Advocates for the Tongariro River Committee


Gary Brown

President, member since 2011

Gary’s family has an association that has lasted over a half century with the Lake Taupo fishery and he has had a life-long interest in hunting and fishing. Gary’s prime focus as a committee member is therefore the state of the fishery and monitoring the effectiveness of the Department of Conservation’s Taupo Sports Fishery Plan.
Gary lives in New Plymouth and is a retired architect.


Warren Butterworth

Vice President, member since 2014

Vice President from 2015, Warren is a lawyer and part time farmer. He has fished the Tongariro and surrounding streams for more than 40 years and been a member of TALTAC for most of that time.
Warren lives in Auckland and is a board member of two substantial charitable trusts and of many private companies.


Carl Bergstrom

Committee member

Carl has been a regular visitor to Turangi and the surrounding area for over 35 years, and first learnt to fly fish on the Tongariro River. Now retired after a corporate career, he has more time for fishing, and is passionate about preserving this pristine and world renowned river so that future generations may enjoy it too.


Tim Castle

Member since 2016

Tim, a Wellington Barrister was elected to the committee in 2016. His home is in Wellington but he has a keen interest in the area and a holiday home for some years in Waitetoko.
Tim has studied Te Reo Maori and culture since the 1990’s and has worked closely with iwi through his legal work.
He does not profess to being more than a keen learner angler.


Virginia Church

Member since 2011

Virginia’s 2001 Petition to Parliament on the plight of the Tongariro, was supported by 602 signatures. This, and the Submission based on that Petition that was presented in 2002 to the Parliamentary Select Committee for Local Government and the Environment, was the catalyst for formation of the Advocates as an incorporated society.
After living in Australia, Virginia and her family have returned to Turangi where they have very close hapu associations with local iwi.


Sam Coxhead

Member since 2014

Sam has been coming to Turangi for the last 20 odd years. He is a keen angler, who relishes any time he can spend on the river. 
Sam and his large young family now have a home in Turangi. It has become more important for him to help with the responsibilities of looking after the river. 

Sam wants to help ensure that the fishery, and river environment as a whole, is looked after so the future generations are able to enjoy all it has to offer.


Mike Forret

Member since 2017

Mike Forret has been a keen angler for more than twenty years. He enjoys coming to the Tongariro and Turangi whenever he can and is very supportive of the Advocates aims.
Mike retired from the University of Waikato in 2016 where he worked in science and technology education for over twenty years. His main involvement with the Advocates has been provision, maintenance and support of the Advocates' website and membership database through his web services company iConcept Enterprises Ltd.


Richard Kemp

Member since 2002

A Wellingtonian, Richard has been coming to Turangi to fish all his life - as has his father before him and his son after him. He has a passion for the fishery and a particular interest in its sustainability.
Richard served as Vice-President from 2006-2010 and has been the Advocate’s legal advisor throughout. He is the current Advocate’s representative on the Taupo Fishery Advisory Committee.
As a lawyer, Richard’s networks have been invaluable in helping to profile the Advocates and successfully source funds from philanthropic sources.


Alisdair Keucke

Member since 2018

Alisdair Keucke retired to Turangi from Auckland in 2015 after a career in manufacturing and electrical engineering. The third generation of an old Raetihi family he recalls holidaying as a child in one of the only two bachs in Kuratau in the 1950’s. His father was a keen fly fisherman. Alisdair describes himself as a mere beginner.
Alisdair always had a keen interest in the environment and is primarily interested in the conservation of the Tongariro River and its environs. He had 10 years’ experience co-chairing Auckland’s Little Shoal Bay Action Committee, which resulted in North Shore City Council buying back reserve land sold to developers, to preserve it as a reserve and protected wetland.


John Martin

Member since 2018

John is the strategic advisor to The Whiskey Project Group (Aust), Ltd, an independent director on the board of Statistics New Zealand, the Executive Director of the New Zealand Ocean Foundation, sits on various groups including the leadership assessment panel for Blake NZ and the editorial board of the RNZN Professional Journal.
He consults on governance and strategy to government agencies and coaches senior leaders.


Julian Proctor

Member since 2018

My father fished the Taupo area in the late 1940's after returning to NZ and started me fishing there in 1954 and built a house in Turangi in 1960. I have fished all of the rivers in the Taupo area and most of the stream mouths but my love has always been the Tongariro river.
I have been a member of TALTAC since I started fishing in Turangi and am now a committee member of the Advocates.
I love all types of fishing and still do a lot of shooting.
I retired in 2016 and now spend as much time as possible in Turangi.

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John Toogood

Treasurer, Member since 2005

John and his family have been coming to the area and enjoying the Tongariro for over five decades. A keen environmentalist at heart, John has led the Advocates’ campaign to ‘bring back the bush’ and rid the river environs of wilding pines and other weeds. His work, supported by Eric Wilson and former Committee member Marja ter Haar, was recognised in 2010 when the Advocates received Environment Waikato’s Weedbusters’ Award.
John runs his own business in Wellington and his commercial skills are of benefit to the Advocates also, especially with regards to marketing.


Eric Wilson

Secretary, since 2005

Eric was a community appointee to Waikato Regional Council’s Lake Taupo Liaison Zone Committee until it ceased as a committee late 2019, and a key local liaison person within the Turangi community.
Eric has been a local Turangi resident for the past 45 years and is a former Principal of Tongariro High School.
Eric enjoys the outdoor environment of the wider Tongariro Catchment.

Updated March 2023