Lou Sanson

Former Director General, Department of Conversation

Lou is originally from Hokitika. He has had a 45-year career in conservation working at Forest Research Institute, NZ Forest Service as an Environmental Forester. He helped establish the new Department of Conservation in 1987 and eventually became Director General leading the entire agency from 2013 to 2021, He also ran New Zealand’s Antarctic Programme for 11 years as CEO of AntarcticaNZ.

His proudest achievements have been establishing Rakiura National Park , the NZ Subantarctic Islands World Heritage Area, the Fiordland Marine Reserves and doubling the resources to conservation as Director General.

He led the establishment of Predator Free NZ and the recent Jobs for Nature programme. He has been a key leader in strengthening relationships with Māori for conservation and involved in raising $100 million of new resources from commercial partners and philanthropy to restore NZ’s precious biodiversity and world leading management of visitors to conservation land. He has Chaired the World Park Leaders Forum for the last four years.

In Antarctica he helped establish the world’s largest marine protected area, oversaw Antarctica’s biggest ever climate change drilling project, upgraded Scott Base and led NZ’s efforts internationally within the Antarctic Treaty System.

Lou Sanson is one of NZ’s great nature storey tellers. He will take us through the stories behind New Zealand’s incredible nature and wildlife, some of them here millions of years before humans arrived to” Moas Ark -a land of birds”.

Through superb images he will present the case for New Zealand’s “moonshot”- A Predator Free New Zealand by 2050. This vision has excited thousands of New Zealanders, including fantastic representation from NZ Retirement Villages.

Wednesday, 24 August 2022, 9.15am

Aotearoa Ancient Antiquity - The Move Towards Predator Free New Zealand

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