Heide Friedrich, University of Auckland

Heide Friedrich leads the Water-worked Environments Research Group ( She is also the Deputy Head Research in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She has over 15 years’ experience, both in industry and academia, having worked and lived in Germany, Taiwan, UK, Australia and NZ. Her main research focus is on studying the physical processes in natural aquatic environments, such as rivers, and how water interacts with and shapes its surroundings. She has been involved with the Rivers Group since 2014.


Kyle Christensen, Christensen Consulting Limited

Kyle is an Independent Consultant with over 15 years’ experience in River and Stormwater Engineering. He has a Bachelor of Natural Resources Engineering as well as a Masters of Engineering specialising in the interaction of river control works and morphological processes in river systems. Kyle is a Chartered Professional Engineer and a practice area assessor for Engineering New Zealand.  Kyle is passionate about integrating geomorphology and engineering in the development of long term sustainable solutions for river management.

Alistair Allan, WSP


Graeme Campbell, Greater Wellington Regional Council

Graeme’s experience in the field of river and floodplain hydraulics has included extensive studies of computer modelling of flood extents, river characteristics, sedimentation, channel management, risk and damage assessment, planning and project management. He has personally undertaken design and investigation work on rivers and floodplains in Bay of Plenty, Poverty Bay, East Coast, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Wellington and the Kapiti Coast. Since 2006 Graeme has been the Manager of the Flood Protection Department, Greater Wellington Regional Council (including both the Wairarapa and Wellington Flood Protection staff).


Selene Conn, Tonkin & Taylor, Tauranga

Selene is a fluvial geomorphologist at Tonkin & Taylor based in the Tauranga office. With over eight years’ experience, Selene specialises in geomorphic condition assessments of waterways, evolutionary trajectory assessments of river systems, compliance monitoring and development of prioritisation frameworks for river restoration in both New Zealand and Australia. Selene’s focus has been on combining catchment and/or reach scale geomorphic processes with vegetation dynamics, especially in modified landscapes. Selene has been a member of the Rivers Group since its inception, and recently joined the committee with a focus on developing and delivering regional events.

Verity Kirstein, Environment Canterbury

Verity is a geographer and civil engineer currently working at Canterbury Regional Council based in Christchurch as a Senior River Engineer. Verity’s 15 years of experience is in flood and coastal risk management, river engineering and asset management, in England and New Zealand with local authorities and a government body. Her current focus involves overseeing gravel extraction across the Canterbury region as a method of managing flood and erosion hazards.

Verity has more recently started to experience the recreational values rivers have to offer by completing a beginner’s white-water kayaking course. Verity has been a member of the Rivers Group since 2016 and has recently joined the committee.

Jon Bell, Horizons Regional Council

Jon leads the Investigations and Design team at Horizons Regional Council. He holds a Masters of Civil Engineering and has an interest in Environmental and Open Channel Hydraulics. Jon has over 10 years of professional experience in river engineering; with a focus on hydraulic modelling and the design of flood protection and erosion control works. He is passionate about working with rivers to deliver sustainable solutions to meet the needs of society.

Philip Wallace, DHI Water and Environment Ltd.

Philip Wallace is a Principal Engineer with DHI Water and Environment Ltd., specialising in flood hazard modelling and investigations. He has over 30 years of experience in river engineering , river modelling and in floodplain management policy. Previously he has worked for the Wellington Regional Council, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, the Wellington City Council and a range of consultancies. During his career, he has developed models for many river systems throughout New Zealand. He holds a BE (Hons) degree in civil engineering from the University of Auckland and an MSc (Hons) degree in resource management from the University of Canterbury. As well as having a professional fascination with rivers, he values the role that river environments have as places of beauty and recreation.

Amanda Death, Greater Wellington Regional Council

Having grown up around a freshwater ecologist, Amanda has freshwater running through her veins. From a young age she would assist with teaching students about the various aspects of river management, which has now developed into a full time role for her as an environmental planner for the flood protection department at Greater Wellington Regional Council. She has also picked up geological, geomorphological and emergency management skills and knowledge through studying at university and working for an emergency management group. Amanda’s current role involves plenty of engagement with members of the community on various issues, opportunities and document consultation in relation to local river corridors, as well as providing assistance in the development of different plans such as local planting plans or large floodplain management plans.

Jennifer Price, Ministry for the Environment

Jen is a Senior Analyst at the Ministry for the Environment where she spends her time working across science, policy and implementation. She started out her career as a freshwater ecologist, gaining a MSc and PhD from the University of Waikato in freshwater fish ecology. After that, she spent five years wading around in rivers, conducting assessments of environmental effects and working on construction projects as a consultant ecologist. Jen is interested in how we can bring together different values and systems of knowledge to put the rights of rivers first in decision-making.


Ian Fuller, Massey University

Ian is Professor in Physical Geography at Massey University in Palmerston North, where he co-directs the Innovative River Solutions group and has been based since 2003. His research in fluvial geomorphology provides an integrated understanding of river systems at multiple spatial and temporal scales. He has completed numerous projects for stakeholders in river management and worked in catchments throughout New Zealand, as well as the UK and Europe. Prior to arriving in New Zealand, Ian completed his PhD at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1996, which was followed by a lectureship in Physical Geography at Northumbria University. He is passionate about educating students in NZ’s rivers and linking geomorphology with river management.

Markus Pahlow, University of Canterbury

Markus is a lecturer in the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering at University of Canterbury. Before joining UC Markus has worked in the Netherlands, Germany, USA and Ireland, both in academia and the industry. His teaching covers hydrology, hydraulics, water resources engineering and integrated engineering design. His research aims at developing and maintaining resilient and sustainable water resources systems.


Jacqui McCord, Morphum Environmental

Jacqui is a geomorphologist working for Morphum Environmental in Auckland. She previously worked for 10 years in the engineering geology field before finding her passion for rivers. Jacqui specialises in geomorphic river assessment and river restoration, in combination with her geological background in soil and rock assessment, and slope stability analysis. Jacqui is currently studying towards a BSc (Hons) in Earth Science, focussing on geomorphology and earth processes. When not working or studying, Jacqui loves to go and explore the countries rivers, especially with a camera in hand.


Hamish Smith, Greater Wellington Regional Council

Hamish is a Senior Engineer in the Investigations, Planning and Strategy Team within the Flood Protection Department at Greater Wellington Regional Council. As the River Group’s Events Coordinator he is responsible for delivering value to members, through facilitating regular events and training. Hamish has a wide range of experience in river management, stormwater, flood risk and web development. His current areas of interest are flood response and flood risk, and his favourite projects include bringing together expertise from a range of disciplines including planning, geomorphology, hydrology, engineering ecology and landscape design.


Richard Measures, NIWA

Richard is an engineer/scientist in the Sediment Processes group at NIWA Christchurch. Richard enjoys trying to understand river behaviour and is easily distracted by the many interesting challenges affecting NZ rivers. His research and consultancy experience includes morphodynamic modelling of rivers, flood mapping and forecasting, river/coast interaction, artificial flushing flows and the impacts of flow regime change. Richard joined the Rivers Group committee in 2020.