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Mel Barnett

(BSRM, PGCert PR&T (Dist.), PGDip AppSc (Dist.))
Recreation & Open Spaces Planner


Mel joins Thrive Spaces and Places with an array of experience across the recreation, parks and aquatics areas developed from previous employment with several local councils, as well as the Department of Conservation. Mel is excited to be working with Thrive Spaces and Places to gain further diversity in her work portfolio. Some of her current projects include Waihi Beach Loop Revegetation Planting, Kāpiti Coast District Council Reserves Management Plan, and Eastwoodhill Arboretum Project Management support.

Mel continues to broaden her knowledge by working towards a Master of Science (Conservation and Ecology) thesis (Lincoln University), which she intends to complete by the end of 2024. Her thesis aims to see if the use of external automated lure dispensers to supplement various ground-based traps will increase capture rates for hedgehogs, mustelids, possums and feral cats at Kaitorete Spit, Banks Peninsula.

In volunteering with the Department of Conservation over the past 10 years Mel has been part of a variety of volunteer programmes including:

  • Moawhitu, D’Urville Island Conservation Planting Restoration, Marlborough Sounds

  • Milford Sound and Surrounding Areas Historic Site Maintenance, Fiordland

  • Port Craig Hut and South Coast Track Maintenance, Southland

  • The Catlins Hoiho/Yellow-eyed Penguin Annual Count and Nest Search, Otago/Southland

  • Burwood Takahe Centre Breeding Programme, Fiordland


Outside of work Mel enjoys hiking, running, yoga, aquarobics and camping.


Department of Conservation

Visitor Monitoring Surveyor


Christchurch City Council

Swim Education Team Leader


Ashburton District Council

Swim School Manager


Grey District Council

Business Services Team Leader – Westland Recreation Centre


Waimakariri District Council

Green Space Community Assets Officer


Waimakariri District Council

Aquatic Facilities Programmes and Business Support Leader

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