keenly aware of the challenges and opportunities we face as Maori and Trustees today, and believe that a skilled team pulling together on the one waka is critical for success.  I am inspired by the stories and taonga left to us by our tipuna and grateful for the opportunity to make a positive difference now and for our mokopuna into the future.


  • Dick Ryan

    The first ever meeting of the S.I.L.N.A land owners  took place in the very early 80s at the Waitaha Maori hall in Barrow street Bluff. It was under my Chairmanship as I had been voted in as the first ever to hold this position along with Maui Fife who had been elected as the first ever secretary.. Some highlights along the way have been the Court battle with Ngai Tahu for control of our ninety odd blocks on Stewart Island their main concern was that we did not have the ability or the infrastructure to be able to administrate the land. Like the large portion of the owners it is my love of the land that first drew me to offer my support in some capacity within the group. My present position as a Trustee and also as the past Chairman are two positions I hold very dearly and with great respect. I am always available to answer any questions the owners may wish to ask regarding the running of the Trust. The Trust at the moment is going through a period of change of which I am playing a major role hopefully we can come out the other end with smiles on our faces. In summing up it is always in our minds to do the very best we can  for and on behalf of the Owners.

    Kia kaha

  • Richard Manning Cropped

    I recall my introduction to the Rakiura Maori Lands Trust vividly. I attended the 1997 AGM of the Trust in Bluff at the request of my uncle. I had been to a few hostile meetings at Arowhenua over the years but the Bluff meeting took some beating. Allegations and resignations were part of the atmosphere that day. Before I knew it, I was a trustee, and began a journey that has given me some wonderful experiences. My forebears to Rakiura were of Rapawai Hapu descent, stemming from two sisters, Te Mahana and Kukuwhero. Later, cousins marrying cousins (could hardly have been a coincidence. My Tipuna’s carefully laid plans of interweaving lineages’ of Ruapuki, Rakiura and Arowhenua bloodlines were slowly being conceived, one presumes to safeguard their lands and their rights to Mahanga Kai (Titi). In life we are all blessed with individual qualities, the challenge to being successful is harnessing those qualities and molding a cohesive team that aspires to a common vision.  The Trust in part has achieved significant milestones towards establishing a launching platform for their future growth. I am happy to have been a part of this and serving the Trust by providing diligence and judgment through my business experience.  

    Richard is a Company Director and advisor to the fishing industry. He travels extensively to international trade shows and has commercial interests in the manufacture of marine products for F&B and retail.

  • Leon Fife

    My connection to Rakiura is through my paternal grandparents: my grandfather, Charles Rattray Fife was born at Te Oneke (“The Neck”) and his grandfather, Hohaia Poheahea was a well-known identity at Port Adventure. I am a beneficial owner in two sections of land at Lords River: Block IX, section 4 and Block x, section 4 and have been a RMLT trustee since 2008.

    My main focus within RMLT has been land management and in particular, pest eradication and land restoration. One of my recent responsibilities has been to represent the Trust on the governance group of the “Predator Free Rakiura” initiative which is looking at the feasibility of making Rakiura completely predator free. I encourage you to visit the website of this group to get information about the initiative: http://predatorfreestewartisland.org.nz/  I have seen first-hand the damage being done by pests on the island and believe we have a great opportunity to stop the devastation and restore the forests to what they were before the pests were introduced.

    I am currently Head of Biology at Avonside Girls High School where I have taught for many years. As well as my responsibility in biology I am also the school’s Specialist Classroom Teacher which involves taking a lead role in teacher mentoring and professional development.

  • Jill Skerrett 3

    My name is Jill Skerrett and I am very proud and excited to be one of the candidates voted on the RMLT board at the recent AGM.  My grandparents were George and Lylla Skerrett.
    I live on Rakiura and am one of the owners of the Four Square Supermarket.  My son is my partner in the business. I live with my partner Richard and have three sons. The three of them and there respective partners all live on the island. I also have 2 lovely moko who give me lots of pleasure on my days off.  I have lived on the island for 13 years, but I also lived on the island from 1974 - 81.  I feel lucky in life to live in such a beautiful part of New Zealand.  I am committed to caring for the owners interests and believe in honesty and transparency.  I believe having a representative on the island is very important to an active involvement on the island. 

    I look forward to the challenges facing the board and look forward to working with them all.

  • t nixon

    I am a former Trustee and was instrumental in  the  Lord River Settlement. I  have spent a considerable  amount of time on Stewart Island  especially around the Neck, Port Adventure, Lords River and Pegasus.  My father Robin Campbell was born on Stewart Island and our family have been regular mutton birders. 

    I have spent the last 16 years in Wellington in a number of senior roles in Government. I also own a PR company CQR Communications Ltd – a successful  PR and business consulting company with a good reputation.

    For three years, post the Christchurch Earthquake I was seconded to the Canterbury  Earthquake Recovery Authority  (CERA where I held various roles.  The most notable being chief of staff for 30 communications staff  across  11  projects with a combined value of over a billion dollars.  I was also part of the stand alone Christchurch Central Development Units  (CCDU) Senior Management team.

    I have had a varied career, as a journalist, talk back host, adult educator, prison social worker, injury prevention consultant,  communications manager and contractor on many large and varied projects.

    Specialties are communications, risk and reputation management. Sector  experience includes, poultry and egg industries, biosecurity , forestry, fisheries and IT.  

    I am also currently involved at a governance level in two major regional projects aimed at increasing prosperity including broadband and  new residents attraction programme.  

    I have one son Matthew who is a helicopter pilot.