Elizabeth is a tech-savvy, campaign strategist with a penchant for big ideas. From on-the-ground activism to greening corporate financial assets, Elizabeth brings 10 years experience working in the social and environmental justice movement.
More about me
I come from a mixed-race indigenous background and was raised with strong, traditional conservation values. This has stood me in great stead throughout my career. I graduated in my homeland of Aotearoa/New Zealand with a degree in Environmental Science and Māori resource management. I tend to approach life as a vast, complex puzzle where everything is connected, silo’s scare me a little…
The most immediately noticeable thing about me is my strong kiwi accent. I grew up in Papakura, Auckland, New Zealand. No, I won’t say ‘deck’.
Why are forests important to me
In New Zealand, we affectionately refer to forests rather bluntly as ‘the bush’. The bush has always been a big part of my life. As a child I spent my summers running wild through our family lands and never understood the concept of forests as separate to people until I was older. My science education confirmed my understanding of this interconnectivity and human dependence on forest health. Back home you might hear elders counselling children “ko au te ngahere, ko te ngahere au”, which translates to “I am the forest, the forest is me”. This whakatauākī (proverb) is old but I believe it remains relevant, now more than ever.
I love working in an organisation with such an innovative approach and genuine commitment to hard line solutions. Climate change and environmental degradation is real and it is happening fast. Canopy’s collaborative, solutions-based focus is like a breath of fresh air because it achieves solid results that we can see on the forest floor and it’s doing so at a speed that gives me real hope for the future.
Ask me about…
Style and sustainability, cool online technologies or a post-capitalist future…
What ruffles my feathers
The treatment I see of indigenous peoples around the world. I get mad when I see how badly indigenous folks are so often treated when our rights conflict with business as usual.