New announcement. Learn more

About Us

About Trees for Survival Charitable Trust

Ko au te whenua, ko te whenua ko au
I am the land, the land is me.

Trees for Survival Charitable Trust works with over 200 schools and local communities across Aotearoa New Zealand to grow and plant native trees along waterways and at risk sites.

Our environmental education programme provides an opportunity for schoolchildren to make a practical difference to their environment as well as learn about conservation, revegetation, wetland restoration and protecting stream quality.

Meet the team

The Trees for Survival team is a collective of passionate individuals.

Head Office

Phil Lyons

National Manager

About me

Having joined Trees for Survival in November 2022, I am excited to be part of the Team and looking forward to working with our communities throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. My career to date has provided me with experience in Public, Private and Not for Profit Sectors.

Having spent the last 10 years working in Organisations that deliver social and ecological impact, the Trees for Survival Kaupapa is a natural fit both personally and professionally for me.

We are delivering a legacy for future generations and as such we:

  • Are blessed with a whanau of dedicated and passionate partners, contractors, suppliers, supporters, and individuals.

  • Share a Kaupapa that is vitally important for our land, waterways, biodiversity, and communities, both present and future.

  • Are dependent upon productive partnerships, locally, regionally, and nationally.

  • I feel very fortunate to be involved in such important mahi and look forward to seeing our programme grow nationwide.

Sally Clegg

Programme Manager, Auckland & Waikato Facilitator

About me

I have always had an interest in trees, both planting and growing my own trees from collected seeds. I have been involved in community plantings through Landcare and helped plant many local sites. Having worked as a teacher for most of my life, I enjoy communicating with children and seeing them learn so much through this programme. Working with people to enrich this programme both through sponsorship and implementing new ideas is very rewarding, as is being part of such a dedicated and passionate team.

Mark Adamson

Logistics co-ordinator

About me

Mark returned to work with TfS as logistics co-ordinator after a break in 2020. Mark has a long history of working in social enterprise and charitable organisation. He says: “I am very pleased to return to TfS and look forward to be able to help introduce this great programme into schools".

Janine Henwood

Administrator & BOP Facilitator

About me

I discovered my passion for NZ Natives through volunteering whilst studying towards a BSc Geography at the University of Auckland. After working overseas in the Middle East and Africa, I did my MSc in Sustainability & Environmental Studies in Scotland. I have been with TfS since 2018 and absolutely love seeing thousands of kids plant native trees every year.

Kathryn Bourne

Administration & Marketing Coordinator, Waikato Facilitator

About me

I have a background in Landscape Architecture and am a passionate gardener who enjoys tramping and being outdoors. I am excited that through Trees for Survival I can connect to a wide range of individuals and groups across my community while advocating environmental education and children's involvement in the outdoors and getting their hands dirty.

Marian Jones

Operations Coordinator
Auckland & Waikato Facilitator

About me

I love working outdoors with plants and with people and with Trees for Survival I get to enjoy both. Previously I trained at the Auckland Botanic Gardens, and have since taught horticulture, botany, herb growing and environmental education, to both adults and children. It's great to see these children proudly planting the trees they have raised and to hear them talk about how much they look forward to watching them grow.

Kate de Groot

Programme Coordinator Auckland

About me

Kate is passionate about children, their learning potential and hands on experiences that bring about rich learning opportunities. She comes to the Auckland Regional coordinator role after being a SENCO and spending the last 8 years in education focussed on enabling how children learn.

After a diverse journey of running a business and consulting, reconnecting with Trees for Survival is a little bit like a coming home. She first worked with Trees for Survival from 1998 to 2000 after completing her training in Natural Resource Management at Massey University.

She is looking forward to working alongside our schools, sponsors and landowners to continue the great work of an incredible environmentally conscious community that makes Trees for Survival the successful program it is today 30 years on from inception.

Gail Allende

Propagation Coordinator    

About me

Gail has a love of nature and enjoys sharing outdoor experiences with children and adults who participate in the Trees for Survival programme. Gail has seen many positive environmental outcomes from her years of planting at-risk sites.


Northland | Auckland

Kate Davies

Northland Facilitator

About me

Kia ora, I’m Kate and I am lucky enough to call Whangārei Heads home.  My husband, our two girls and I, enjoy the surf, native forest and maunga in our backyard. I have spent many years working with young people as an outdoor instructor, running school camps, teaching scuba diving, kayaking, skiing and snowboarding. I have also been a food technology teacher in intermediate school and I am currently a classroom teacher.  My love of the outdoors has naturally led to a passion for caring for our environment.  Being a facilitator with Trees for Survival is a dream role for me combining conservation and education. I’m excited to see kids out their getting their hands into the soil

Frankie Hofland

North Auckland & Northland Facilitator

About me

I have been involved with Trees for Survival since 2015 after being so delighted with being the recipient of TfS plantings on our coastal property north of Auckland. I have been completely hooked ever since. I work with our TfS schools from Auckland city to Wellsford. I particularly enjoy working with our young environmentalists growing the native trees to maturity in readiness for our yearly planting days that are so rewarding for students, sponsors and landowners. The programme offers so many important learnings in ecology, environment and humanity. I feel very fortunate to be involved in such important work and seeing our expanding revegetation projects grow..

