A love of the outdoors led to a new career direction for a Taranaki woman.
Rebecca Somerfield is the new general manager of Taranaki conservation initiative, Experience Purangi.
The organisation, which has its headquarters in Inglewood and operates under the East Taranaki Environment Trust, administers predator control over a 13,000ha conservation estate east of Inglewood.
This vital conservation work encouraged her to apply for the role, Rebecca says.
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Rebecca, her husband Mathew and their two young children recently moved to New Zealand after living in Adelaide for 12 years. The move was so Mathew could take up an opportunity to buy a business in New Plymouth and Rebecca, who is from Levin, started work for a chartered accountancy firm before deciding to apply for the role with Experience Purangi.
"Since moving to Taranaki we have just loved the amount of outdoor activity that is on offer in the region. My new career opportunity with Experience Purangi is an extension of this. I feel like I'm now part of a bigger picture with a vitally important aim - to help protect New Zealand's iconic native bird."
Experience Purangi has enjoyed notable success over the years, with the kiwi population in the estate increasing at about 9 per cent a year, compared with 2 per cent nationally. The estate is estimated to contain more than 4000 birds currently.
This isn't the only success story, with conservationists also successfully reintroducing the rare North Island kokako to the estate, with the latest survey results showing it is now breeding in the protected bush.
These success stories inspire her, Rebecca says, and she is excited by the challenge of ensuring these success stories continue.
"Somebody recently said to me that the staff and volunteers at Experience Purangi are doing their work for their grandchildren - in other words, securing the future of our native fauna and flora. The organisation has a clear direction and strategy and I'm delighted to now be part of it all."