Eden Project NZ Trust

Following two years of bringing together like-minded people and ideas, Eden Project NZ Trust was established in 2014. The Trust was created to establish and maintain an education and social enterprise facility in which our relationship with the natural environment is explored and celebrated, and where we can change the way we think and interact with our environment for the better.

This includes the promotion of the study and appreciation of our natural environment, and ecological processes; mans’ relationship with the environment; Tangata Whenua and their spiritual association with land and water; restoration of natural habitat to enhance mahinga kai; ecosystem services (supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural) and their values within New Zealand and the global environment; and the preservation and protection of New Zealand’s natural waterways and biota therein.



The Trustees are passionate about Eden Project NZ for a range of reasons that reflect their personal backgrounds and expertise – from bringing tourism back to Christchurch to bolster the local economy; providing a key social enterprise for locals; improving ecological values along the river, and to better integrate the environment into our everyday lives.

Eden Project Trustees - Martin Hadlee
Martin Hadlee – Chairperson

A Fellow Chartered Accountant, Martin is currently Principal Consultant to his management services company and been involved in the Accounting profession in excess of 40 years. He has held a number of directorships and trusteeships for private and not for profit organisations and continues to maintain a significant level of activity for community based organisations. His involvements in public life have included community social services organisations, the arts, museums and heritage organisations as well as tourism and Canterbury development agencies.

The project encapsulates many of Martin's varied interests and involvements and encouraged him to become directly involved in finding a way to rebuild the fabric of the city, to stimulate tourism and employment and at the same time promote the interests of science, education and the overall development of the city and region.

Eden Project Trustees - Ray Sleeman
Ray Sleeman

Ray has more than 30 years experience of working in the arts, recreation and tourism sectors in both the UK and New Zealand as a manager and consultant, including positions as Director of the Christchurch Arts Centre and General Manager of the Christchurch Town Hall. Ray helped to set up and manage the Tourism & Leisure Consulting Group for Deloitte in New Zealand. Until recently Ray was Director of the Tourism & Leisure Group, a tourism and leisure management consulting organisation. TLG undertook tourism feasibility and planning studies across New Zealand.

Following the earthquakes it became clear that Christchurch lacked the quality of attractions to rebuild the city as a strong visitor destination. Ray had visited The Eden Project in Cornwall a number of times and immediately saw that a similar visitor and social enterprise project in Christchurch could be a game changer for the city and set about putting a team of people together to bring the idea to fruition. The need to rebuild Christchurch’s position as a major visitor destination is a key driver for Ray’s involvement with this project.

Eden Project Trustees - David Simmons
David Simmons

David is Professor of Tourism and Principal Research Strategist at Lincoln University. At the University where he has worked for 38 years he is the founding member of the tourism group and the initiator of tourism education and research programmes. He has worked for UN agencies in Niue, Mauritius, Vanuatu and North Korea, and WWF in India and Nepal and Cambodia. Throughout his career he has maintained a strong focus on the development and management of New Zealand as a tourism destination by being an active participant in all national tourism strategies and on the national tourism2025, and Christchurch and Canterbury Visitor strategy writing teams.

Having been born in Christchurch, where he has worked the major of his professional career, the Eden New Zealand project (and Trust) provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to give back to the place he knows as home. This opportunity to bring together his interests in tourism planning, research and education in a cultural context provide the ideal vehicle to give back to the people of Christchurch while providing a pathway to a more sustainable future.

Eden Project Trustees - Andrew Collow
Andrew Collow

Andrew has 35 years experience as a Consulting Engineer in NZ and overseas. In this time he has held leading management roles in the delivery of major environmental, recreation and community facilities. These include the Basin Reserve and Westpac Stadium in Wellington and Eden Park in Auckland. He is a former Executive Director of Beca and continues to consult to Beca. Andrew is a Trustee of the Home of Cycling Trust in Cambridge. This Trust planned, funded, developed, and now operates the $30M Velodrome for Bike NZ and High Performance Sport NZ. He has also lead the delivery of major infrastructure projects ranging from irrigation projects to water and wastewater treatment plants, several of which have been delivered under Public-Private Partnerships.


Eden Project Trustees - Shelley McMurtrie
Shelley McMurtrie

Shelley McMurtrie is an Aquatic Ecology Scientist with two decades of studying aquatic (freshwater and estuary) ecosystems. In addition to managing the science team at her company EOS Ecology, she has been the ecology lead in key waterway restoration programmes that have formed a core part of the Christchurch city rebuild following the devastating Canterbury earthquakes, has led long-term monitoring programmes and ecological investigations, and authored and edited guiding documents for the restoration and management of urban waterways.

Committed not only to taking science into the world’s wild places but also to communicating science to the wider public, Shelley successfully coordinated the largest multi-disiplinary expedition to our remote Campbell Island (www.campbellisland.org.nz), where she also studied the little-described and plentiful aquatic environments on this remote World Heritage system and developed the first taxonomic identification keys for the island’s aquatic invertebrates. More recently she has led the Whaka Īnaka : Causing Whitebait programme (www.facebook.com/whakainaka) – the largest-scale initiative of its kind to not only provide spawning habitat for īnaka, but to link local communities with this natural treasure in their own city’s ‘back yard’ and change the way they think about how to care for riverbanks in īnaka spawning areas.

Shelley is passionate about our natural environments and waterways, and in the role that we as humans play as kaitiaki (guardians) of these systems.

Eden Project UK

The Eden Trust in the UK exists to connect people to each other and the living world. It is an educational charity and a social enterprise, founded in 1996. Since opening the Eden Project in 2001, more than 19 million visitors have visited Eden in Cornwall. Eden Project UK aims to engage as many people as possible in the wonder of the living world, our dependence on it and the threats that it faces. Eden excites, engages and stimulate its visitors through the combination of world class architecture, jaw-dropping scale, serious scientific content, fantastic horticulture, thought-provoking art and stunning events.

Now the Eden Project is looking to develop programmes of engagement beyond Cornwall, and to partner with others in developing new Eden Project destinations around the world. The intent is to reproduce the success of the UK destination to transform new locations: environmentally, socially and economically. These new destinations, such as Eden Project NZ, will further the purpose of our mission, each a world-class exponent of one facet of our programme, whilst showcasing elements of each other centre from our network.