Meet the Team
The management team all volunteer their time towards the operation of GFNZ, planning and coordination of events, diver training, public education, and of course, getting their hands dirty with dive and shore clean ups to remove rubbish and protect marine life.
President | Founder | Dive Crew | Video Producer
Rob is the owner of Frontline Photography (an award winning photographer with specialities in astro/nightscapes and underwater), and he is the definition of a diving addict. Rob was one of the youngest divers to certify in New Zealand and since then, he has developed a passion for anything diving related.
Rob was the founder of Ghost Fishing NZ and has been involved in and managed clean-up dives around Wellington for almost 15 years. GFNZ is Rob’s passion and his motivation is the driving force behind the successful events which GFNZ lay claim.
Vice President | Dive Team Leader
Secretary | Shore Team Leader | Dive Crew
Matt has been passionate about wildlife and conservation since he can remember. Having a background in administration, management and conservation science, Matt is enthusiastic to do his part to make the oceans clean whether it be in SCUBA gear, running the shore side or writing up GFNZ management meeting notes. In his spare time, you will find him either exploring Wellington’s underwater world, invasive mammal predator trapping, travelling or spending time with his family.
Eddie van Halen Howard
Training & Education | De-critter Team Leader
Eddie is the team marine-guru. His fascination with the marine realm started early, with keen interest in anything that has more than two legs and lives in the ocean, much to the ‘joy’ of his mother.
Eddie joined the GFNZ team in 2016 and brings a unique element to the organisation because of his involvement with the Island Bay Marine Education Centre – one of the primary collaborators with GFNZ. He grew up around the ocean with plenty of summers spent at the beach, which helped to fuel a passion for the ocean that he has taken him through volunteering at NIWA in the Invertebrate Collection and Island Bay Marine Education Centre, completing a science degree and majoring in Marine Biology, and now employed full-time by the Island Bay Marine Education Centre as one of their marine educators.
You will find him elbows deep in mud and critters or behind the tanks sharing his enthusiasm.
Club Captain | Dive Marshall | Dive Crew
Health & Safety Coordinator | Dive Crew
Memberships | Oxygen Provider | Shore Crew
Website | Dive Crew | Videographer
Mahalia is a keen diver, who completed her PADI Open Water certification in 2013 and has enjoyed exploring the waters locally, as well as abroad.
After returning to New Zealand from living overseas, Mahalia learned about what Rob Wilson was up to with Ghost Fishing NZ and was eager to get involved. She attended her first clean up at the NIWA Rock Wall in 2017, helping out on the shore, and since then has joined the dive crew and sits on the committee. Mahalia redesigned the GFNZ website and contributes to the video footage.
Free Dive Team Leader | Oxygen Provider
Shelley has been a water baby all her life. Happiest in – or near – water, she took up freediving in 2012 with the sole purpose of being able to spend more time under water…without a tank on her back.
Shelley joined Ghost Fishing in mid-2018 when she stepped into the role of Free Team Leader, and onto the committee with previous experience in similar roles allowing her to contribute to the running of the group.
Having been privileged enough to spent a good deal of her life by the sea, keeping it clean and protected has always been a passion for her. Joining Ghost Fishing NZ has allowed her to put her her love of freediving to good use and give back to the environment in some small way.
Shelley provides some of the photos around the various events when she can get her hands on a camera, and is also a certified oxygen provider.
Legal & Insurance | Dive Crew
Stuart has always been an avid water enthusiast having been around boats and the ocean from a young age. He qualified as a diver in 2017 and quickly became addicted.
Having seen the condition of the underwater environment first hand, Stuart learned of Ghost Fishing NZ and quickly realised that environmental work would be a great way to put his new skills to good use and to meet other enthusiastic and likeminded individuals.
In mid-2018, Stuart attended his first clean-up as a shore crew helper and loved it, returning for other clean-ups to help in whatever capacity needed.
Stuart is now part of our dive team, and a new addition to the GFNZ committee.