Sir Geoffrey Palmer

Trust Patron
BA LLB JurDr (Chic) DHumLitt (Hofstra) PC KCMG AC

Sir Geoffrey Palmer has accomplished distinguished careers in both politics and law – elected MP in 1979; by 1984 Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney General, Minister of Justice, and Leader of the House of Representatives; in 1987 Minister for the Environment, in 1989 Prime Minister. Since retiring from politics in 1990, Sir Geoffrey has been Professor of Law at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand’s Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission and has carried out a number of other high profile legal assignments for the NZ government. As Prime Minister and Minister for the Environment, Sir Geoffrey was the architect of New Zealand’s Resource Management Act, an innovative piece of legislation accounting for environmental management and conservation requirements. Sir Geoffrey is an Honorary Companion of the Order of Australia and was bestowed with the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global 500 Roll of Honour.

Professor Steve Dawson

Steve Dawson is Professor Emeritus at the University of Otago. His research focusses on the ecology and conservation biology of dolphins and the acoustic behaviour (sonar and communication) in dolphins and sperm whales. Recent and current research projects include: development of affordable line-transect surveys for inshore dolphins, ecology and conservation biology of Hector’s dolphin, fine-scale habitat use of sperm whales at Kaikoura, tracking sperm whales underwater using hydrophone arrays, and long-term studies of bottlenose dolphins in Fiordland. A committed conservationist, Steve is active nationally and internationally in working to translate research results into sound management advice. Steve has authored over 100 published papers, chapters, books and unpublished reports, and another 30 or so articles in magazines and newspapers. He teaches marine mammalogy, marine conservation biology and marine ecology at Otago University.

Professor Liz Slooten

Liz Slooten is Professor Emeritus at the University of Otago. Her teaching has included courses in conservation biology, statistics for biology students, ecology, environmental science and marine mammal biology. Liz’s research focuses on population modeling and risk analysis, and gathering the data needed to put into population models and risk assessments (e.g. survival and reproductive rates, population size and movements). With her students Liz is working mainly on applied projects, assessing the effects of bycatch and tourism on marine mammal populations. Together with Steve Dawson, she received the Sir Charles Fleming award for outstanding achievement in environmental science from the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Lindsay McLachlan

Lindsay McLachlan is a Chartered Accountant and Business Consultant. He specialises in corporate financial advice and management services. Lindsay is director of a number of medium-sized private companies. He lectures part-time at the University of Otago on specialist financially oriented topics and has particular interest in environmental conservation.

Dr William Rayment

William is a whale and dolphin biologist working for Otago University. He has completed a PhD on Hector’s dolphin, a postdoc on right whales and is now lecturing at Otago University while continuing fieldwork on right whales and sperm whales.