The New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa (NZGB) is made up of 10 members.

The Surveyor-General (a statutory officer within LINZ) is Chairperson (ex-officio) of the New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa (NZGB), which comprises nine other members appointed under the New Zealand Geographic Board (Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa) Act 2008.

The NZGB's secretariat is located within LINZ and provides the NZGB with administrative support, research assistance and advice.

Members are nominated or recommended by:


Photo of selected NZGB members
Board members (left to right): Shaun Barnett, Jenni Vernon, Gary Shane Te Ruki, Professor Merata Kawharu, Anselm Haanen, Chanel Clarke, Adam Greenland, Bonita Bigham, Robin Kearns
  • Anselm Haanen, Surveyor-General, Chairperson
    Anselm is a licensed cadastral surveyor, with a Master of Surveying from Otago University. His 40 year career with LINZ and its predecessor departments has provided opportunities in geospatial research and development, setting surveying and addressing standards, establishing electoral boundaries as a member of the Representation Commission, and providing technical advice on LINZ’s future Automated Survey and Titles System.  Anselm has managed the regulatory work of the Office of the Surveyor-General for the national geodetic and cadastral survey systems since 2014.
  • Shaun Barnett – nominated by Federated Mountain Clubs (FMC)
    Shaun is a freelance writer and photographer from Wellington, and the author of several books about tramping and backcountry history. He studied zoology at Massey University and parks, recreation and tourism at Lincoln University, before working as a Department of Conservation officer for several years. He served nine years on the executive of the Federated Mountain Clubs, and subsequently worked as editor of the FMC Bulletin/Backcountry for 10 years. Shaun has tramped extensively throughout New Zealand.
  • Jenni Vernon – nominated by the Minister for Land Information
    Jenni is a trained primary school teacher, holds a Masters in Environmental Management, and is an accredited Resource Management Act Hearings Commissioner. Jenni served 12 years on the Waikato Regional Council, holding the position of Chair from 2004-2007. Jenni formerly lead the Strategic Planning and Resource Management team at Waikato District Council.
  • Gary Shane Te Ruki – nominated by the Minister for Māori Development
    He toki, he puna kōrero hoki nō te riu o Waipā, nō Te Rohe Pōtae. Shane is a descendant of the Tainui peoples of Ngāti Unu and Ngāti Kahu, of Ngāti Maniapoto and Waikato descent. He is also a descendant of Ngāti Porou of the East Cape. He is an orator, the inheritor of a rich tapestry of narratives from Te Rohe Pōtae (The King Country). As a younger man he was privileged to have been in the company of highly esteemed orators and repositories of oral tribal traditions and accounts. He has a passion and expertise in mātauranga Māori – traditional Māori knowledge system and its uses and contributions in the modern and future contexts. This has provided him with a distinctively different perspective which is much needed in an ever evolving Aotearoa New Zealand and one that has served him, and the organisations that he has worked with, well in his roles past and present. Kāti au i konei.
  • Robin Kearns – nominated by the New Zealand Geographical Society Inc
    Robin is a Professor of Geography in the School of Environment at the University of Auckland. He is a social and cultural geographer who is widely published on the links between health and places and has influenced the development of the subdiscipline known as health geography. He has also published on the politics of place naming and the links between naming and identity. His most recent edited book is on the influence of water on wellbeing. Robin’s passions include tramping, poetry, popular music and New Zealand fauna and flora.
  • Chanel Clarke – nominated by the Minister for Māori Development
    Chanel descends from Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Porou and Waikato-Tainui iwi. She has over 20 years’ experience in the Museums and Cultural Heritage sector and is currently Curator Māori at Auckland Museum.  Chanel is a graduate of Waikato and Massey Universities with degrees in History and Museum Studies.  She also teaches in the Museums and Cultural Heritage Programme at the University of Auckland.  Chanel has served terms on local government funding committees, held executive membership on the Board of Museums Aotearoa and undertaken advisory roles to National Services Te Paerangi.  She is currently a Trustee on the Auckland Girls Grammar School Foundation and was a previous Chair of Ngāti Rangi Ahuwhenua Trust.
  • Adam Greenland – National Hydrographer at LINZ
    Adam is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He holds a Merchant Navy Deck Officer Certificate of Competency and a tertiary qualification in Hydrographic Surveying and Mapping Sciences. He heads the delegation that represents New Zealand on the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) Hydrographic Commission of Antarctica and the South West Pacific Regional Hydrographic Commission. Adam is also a Board member of the International Board of Standards of Competence.
  • Professor Merata Kawharu, NZOM – nominated by the Minister for Land Information
    Merata has written extensively on cultural heritage, museum governance and Māori development, the Treaty of Waitangi, land use and tenure, and the Resource Management Act. She has been a member of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and its Māori Heritage Council, and has worked as a consultant to UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre in Paris. Merata was awarded an NZOM for services to Māori education. She is currently the Director of the James Henare Māori Research Centre at Auckland University.
  • Bonita Bigham - nominated by Local Government New Zealand
    Bonita is an uri of Ngāruahine and Te Atiawa iwi and has lived most of her life in Taranaki. A former three-term South Taranaki District councillor and current community board member, Bonita also chairs Te Maruata, the national collective of Māori elected or appointed to governance roles within the local government sector. She sits on Local Government New Zealand’s National Council and other LGNZ committees. Bonita is an accredited RMA commissioner, has completed her Masters in Fine Arts, will finish a Masters in Māori Visual Arts in 2020 and intends to go on to doctoral study. She is also an appointee to the Oranga Marae Committee and was a trustee for Ngāruahine through their settlement process. Bonita has been a trustee on school boards, community organisations, marae and hapū committees and currently works for Ngāruahine within iwi relationships. She is a weaver, painter, sculptor and instillation artist and has a general passion for the visual arts.
  • Paulette Tamati-Elliffe - nominated by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu
Last Updated: 5 November 2020