Central North Island Sika Foundation 2021/22 Committee

President: John Cook
Secretary: Cam Speedy
Treasurer/Business/Finance/Sponsorship: Mike Clinch
Eastern Rep: Chris Crosse
Western Rep: Gary Harwood
General Rep: Mike Penn
General Rep: Josh Van Der Valk
NZDA Rep: Dustin Murdock
Women Hunter Rep: Kate Bryant
Conservation Board Rep: Kylie Simpson
Iwi Liaison Rep: Tom Loughlin
Game Management Technical Advisor: Dan Herries
Hunters & Habitats Rep: Allan Jackson

Project Leads:

Whio Recovery Project Coordinator: Josh Van Der Valk
Hut & Track Field Manager: Mike Main
Membership & Management Hunts Support: Mike Penn
Jaw Aging & Data Collection: Dustin Murdock

Our President John Cook has been dairy farming for 37 years and hails from Te Awamutu. He is a keen recreational hunter of deer and pigs. A councilor on NZ Game Animal Council, he is involved with CNISF to help ensure the sika herd is managed and preserved so that quality recreational hunting is alive and well for many years to come. Working alongside an awesome team and seeing the changes people with the same passion can make is second to none.
Cam Speedy is a freelance Wildlife Biologist based in the Central North Island with more than 30 years’ experience working on a range of both native and introduced wildlife. Cam’s first love is Sika deer and he has been involved in sika research most of his working life including habitat studies, herd dynamics, population monitoring and radio tracking work, with a number of published scientific papers and 100’s of magazine articles.
More about Cam…
Mike Clinch grew up in Hurricanes country and started hunting red deer in the Tararua’s in the early 1980’s. He has been hunting Sika deer since 1986 and in 1998 joined Hunters & Habitats Inc and then became actively involved in the annual Sika Show. In 2018 Mike was asked to join the Sika Foundation committee and with 35 years banking and finance experience, he has taken on the Business Manager role. Mike has two sons who grew up in the outdoors, both hunting and fishing since they were 5 years old and who have now both shot many Sika deer. After years hunting Mike is keen to work for the Sika Foundation to ensure the hunting opportunities continue for future generations.
Allan Jackson has worked in the Dairy and Deer industries all his life. While working for Agresearch as a Field Research Technician, he did Field Technology training at Lincoln University and found Ecology fascinating. It is an interest that continues today. Around 2000, he got involved with Jaw Aging. Allan sees it as a nice fit into his experience with Field Research, and passion for hunting. For nearly 22 years, he aged hundreds of jaws each year.
Kate Bryant was raised on a King Country sheep, beef and deer farm amongst a family of hunters. From the time she could walk and talk, she was tugging at Dad's coat tail and demanding he take her with him every time she saw him sling a gun over his shoulder. Her first big mission was a fly-in trip to the Oamaru when she was 6 years old. The following week, hanging out with her Dad, Grandad and twin sister in the Kaimanawa back country, was fuel to the fire of her hunting obsession and from then on, the fly in trips became their annual family holiday. Kate has since turned her passion for hunting and the outdoors into her profession, guiding big game hunts in Northern British Columbia as well as back here at Poronui, so it's fair to say that the Kaimanawas and the Sika deer hold a special place in her heart. She says she’s ready to give back to a place and herd that have taught her a lot of what she knows about hunting.
Tom Loughlin (Ngati Tuwharetoa- Ngapuhi/Te Rarawa) has been involved with game management for many years, in particular the wild herd of Sika that live in the immediate area where he hosts an exclusive tourism programme Kai Waho Aotearoa. The kaupapa that Tom follows is a simple kaupapa of sustainability, both in his tourism operation and the Sika herd that he has become Kaitiaki to. He is now in his ninth year following a kaupapa he is very passionate about.
Kylie Simpson's affinity with the Kaimanawa’s, its backcountry habitats, the inhabitants and Sika started as a 5 year old with the family’s first fly-in; it was the start of annual holidays within the Park; sparking an interest that lead to Kylie completing Environmental studies post-secondary school - this being put to beneficial use within Foundation's Whio Project and soon to be Conservation Trust. Passionate about species conservation and encouraging women to experience the outdoors and its recreational opportunities, Kylie says the Sika Foundation is a great platform for community engagement, welcoming members from all spectrums to be involved initiatives undertaken by the Foundation.