Lynda Wyllie

Central Auckland Facilitator

About me

Lynda has been involved with Trees for Survival for more than 15 years. Initially as National Manager for the TFS Trust and more recently working with 15 TFS Auckland Schools as a Facilitator for Auckland Council.

Linzi Hughes

Eastern Auckland Facilitator

About me

Linzi joined the team in 2019 as a Field Officer and planting day coordinator and works with 12 schools in the South East Auckland area. She has a background in Agricultural science and a passion for encouraging people to enjoy, appreciate and care for the natural environment.

Paula Marx

South Auckland Facilitator

About me

Kia ora tātou and greetings,

It is a privilege to be a TfS facilitator and to contribute to the amazing legacy work that is being created. I have long been passionate about the environment and try to live sustainably, so it is a pleasure to work with children and rangatahi in the hope that I can pass on even the smallest piece of knowledge or inspiration that they will take into their lives.

I have a background in marketing and teaching and have been involved with a number of environmental groups, with a particular focus on predator trapping. I enjoy tramping, swimming, cycling and the great outdoors in general.

I feel very fortunate to be part of this like minded community... schools, facilitators, landowners and sponsors and look forward to watching our environment and community flourish.

Sarah Franklin-Browne

South Auckland Facilitator

About me

I come with a wealth of knowledge working with children, having been a primary school teacher for the past 20 + years and a Lead Enviro Teacher at several schools.  I have also worked as a Educator at the Auckland Botanic Gardens. I am a passionate advocate for sustainability in schools and enjoy getting outdoors and experiencing nature.  I enjoy provide experiential learning opportunities for students and adults to connect nature with a head, heart and hands approach to inspire action. 

Deb Ross

West Auckland Facilitator

About me

Kia Ora,  I am the new facilitator for the West Auckland area. After retiring from midwifery 2 years ago I followed my passion into gardening, working as an assistant gardener for a local Dahlia farmer.  I am a mother to 2 gorgeous sons Matt and Chris, a  Yaya to Riley and wife to Craig,  as well as a keen gardener, hobbiest bee keeper and crafter.  I am delighted and looking forward to working with Trees for Survival, alongside our tamariki and local schools helping to nurture and protect our precious environment.


Halle Aish

Hamilton Facilitator

About me

Hi! My name is Halle and I’m one of the newer facilitators at Trees for Survival, working with some of the schools in the Waikato region. I am currently studying full time at the University of Waikato towards a conjoint degree of environmental science and music composition. I have been involved with a number of different volunteer environmental organizations before TfS and I believe environmental restoration is all about getting out there and being a part of the work. I hope to inspire kids to have passion for the environment and encourage teens to get involved with environmental projects and consider looking at careers in the environmental sector.

Jayne Nightingale

Coromandel Facilitator

About me

I have a Diploma of Horticulture and worked as a Biosecurity Officer so especially interested in the removal of pest and weed species from our fragile ecosystems. So to be involved in Trees for Survival is an exciting opportunity to work with our young New Zealanders to help them to learn and actively participate in restoring an environment for our native flora and wildlife to flourish.

Viv & Tim Cruickshank

Thames/Hauraki Facilitators

About us

Kia ora tātou, we have been university trained in Horticulture, Biology/Mycology and Entomological systems. Years in the practical world of commercial Horticulture in NZ and overseas, broadened and deepened our life process understandings. The last 20 years planting/evolving and living surrounded by the Coromandel Bush has helped to give perspective on where we need to put our energies. Trees for survival helps us bring nature and hope to the next generation of kaitiaki.

Rachel Thompson

Taupo Facilitator

About me

Kia ora. I'm Rachel Thompson and I live in beautiful Taupō with my family. In 2020, after almost twenty years working as a teacher, I took on the role of lead education coordinator for Kids Greening Taupō. I currently work with every school and many ECE centres in Taupō, educating about restoring biodiversity through restoration planting and predator control. I am excited to now be working with TFS too. The two roles work hand in hand to involve the next generation in authentic restoration work. We're creating the kaitiaki of the future, today!

Bay of Plenty

Ailie Rundle

Tauranga/ Western Bay of Plenty Facilitator

About me

Ailie has a passion for plants in all their forms and functions, getting kids muddy in the outdoors and connecting communities. She has a background in horticulture, design and environmental education. She is excited to grow the Trees for Survival program and help school pupils to learn while enhancing our bush, rivers and harbours.

