About us

Predator Free 2050 Limited was formed in 30 November 2016 by the New Zealand Government via the Department of Conservation to realise New Zealand’s Predator Free 2050 goal.

The company invests around $5 million per year in large landscape projects and scientific research, and leverages new funding to rid New Zealand of the possums, rats and stoats which threaten its unique fauna and flora.

Predator Free 2050 Limited’s work is overseen by a Board of leading New Zealanders with governance, science, iwi, conservation, business, rural management and philanthropic backgrounds.

Large landscape projects are funded through an Expressions of Interest (EOI) and a Requests for Proposals (RFP) process.

Its current science strategy is focussed on achieving interim goals for 2025.

Predator Free 2050 Limited works closely with other parties in the Predator Free 2050 movement, including tangata whenua, the Department of Conservation, the Predator Free New Zealand Trust, New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, Zero Invasive Predators Ltd, Sanctuaries of New Zealand, regional councils and community groups.
Its work is supported by a small secretariat.


Board of Directors & CEO (from left to right): Devon McLean, Gary Lane, Sir Rob Fenwick, Arihia Bennett, Jane Taylor (Chair), Ed Chignell (CEO), Warren Parker, David MacLeod, Jeff Grant (Traci Houpapa unavailable at time of photo).









Jane Taylor is Chair of the Board of Predator Free 2050 Limited, as well as of Landcare Research Ltd and NZ Post. She has extensive public governance experience and understanding of science investment.

Sir Rob Fenwick Chair of the Predator Free NZ Trust, has a strong grasp of the strategic vision for the company and the Predator Free 2050 goal, with extensive business experience, conservation networks and understanding of science investment.

Jeff Grant Chair of OSPRI, has extensive governance experience in both public and private sectors and is also well connected to the agriculture and tourism sectors.

Gary Lane Brings practical experience of pest management, alongside related investment decision making. He has built his own sanctuary fence around the Wairakei golf course and Sanctuary.

Traci Houpapa Chair of Landcorp Farming Ltd and of W3 Wool Unleashed Primary Growth Partnership, with strong governance and business skills. She is also Chair of the Federation of Maori Authorities.

Warren Parker Chair of New Zealand Conservation Authority, and retiring Chief Executive of SCION, has proven science and conservation credentials and science, industry and conservation relationships.

David MacLeod Chair of Taranaki Regional Council, a Director for Fonterra and PKW Farms; a successful businessman, and has Iwi connections to Ngati Mutunga / Ngati Ruanui / Ngai Tahu / Ngati Porou.

Arihia Bennett Chief Executive of Ngai Tahu’s Runanga, has strong connections to Iwi, with a strategic and principled focus to deliver socially responsible outcomes.

Devon McLean is the Environmental Advisor to the Next Foundation and is a Board member of the New Zealand Biological Heritage National Science Challenge.



Respected businessman and conservationist Ed Chignell commenced as CEO of Predator Free 2050 Limited on 14 August 2017.

Ed co-founded Treescape New Zealand and spent 37 years as its CEO.

Ed is a qualified arborist, lifetime member of the NZ Arboriculture Association and recipient of the Ron Flook Award for services to arboriculture in New Zealand.

On appointment Board Chair Jane Taylor described Chignell as a passionate leader with strong commercial and strategic nous; perfect credentials to guide Predator Free 2050 Limited.

Project Manager: Science Strategy

Prof. Dan Tompkins leads Predator Free 2050’s science strategy and is on secondment from Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research.

Dan led the team which developed the interim 2025 research goal while Portfolio Leader for the Managing Invasive portfolio at Manaaki Whenua.

Dan is a Member of the New Zealand National IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Council and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Otago.

An ecologist and epidemiologist by training, with degrees from Cambridge University and the University of Oxford, Dan’s past research includes: developing novel high-tech approaches to pest control (including the ‘Trojan Female Technique’ approach to fertility control); understanding the interactions among species in the New Zealand mammal pest community; demonstrating the efficacy of oral BCG vaccination for TB control in brushtail possums; and demonstrating the role of shared diseases in native species declines (including the UK red squirrel).

Dan will help Predator Free 2050 Limited achieve its goals via the science strategy and expert advice on large landscape projects.

Communication & Business Support Manager

Tim Higham’s background in science and journalism has taken him around the world, to New Zealand’s most important sanctuary islands, Antarctica, Asia and Europe.

He has worked previously for the Hauraki Gulf Forum, Antarctica New Zealand, the United Nations Environment Programme and UN-backed Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and the Department of Conservation, creating successful communication approaches in complex, multi-party settings.

Tim will support the information provision, partnerships and fund raising necessary to realise New Zealand’s predator-free vision.

Finance & Business Analyst

Louis Nel comes to Predator Free 2050 Ltd after a stint with High Performance Sport NZ, supporting kiwi athletes to make a mark on the world stage.

His business and financial nous will be used to assess and strengthen projects across New Zealand and ensure Predator Free 2050 Limited’s investment and financial accountabilities are met.

Louis has a background in finance and accounting roles in the banking sector and is currently completing his Chartered Accountancy qualification.

Executive Assistant

Kath Mead (Ngāpuhi) has provided executive support and project management for some of New Zealand’s leading companies.

She worked for world-class agencies in the advertising industry in Auckland and London over two decades, then travelled the world again before returning home late 2016 in search of a new challenge.

Passionate about this country’s bush and beaches, Kath sees Predator Free 2050 Limited as a perfect opportunity to contribute.