Passionate about protecting our valuable game animals and the right to hunt them for future generations, Gary sees the CNISF’s goal of establishing Sika as a Herd Of Special Interest as the logical step towards securing the future of this prized game animal and managing the environment for them to thrive in. He is an active member of the Foundation, and coordinates the Kaimanawa predator control project. Passionate about protecting our valuable game animals and the right to hunt them for future generations,
Dustin Murdock works as an electrical engineer when he's not out hunting or fishing. He grew up in Wisconsin, USA where game is plentiful and game management is common. Having "found" New Zealand over 15 years ago he appreciates the internationally unique game and natural environments NZ offers - and he believes both can be even better with improved management. Dustin is active in the local NZDA Hastings branch and supports the Kaweka Liaison Group. He believes there is plenty of scope to expand the momentum of the Sika Foundation in the Kawekas. And he is actively training as a jaw aging apprentice under Allan Jackson. At the end of the day there's nothing better than time in the hills, exploring new countryside, chasing mewing stags or shooting some prime sika meat to feed the family.
Fiona (Fi) Duley has hunted Sika since her first visit to Poronui Station in 1985. She is now part owner/director of NZ Hunter magazine and in 2012 in conjunction with her son Willie and husband Greg started the TV show NZ Hunter Adventures. When not stuck in the office, Fiona spends a fair bit of her time hunting, trapping or carrying out voluntary kiwi work in the Kawekas Ranges.
Dan Herries manages a large property on the eastern boundary of the Kaweka Forest Park. He now spends more time guiding other people on sika hunts, than hunting himself. Dan has studied sika for over 10 years in the Kaweka Forest Park and is the previous coordinator of the Kaweka Mountain Beech Project. Like Cam, Dan can't get enough of sika research. He conducted the sika satellite tracking study in Kaweka, population modelling, vegetation monitoring, deer density surveys and aerial deer control. Much of this work has been published in scientific papers. Dan has a passion for ensuring healthy sika can exist in the stunning mountains of the Central North Island.
Born in the heart of the Waikato, hunting was in Josh Van Der Valk's DNA. The first time he chased Sika was when he was 18. It had him hooked and he never looked back. In those days it was just about numbers but now there is so much more. Getting involved with management hunts and the Whio recovery project has shown the importance of managing what we have to Josh. He says he has been lucky enough to take over the running of the Whio recovery project where we get to get our hands dirty and make a difference.
Our hard work now will insure our kids will see the huge benefits and have this amazing resource for many years to come.
Waikato born and bred, Mike Penn has been keen on hunting/fishing and anything outdoors most of his life. He started pig hunting in the Coromandel at 11 years old with relatives, and he did his first deer stalking trip in 1994 when a friend introduced him to hunting deer in Pureora Forest. His first Sika trip was in 1996 and he has been hooked on and passionate about Sika ever since. He has enjoyed countless adventures with good mates in the hills chasing Sika and enjoying the habitat and other wildlife in the Kaimanawa’s and Kaweka’s. Mike is a huge advocate for conservation and his goal is to help the CNISF preserve and maintain balance for the Sika herd and native wildlife to thrive in the habitat they live in.
Nik Maxwell is the Editor/Creative Director of New Zealand Guns and the creator of the Sika Foundation brand. He has hunted sika for most of his hunting career (over 30 years hunting sika) and has all but covered the entire Kaimanawas and Kawekas in pursuit of them. Nik has has also created the Sika Hunting Tips & Info Series of articles and stunning images, with the primary objective to educate and motivate both new and experienced sika hunters what sika hunting has to offer, and just how significant the sika herd is.
Martine Pierhagen is a professional writer, digital strategist and and PR consultant based in Tauranga and Taupo. She runs Sweet Orange Copywriting & PR and takes care of the Foundation's press relationships, website, and social media platforms. Her background is in journalism, marketing and corporate communications. She has a passion for people and everything online,