Our team and friends

ECOED is a registered charitable trust and, accordingly, most of our team are volunteers.

The Governance Board is made up of volunteers who are independent and do not represent their organisations. In addition, our Deed of Incorporation requires at least one teacher trustee to ensure our educational link is strong.


ECOED is a lean organisation, with one partly-funded position of an Administrator, Deb Harrington whose tasks include managing the administration, pest control and caretaking for the Kiwi Crèche at Lake Opouahi Scenic Reserve.  


Management of our kiwi programme is carried out in partnership with the Department of Conservation and expert technical advice from Massey University, Department of Conservation and Kiwi Encounter.


The support of iwi and the local communities of Puketitiri and Tutira continue to be invaluable. Volunteers donate over 4,500 hours annually to meet the operational demands of our programmes. This level of commitment is essential to our success.


Deb Harrington (Administrator)


Deb was recruited as a volunteer in 2011 after taking early retirement from her banking career. Most weeks she is in the Kawekas tracking down kiwi for health checks, raiding nest and training new volunteers. Occasionally she recruits husband David to come along – he’s keen to help when a kiwi is in a tricky location. Deb also keeps the heath check / transmitter change calendar up to date and occasionally has to fly over the Kawekas in a fixed wing aircraft to track down wayward juvenile kiwi.

She took over the Administrator role in 2020.



volunteer Deb P1290387.jpg



Phil Kay

Phil Kay is a teacher at a Napier Secondary School. He has had a long association with Education Outside the Classroom in Hawkes Bay.


After completing his teacher training in Auckland and having a brief stint teaching he completed a Diploma and Parks and Recreation at Lincoln University, before spending 3 years as the resident teacher at the Guthrie-Smith Outdoor Education Centre. It was then back to the classroom at Colenso High School where he established a range of outdoor education programmes across all year levels.

His EOTC philosophy is simply one that EOTC activities have the potential to deliver many aspects of the school curriculum and develop a student’s sense of place.

Phil has sat on the national executives for Education Outdoors New Zealand (EONZ) and Outdoors New Zealand (ONZ).  He has also held NZOIA Instructor Awards in Kayak 1 and Bush 1. Phil made considerable contributions to the Safety Management Resource for Secondary Schools, Totally Outdoors and Outdoor 1 during his time with EONZ and ONZ.

In past years Phil has taught dozens of Hawke's Bay students to white-water kayak with many going on to win Secondary School National Championships and represent New Zealand internationally.

Time in the outdoors these days is usually spent walking and sailing. Phil is married to Sue and they have three grown up children.

These days his role is mainly in the Administration and Safety Management of the Outdoor Programmes delivered at William Colenso College. He brings a vast range of experience, knowledge and personal practice of Education Outside the Classroom to ECOED.

New trustees are currently being appointed after one of the key trustees, Brian Pritchard passed away in June 2018. Brian worked for Pan Pac Forest Ltd for several decades until his retirement in 2017. He was a key member of setting up the Kiwi Creche at Lake Opouahi Scenic Reserve. ECOED would not have achieved so much without his dedication to the Trust and considerable input.


Volunteers are the main stay of operations in the field. Being bush savvy is vital. Most volunteers have extensive bush and navigational experience through tramping, hunting or search and rescue.  


If you think you’ve got what it takes contact us.

Meet some of our key volunteers:

Cherrie and Graeme

Cherrie and Graeme have been involved since the start of the project in 2002. They have put thousands of hours into tracking Kawekas kiwi for heath checks, data gathering, nests raids and predator trapping.


Graeme, an engineer by trade, is also the project computer whizz; he has masses of valuable kiwi data collated. Cherrie spends Tuesdays scrambling around the kiwi crèche catching kiwi chicks for health checks, training new volunteers and giving visitor talks – the rest of the week she’s busy in her hair salon.  


Graeme and Cherrie also trained their dog Holly to track kiwi – she is a valuable asset to the group having found 10 new kiwi on her travels.


Robyn and Barrie

Since 2015 Robyn has been helping Deb in the Kawekas. Robyn is blessed with long arms – a great asset for nest raids in deep burrows! Robyn’s partner Barrie helps to keep the Kaweka trapping network running smoothly.


Sue has been volunteering at the Kiwi Creche since 2011 with occasional forays to help out the Kaweka team. Sue fits transmitter to the young kiwi chicks before delivering them up to the creche - often late into the night. You will find her back up at the crèche on Tuesdays for chick health checks, visitor talks and training new volunteers. Sue’s pretty adept at crawling through blackberry and previous experience in electronics is helpful with fixing broken tracking aerials.

Anne C

Anne C retired from teaching in 2013. She now juggles assisting the Kaweka team and kiwi creche work with overseas trips and family commitments.

Ann J

Ann J has been a committed volunteer at the Kiwi Creche since 2014 even though she lives a two hour drive away. Ann finds kiwi work a welcome break from house renovations.


Les, a volunteer at kiwi creche since 2015, is still in training. She has to juggle shift work as a midwife with helping at the crèche.


Simon, a volunteer since 2015, helps out with health checks and nest raids in the Kawekas when his work commitments allow.


Fiona joined in 2017. She has spent many years hunting deer with her husband and sons. Under Deb’s tutelage she’s now putting those skills to work hunting kiwi.  


ECOED can’t save kiwi without the help from some experts behind the scenes. Here are some of the organisations we work with to make it happen.


ECOED’s achievements have only been made possible because of a team of friends and supporters that helps to keep us financially afloat, turn our dreams into reality and help get the message out.

This year we were grateful for contributions from:

  • Cobden Garden B&B

  • Department of Conservation

  • East Kaweka Helicopters

  • Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

  • HB Blue Light and Birthright HB

  • Kiwis for Kiwi Trust

  • Napier I-Site

  • Pan Pac Forest Products Ltd


Past operations (including the construction of Kiwi Creche) were supported by the following groups:

  • Andrew Whitney Design

  • Bank of New Zealand

  • Birdwood Gallery 

  • BP

  • Community Conservation Fund

  • Department of Conservation

  • Eastern & Central Community Trust

  • Ed (Empire Design)

  • Endeavour Community Trust

  • Farmlands Trading Society Ltd

  • Flaxpod

  • Hawke's Bay Protein

  • Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

  • HB Audit

  • Heather Thurston

  • Infinity Foundation

  • Kiwis for Kiwi Trust

  • Landcorp Farming Ltd

  • M A Wolstencroft Charitable Trust

  • Markhams

  • Ministry of Health

  • Nature Heritage Fund

  • NZ Post

  • Pan Pac Forest Products Ltd

  • Porter Hire 

  • Pub Charity

  • Rainbow Springs Kiwi Encounter

  • Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society

  • Sport Hawke’s Bay

  • Strata Group

  • Waipawa Timber Supplies Ltd

  • Williams & Kettle