Follow the Endangered Species Foundation's journey in setting up a conservation fund for New Zealand's rarest of the rare - critically endangered fauna and flora on the brink of extinction. The future of New Zealand's most vulnerable is uncertain - nearly 4,000 indigenous species are in danger of being lost. We we have a chance to pledge our commitment and support to protect our extraordinary species and unique habitats, now and into the future. We are committed to preserving the rarest of the rare, by funding results orientated conservation projects, with the support of New Zealanders like you.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

And Introducing

Working my way through our talented group of Trustees I would like to introduce Neil Thorsen - one of the powerhouses behind the early work of setting up the Endangered Species Foundation

Neil has held management roles with NZ Guardian Trust from 1968 to 1995 and has been Managing Director of Thorsen Gempton Consulting Ltd since 1996. Neil was instrumental in establishing the Wellington Region Community Foundation (now called the Nikau Foundation) and the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary Trust (now Zealandia). He chaired the New Zealand Association of Philanthropic Trusts (now Philanthropy New Zealand) for 5 years and has attended two US Council on Foundations conferences, in Washington and Puerto Rico.

Neil discussing the ESF with Tony Ryall MP
In Neil's words:
"I guess I was born to be a conservationist having a farmer for a father. I have been involved with the establishment of many charitable trusts and foundations during a lengthy career as a trustee consultant. The establishment of ESF, and being a trustee, has given me the most satisfaction, as I see it as being a foundation for the challenging times ahead, facing a growing list of endangered species.  I am prepared, in a very small way, to take up the late Professor Sir Paul Callaghan’s vision that this country could eventually become predator free.

Tao said almost 2,000 years ago:   

 “A tree that reaches past your embrace grows from one small seed.
A structure over nine stories high begins with a handful of earth.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”

This is why I see ESF as having the vision, capacity and drive to, at least, try to implement Sir Paul Callaghan’s dream that New Zealand should become predator free; thus protecting our endangered species. Conservationists have already taken many small steps. Let us increase the pace."

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