Bobbianne Hughes

Eastern Bay of Plenty Facilitator

About me

Bobbianne is a mother and an educator passionate and committed to inspiring and connecting the next generation with te taiao. She was raised locally and spent a lot of time in the bush, giving her broad māutauranga o te ngahere. Bobbianne enjoys connecting people, particularly young people, to the environment through mauri enhancement activities and the exercise of kaitiakitanga. She brings a wealth of mātauranga accumulated over years of voluntary work in kaitiakitanga of the forest, ecological biodiversity, and mauri enhancement across the Bay of Plenty.

Adrienne Smith

Rotorua Facilitator

About me

I am a local primary school teacher who has had a lifelong passion for our ngahere and all of  the flora and fauna that interconnect to form a healthy and thriving forest system. My passion for trees in particular has deepened through my experiences with volunteering for, and being a trustee of, a local community conservation trust.
As an educator, I aim to deepen curiosities and ignite lifelong
passions for te taiao.
My goal is to support students to develop a meaningful love and
respect for the environment around them. This role provides a
wonderful opportunity for me to combine my two passions - conservation and education. How lucky am I!

Jake Andersen

Tauranga Facilitator

About me

Tēnā koutou 
Nō Tauranga Moana ahau and I am a passionate advocate for learning about and restoring NZ's unique habitats & biodiversity. A Diploma in Environmental Management, Bachelor of Teaching and working together with some incredible local schools and restoration projects over the past 7 years has led to many memorable moments in this field for me. Getting stuck into restoration with our students and community? There's no place I'd rather be!


Vicky Rawlinson

Taranaki Facilitator

About me

I hail from a farming background and prior to farming was an educational officer with the NZ Police.

Planting native trees annually on our farm has been a fulfilling undertaking of mine, and through Trees for Survival I am excited to be able to combine this passion with connecting once again with youth and the community


South Taranaki Facilitator

Gisborne Te Tairawhiti

Ele Rogers

Gisborne Te Tairawhiti Facilitator

About me

Kia ora, I am the new facilitator in Te Tairawhiti. I have a background in Biological and Ecological Sciences. My previous employment has been with local native revegetation companies and working with local high school trade academy students. I love working outdoors and engaging with our local community and restoring our unique environment. I can't wait to see what experiences are to come working with Trees For Survival.

Patron + Board of Trustees

Ruud Kleinpaste

Trees for Survival Patron

About me

Ruud has been involved in conservation work since the 1970’s. Ever since then, he has been bringing attention to environmental causes and contributed to the protection of native birds and insects through various TV and Radio shows. He is also known as “the Bugman”.

Gary Langford

Board Chair

About me

Gary was District Governor 2019-2020 for Rotary District 9920, a member of Rotary Club of Auckland East and a past member of the Rotary Club of Onehunga. Formerly a Trustee of the Predator Free New Zealand Trust and involved in conservation projects. Recently retired as CEO of Eagle Technology Group Limited. Previously held senior leadership roles in Public and Government organisations. A Chartered Accountant and retired Fellow of the Institute of Secretaries. Gary has a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Victoria University of Wellington and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Programme. Gary is married to Jan and lives in Auckland. They have two adult children and a grandson.

Avy Judelson


About me

In September 2020 Avy was appointed Secretary of Trees for Survival, following retirement from a legal career as a Barrister and Solicitor specialising in civil litigation and insurance.  She is honoured to help TFS promote its valuable mission of helping the environment while educating children.  Avy is also a member of the Dress for Success Board and, pre-Covid, was actively involved with Rotary Reading Recovery at a local low decile primary school. She is an avid pool and open water swimmer and competitor. She is married to John, and they have two adult children and a grandson.

Colin Wilson


About me

Colin is a Chartered Accountant and has been a partner at RSM New Zealand since 1990. He was a Charter member of the Rotary Club of Parnell, held the Treasurer role for many years and was the Club President in 2019. He is also a Past President of the Parnell Community Trust and also held the role as Treasurer of the Three Kings Football Club for 8 years. Colin is married to Debra and they have 3 Adult Children. The family enjoy golf, time at the beach, cycling and travelling throughout NZ.

Bill Boyd


About me

Bill Boyd was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013 after earlier being awarded the Queen’s Service Order for his community service activities. He was President of Rotary International in 2006/2007, being the second New Zealander to achieve this position, and chaired the Rotary Foundation Trustees in 2011/2012, serving for six years as a Trustee. He has been associated with Trees for Survival since its beginning and has been chair on several occasions. He is also a Trustee of two other Rotary-established Trusts. He managed New Zealand’s major magazine distributor until his retirement and subsequently has held many senior Rotary positions.

