Heritage in Safe Hands

The Trust and Park Staff

Te Mata Park is managed by a Board of Trustees, made up of eight voluntary members. Under the Trust Deed, the Board must include a male or female descendant of the original grantors, with the remaining seven being residents of Hawke’s Bay and including two councillors of Hastings District Council. One of the Trustees must also be a Mana Whenua Trustee as approved by Ngati Kahungunu.


The Vision of the Trust Board

Te Mata Park is a taonga tuku iho (heavenly gift), and an iconic feature of Hawke’s Bay. It will always be a place of cultural, scenic, recreational, scientific and educational significance for all New Zealanders.

The Trust will sustain, enhance, protect and maintain Te Mata Park’s outstanding natural features and open spaces.


The objectives of the Trust Board

  • To korero and strengthen our relationship with tangata whenua and weave the voice of Mana Whenua into the planning and policy making of Te Mata Park.
  • To enhance and expand Te Mata Park.
  • To understand the behaviours and preferences of park users, enabling sustainable and prudent management of the Park.
  • To build significant financial resources to enhance, protect and sustain Te Mata Park.
  • To nurture an environment for the recreational, spiritual, cultural and educational benefit of the public.

Our Current Board of Trustees

Mike Devonshire


Mike Devonshire

Following an early career in rural property management and investment banking, Mike established his own business consultancy in 2002 and has since worked with a wide range of clients providing transactional, strategic and governance advice.

Bruno Chambers

Brian (Bruno) Chambers

Bruno is a local farmer with land adjoining the Park. He is the great grandson of Thomas Mason Chambers, one of the original grantors of the Trust. Bruno is passionate about the Park and its surrounding environs and strongly supports environmental sustainability initiatives.

Ian Gold

Ian Gold

With over 30 years of business and commercial experience, Ian has an excellent understanding of land use and the mechanics of many primary production systems and a strong network of relationships across the rural sector.

Jonathan Hensman

Jonathan Hensman

Jonathan has enjoyed 34 years in education and 19 as Headmaster of two schools in Australia and New Zealand. Jonathan brings considerable governance experience to the Trust, having served on five boards, as well as mentoring and consulting to education executives, on performance and governance matters.

Michal Bate

Michael Bate

Michael is a lawyer with governance and commercial experience. Michael also has an interest in all practical things and landscape issues. Michael has a focus on Park maintenance and an enthusiasm for facilitating public use of the Park. Michael is currently also a board member at Hereworth School and a volunteer at Te Aranga Marae.

Malcom Dixon

Councillor Malcom Dixon

Malcolm is in his second term as a councillor representing the Hastings / Havelock North ward.  Malcolm has spent a career in education and retired in 2014 after spending his last twenty one years as the Principal of Frimley Primary School in Hastings. For the last six years he has been a Sport HB Board of Trustees member and is also a member of the HB District Health Board Consumer Council.

Bayden Barber

Councillor Bayden Barber

Bayden is married to Myra and lives in Waimārama with their children. Bayden served as the Waimārama Marae Committee Chairman from 2010 to 2016 and has led a number of initiatives including the development of the Waimārama Māori Language strategy in 2002, the provision of marae based health clinics in 2013 and the return of the Waingōngoro stream in 2015. He was elected to the HDC Rural Community Board in 2013, and as a Hastings District Councillor in 2016. Bayden is the current Chair of Health Hawke’s Bay and is a Trustee for the Māori Education Trust.

Waiora Rogers

Waiora Rogers has extensive governance experience, including serving on the Boards of Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga and Ngati Kahungunu Iwi and as Deputy Chair of Waipatu Marae. Prior to retirement, Waiora worked for over 36 years as an administrator in Rotorua, Greenslopes Private Hospital (Brisbane), Royston, Queen Elizabeth and HB Regional Hospital. She is an active participant in triathlons and marathons and an Ambassador (Wahine) for Iron Māori. Waiora is passionate about the wellbeing of Rongokako and brings both unique and complementary skills to the Board table.

Park Staff


Emma Buttle

A keen biker & hiker, Emma has been living in Hawke’s Bay for 15 years. With a background in communications and event management, Emma has worked for the Trust Board since 2017. Often found in the park with her two young children, Emma says, ‘’the park is special to so many people – it’s a privilege to be involved with the kaitiakitanga of this treasured landscape.’’

Emma Buttle


Catherine Mueller

Having moved to Hawke’s Bay when she was 7, Catherine has grown up adventuring in Te Mata Park. Returning to the region five years ago and with a passion for environmental education, Catherine is now supporting the Park in its fundraising endeavours.


Alex Tuffin

With a history of working in all aspects of forestry for the past 25 years, including forest establishment, Alex has a passion for forests and is excited to help Te Mata Park develop its full potential. When he’s not looking after the park’s forests, he can often be seen mountain biking in the park and visiting the Big Redwoods with his family and friends.

Alex Tuffin


Alex Clare

Alex has spent most of his life in Hawke’s Bay and loves the outdoors and native flora and fauna of the region. He has a background in horticulture and feels privileged to work in Te Mata Park because of its beauty, diverse environments, and the friendly park users he encounters daily.

Allex Clare