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Alumnus in key role sowing seeds of revitalisation around Te Waihora

Environmental and eco-system restoration around Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) is benefitting from the energy, expertise and team leadership of Lincoln University alumnus Andrew Spanton (PG Dip Resource Studies, 2010).

Andy is a Senior Environmental Advisor for Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, with the bulk of his time allocated to the role of Biodiversity Workstream leader in the Whakaroa Te Waihora programme in which he is project managing riparian and wetland planting. In the balance of his time, he is a coordinator and evnironmental project manager for Te Waihora Management Board.

An old boy of Timaru Boys’ High School, Andy came into Lincoln University’s PG Dip Resource Studies programme after earlier careers which included working in sustainable management and the organics industry in the UK. On returning to Christchurch in 2000 he ran an organics shop in Opawa and Beckenham for eight years until he decided to take up postgraduate study in environmental management at Lincoln University (he holds his first degree from Canterbury University).

In his role as Environmental Advisor for Ngai Tahu Andy has been in the news recently supervising and project leading the planting of indigenous species in the Ahuriri Lagoon area. The Ahuriri Reserves near Motukarara (about 16kms from Lincoln University) cover the area that was once Ahuriri Lagoon, between Tai Tapu and Motukarara. The culturally important reserves contain wetlands of regional significance that are an integral part of the wider Te Waihora/

Lake Ellesmere ecosystem and are an internationally important wildlife habitat.

Andy describes his work  for Ngai Tahu as complex and challenging, but he loves it and says it is exciting and rewarding working with the land and stakeholders.