Peter Taylor

Board member

About me

Peter is a trained mechanical engineer, working at the DSIR and Fletchers before starting his own roll forming company in 1983.

He has been a Rotarian since 1984 and was President of the Rotary Club of Pakuranga in 1991-92. Being a strong believer in conservation, Peter has remained with the Trees for Survival programme since its inception, and his company provides the manager with office space.

Ted van Arkel

Board member

About me

Ted has been a Rotarian since 1983 – joining the Rotary Club of Panmure and then at a later stage joined the Rotary Club of Parnell when Chartered in 1994. He has been a Club President in both Clubs and was instrumental in forming the Annual Parnell Rotary/Countdown Golf Day in 2002- which has raised $2m over the years for the Auckland Alzheimer Organization. Ted started his working career in Retailing and retired as Managing Director of Progressive Enterprises Ltd. (now Countdown) in 2004. Since then he has been a Professional Director for the last 17 years and has been on the Board of a number of Public and Private Companies during that time. Ted is married to Wendy and have 2 Adult Children, as well as four Grand-children. All of the Family enjoy spending time at the beach house at Langs Beach and travelling in NZ or overseas.

Gary Key

Board member

About me

Gary is the Rotary Club of St Johns Co President and has been with the Club for 30 years. He is a retired Businessman and Investor.

Peter Buchanan

Board member

About me

Peter is a fungal scientist (mycologist) working in Auckland for Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, a Crown Research Institute. He is also Science Team Leader for 35 science staff studying Aotearoa NZ’s fungal, bacterial, plant and invertebrate biodiversity. Staff also manage five national collections and databases of these organisms, in which are held specimens and records from throughout the country as from Pacific Island nations. Peter is active in engaging public in biodiversity awareness through assisting establishment of BioBlitz events in 2004 and annual NZ Fungal Forays in 1986. Peter encourages school students to understand fungal ecology and traditional uses, while also advocating for conservation of our threatened fungi.  He leads the Environment & Science Committee at St Johns Rotary.

Dennis Waller

Board member

About me

Bio to come

Noel Holyoake

Trees for Survival Founder

We are sad to note that Noel Holyoake, the Trees for Survival Founder and Patron passed away on Saturday 4th March 2023, aged 91. Noel’s foresight and vision 33 years ago led to the founding of the Trees for Survival Charitable Trust.

In the Rotary Year 89/90, Noel became the District Governor for Auckland and the Pacific Islands. During this time Noel had the opportunity to observe many different Rotary Projects. A key focus for Rotary that year was how to preserve planet Earth. The potential of growing trees from seedlings in plant-growing units with school children excited Noel as it involved our youth and the very essential need for trees and the greening of Mother Earth.

With great support from the Rotary Club of Pakuranga, Noel created the team that developed the Trees for Survival programme in New Zealand. The aim of the programme was for children to grow native seedlings to plant on unstable land, to prevent erosion and improve stream flow and water quality, increase native biodiversity and offset carbon emissions. It was also recognized that growing and caring for native trees had significant educational outcomes.

By 2002, with 100 schools participating, some 350,000 trees had been grown and planted by school students and their communities – the value of the programme was established and the positive environmental impact clearly demonstrated. Funding for the programme came from community groups, especially Rotary Clubs, local businesses or schools themselves.

By 2010, students celebrated the achievement of a remarkable milestone by planting the one millionth tree within the programme. Since 2010, Trees for Survival impact has continued to be significant with a projected total of 2,031,000 plants since Trees for Survival’s inception.

Today, Trees for Survival has over 200 Schools participating in both the North and South Islands. School students learn horticultural skills together with an appreciation of native trees and their role in maintaining healthy environments. Parents and the wider community welcome the opportunity to become involved as volunteers by helping students and their teachers to grow plants or assisting on planting days. Trees for Survival is a genuine community partnership.

In 2023 Trees for Survival will plant 140,000 native plants on erosion prone land and along our waterways – a true testament to Noel’s inspirational legacy, which has taught thousands of children to grow, nurture and plant millions of native trees to protect our waterways and the environment.

Noel will be missed by the Team here at Trees for Survival and our heartfelt condolences go out to Noel’s wife Betty and his family.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Trees for Survival.

Rest in peace Noel

From the TFS family.

Principal Partners

We are incredibly thankful to our Principal Partners whose generous support ensures we can bring Trees for Survival to more schools, educating more students, and planting more trees than ever before!

Trees for Survival is a Rotary initiated project, originally established by the Rotary Club of Pakuranga in 1991.
We are thrilled to receive ongoing support from numerous Rotary Clubs with club members regularly helping at our planting days.


This product has been added to your cart