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 Deputy Chief Executive, Office of the Chief Executive, Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

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

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.  

Fleur Fitzsimons


Fleur Fitzsimons is a City Councillor for the Paekawakawa Southern Ward, a role she has held since 2017. Fleur is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and has practiced law for over ten years in Wellington. Fleur holds the Community Well-being and Housing portfolios at the Wellington City Council.

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 (WAZA) Council, Chair of the WAZA Ethics and Animal Welfare Committee and Chair of the WAZA Sustainability Sub- Committee.   She has previously been the President of the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia, Chair of Netball Wellington Centre and a member of the NZ Sustainable Business Council Advisory Committee. 

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.

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Chief Operating Officer

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 ZAA Ethics Committee, Daniel is dedicated to the practical application of animal welfare science and world leading animal care. Daniel is passionate about applying sound business strategy and techniques to create sustainable change for the Zoo as a social enterprise. 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. Prior to working with Wellington Zoo, Daniel had a fifteen-year career in the banking sector. 


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Director 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 was 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 and is an elected member on the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia )ZAA) Board.

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Director 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 starting as a Keeper across Herbivores, Carnivores and Reptiles for five years before moving into his current role. Chris brings his knowledge and experience from roading construction, construction site safety and asset management into his current role in the Zoo. Chris has a range of responsibilities 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.

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Chief Financial Officer

Susan Macdonald

Susan has been the Chief Financial Officer since 2005. Susan is responsible for the Corporate Services role for the Zoo which includes financial management of the Zoo’s operating and capital budgets and People and Culture operational requirements. Susan has played an instrumental role in helping the Zoo become a financially sustainable business. Susan is a Chartered Accountant. Prior to working with Wellington Zoo, Susan worked for Fonterra and the New Zealand Dairy Board for eight years.

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