Our Trust Board


Craig Ellison


Craig’s career has been in the seafood sector and in economic development, particularly within the Māori economy. He has a strong interest in animal welfare, and his engagement with Wellington Zoo sees a return to his academic roots as Craig has a MSc in zoology. Meeting the challenges of governance and safety within the Zoo is a challenge he is enjoying.


Raewyn Bleakley


Raewyn joined the Wellington Zoo Trust Board in December 2014 and became Deputy Board Chair in 2017. She was Chief Executive of Business Central and Wellington Employers' Chamber of Commerce, Chief Executive of the Bus and Coach Association and Rental Vehicle Association, and is currently the General Manager, Governance, Stakeholders and Communications at the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Raewyn has a strong commitment to make a difference in the Wellington region and contribute to conservation outcomes.

Peter Gilberd


Peter Gilberd, City Scientist, is the Wellington City Council representative on the Trust Board. Peter has the Natural Environment portfolio on Council, which brings him into contact with animals – through his oversight of Council’s Domestic Animal and Dog policies, through his membership of Zealandia Guardiancy and his work with the Zoo.

For somebody who has always had animals as part of his family, and is a conservationist, these positions are a dream. 

Until being elected to Council, Peter worked as a scientist, most recently managing The Marsden Fund at the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Michael Potts


A graduate in History from the University of Sydney, Michael Potts joined the Australian diplomatic service in 1972. Michael was Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand from July 2012 to February 2016. He was also accredited to Cook Islands and Niue.

Prior to that, Michael was Australian Ambassador to Austria and Australian Permanent Representative to the UN Agencies in Vienna from August 2009 to July 2012. From Vienna, he was also accredited to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, Slovenia, Kosovo and Ukraine and to the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Michael retired from the Australian Public Service in July 2016.

Benjamin Bateman


Ben is a practising lawyer specialising in international law. He has represented New Zealand’s interests at various international engagement activities throughout Asia Pacific, North America, the Middle East and Europe, providing legal advice on a range of complex international and commercial matters.

Ben has a strong interest in the environment and sustainability, with a Bachelor of Science from University of Canterbury. A proud Wellingtonian, Ben is passionate about intergenerational stewardship through corporate governance, and enhancing community assets for future generations.

Nina Welanyk Brown


Nina holds a Commerce degree in economics and accounting, and has worked in the banking industry as well as owning her own successful business.

Nina has extensive experience in the not for profit sector, strategic planning and stakeholder engagement. She is very actively involved in the Wellington community on a volunteer basis, helping organisations gain financial knowledge and understanding in order to effect change in their environment.

Wellington Zoo has always been special to her, being the place that sparked her children’s love for animals on their many visits when they were young.  

Strategic Management Team

Chief Executive

Karen Fifield MNZM

Karen has been the Chief Executive of Wellington Zoo since 2006 and is a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit MNZM for Business and Animal Welfare.  Karen is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums Animal Welfare Committee, the NZ IUCN Committee, the NZ Sustainable Business Council Advisory Board, the Newtown Festival Board, NZ Head and Neck Cancer Foundation Board and Chair of Netball Wellington Centre Board.

Karen won the 2009 HER Business Wellington award for outstanding business leadership and sustainability and the 2010 HER Business NZ National award for outstanding business leadership. Karen was 2010 Wellingtonian of the Year in the Environment category. Karen was a finalist in both the 2014 and 2015 Westpac/Fairfax Media NZ Women of Influence Awards in the Social Enterprise category and the Board and Management category respectively.

Chief Financial Officer

Susan Macdonald

Susan has played an instrumental role in helping the Zoo become a financially sustainable business. Susan has a strategic overview of the Zoo and has been an integral part of the team rolling out the Zoo’s ten year capital development. Susan is a Chartered Accountant. Prior to working with Wellington Zoo, Susan worked for Fonterra and the New Zealand Dairy Board for eight years.

General Manager Animal Care and Science

Daniel Warsaw

Daniel has a passion for saving wildlife and wild places and he is particularly interested in the isolated island ecologies of both New Zealand and Madagascar. Daniel is both a Board member and Treasurer of the Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group (MFG) one of Wellington Zoo’s conservation partners, helping to protect the rich biodiversity of eastern Madagascar. A member of the Zoo’s Animal Welfare Committee, Daniel is dedicated to the practical application of animal welfare science and world leading animal care. In 2015 Daniel was a finalist for New Zealand Young Executive of the Year and he has a Master of Business Administration (MBA, First Class Honours) from Massey University. In his previous role with the Zoo, as General Manager Business and Partnerships, Daniel helped to transform the Zoo’s commercial operations and re-focus the revenue/business model through a social enterprise lens. Prior to working with Wellington Zoo, Daniel had a fifteen-year career in the banking sector. 

General Manager Communication, Experience and Conservation

Amy Hughes

After starting at Wellington Zoo as Marketing and Communications Advisor in 2005, Amy has worked in various roles at Wellington Zoo covering learning, visitor experience, marketing and conservation and sustainability. She has overseen the experiential transformation of the Zoo over the last ten years alongside the physical development of the Zoo Capital Programme, of which Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha is the last stage. She was a Finalist for Wellingtonian of the Year 2014 – Education. Amy is the regional representative for Australia and New Zealand on the International Zoo Educators Board of Directors.

General Manager Safety, Assets & Sustainability

Chris Jerram

Chris is responsible for the Asset Management, Maintenance, Health & Safety and Environmental Sustainability across all areas of the Zoo. Chris has worked at Wellington Zoo since 2011 as a Keeper across Herbivores, Carnivores and Reptiles for five years. Chris brings his knowledge and experience in roading construction and asset management through his previous work with WSP Opus in London, UK and DownerNZ in Nelson into his current role in the Zoo. Chris has a range of responsibilities across the Zoo, from managing maintenance planning, capital development coordination, contract management and strategic development of the Asset Management Plan and Health & Safety action plan at Wellington Zoo. Chris values maintaining strong working relationships with the Zoo’s contractors and consultants and uses his experience and knowledge as a Keeper to deliver projects with positive outcomes for the Zoo’s staff, our visitors and the animals in our care.