After six years at the helm of QEII Mike was ready for a new challenge and established Southern Falcon Consulting limited in late 2019. Building on this wealth of experience Southern Falcon is available to provide support in Resource Management, Sustainable Business, Conservation Legacy, Stakeholder Engagement and Executive Leadership
Mike’s interest in natural resource management and sustainability goes back a long way. His parents were of the old school, passionate about the land they farmed in the foothills of the Southern Alps and committed to leaving it in better condition for the next generation.
Growing up on a farm in the foothills of the Southern Alps with the beautiful Torlesse Mountains to the west and the mighty Waimakariri River to the north gave him a love for the land and the importance of integrating sound business practice with good environmental stewardship.
After completing a Bachelors degree with a double major in Zoology and Psychology he worked with environmental and recreational interests to help protect the Rakaia River as a nationally significant waterway. This piqued his interest in resource management and sustainability issues and led to his decision to do a Masters in Resource Management. Combining masters level papers in natural resource economics, environmental law, ecology, social impact assessment, geology and policy – this provided an excellent academic foundation for his professional career.
Since then Mike’s whole career has focused on natural resource management/environmental and conservation issues and challenges. He started in a senior role in the Department of Conservation helping reform Fish and Game management and negotiating with businesses over the commercial use of conservation land (mining, telecommunication sites, grazing, roading, water harvesting etc.) This gave him a unique insight into how to achieve win/win outcomes for both the businesses concerned and the environment.
Since those early days in his career, he has led work in the Ministry for Primary Industries, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Ministry of Forestry including: indigenous and exotic forest policy; freshwater management reform; international climate change negotiations and domestic climate change policy; sustainable land management policy, among others.
He has also had leadership and oversight for the Sustainable Farming Fund, Afforestation Grant Scheme, East Coast Forestry Project, Community irrigation fund, the Indigenous Forest Unit, and several major research funds and is well versed on how these funds operate.
In his recent role as Chief executive of the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust Mike demonstrated his ability to take a small struggling organisation and modernise it, greatly improving its reputation, professionalism and performance. Under his leadership the QEII National Trust is now recognised as a leader in private land conservation efforts domestically and internationally.
In 2015 demonstrated he made a personal commitment to the environment by covenanting 12 hectares of tussock grasslands and beach forest he owned in the Big Ben Range – part of Canterbury’s high country next door to the Korowai/Torlesse Tussocklands Park. Southern Falcon Consulting was named in honour of the NZ Falcon kārearea resident on that privately protected landscape.