The Styx Staff

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Senior Management

Anita is in charge of the Pūharakekenui Freshwater Improvement Project. Anita is the main point of contact for the Project and also leads the Project Control Group. Anita's background is in ecology and threatened species management. Anita worked at the Department of Conservation as a Senior Biodiversity Ranger before joining our team. Anita is also on the regional committee for BirdsNZ and in her spare time contributes to the NZ Bird Atlas scheme and enjoys tramping. 

Jackie leads our community engagement and outreach for the Pūharakekenui Freshwater Fund Project. This includes working with landowners, businesses and managing our volunteers for the Project. Originally from the United States, her background is in biodiversity education, conservation, and outreach. In her free time she enjoys hiking and exploring the outdoors with her whanau.


Jo facilitates and develops the Creative Communicator Programme as part of the Pūharakekenui Freshwater Improvement Fund Project: securing, coordinating, connecting and facilitating artists.  Dr Jo Burzynska is a multimedia artist, researcher, writer and arts facilitator. Her central arts practice in sound and field recording, is often combined with scent, taste and touch, with sensory interaction in art the focus of her doctoral research at UNSW Art & Design. She is currently interested in exploring the different connections and understandings that can be made between people, place and the environment through a focus on embodied and nonvisual sensory knowledge. In 2022/23, she was a Creative Communicator at the Styx Living Laboratory, creating a Sensory Map of the Styx Pūharakekenui, which later this year should be available to experience in the catchment and online. Alongside her own artmaking she has worked in facilitating the creativity of others, as a founder of the Auricle Gallery, and currently working one day a week as the manager and curator of Stoddart Cottage Gallery and its artist residency programme.

Gareth manages our Field Staff Team for the  Pūharakekenui Freshwater Improvement Fund Project. Gareth has extensive experience working in farming, forestry, lifestyle blocks, construction, and conservation, and has planted many of the natives throughout the Pūharakekenui and Christchurch. He can often be heard saying, “I think I was involved in the planting of this site” when driving throughout the catchment. Gareth finds revegetation projects very fulfilling and is pleased to be a member of the Styx Living Laboratory Trust team. In Gareth’s free time he enjoys hunting and going for bush walks.

Hugh is one of our Senior Field Staff member for the Pūharakekenui Freshwater Improvement Fund Project. He has a passion for the outdoors and is excited to have the opportunity to look after New Zealand's beautiful natural landscape through the Trust. Hugh is also the father of three young children and is looking forward to bringing them to the sites he's worked on to see the progress in the years to come. 

Josh is one of our Field Staff Intermediates (Rangers) for the Pūharakekenui Freshwater Improvement Fund Project. Prior to joining the trust, Josh studied biology at the University of Canterbury. In his spare time, he is a footballer, amateur wildlife photographer and enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Matt Culf

Matt is one of our Field Staff Intermediates (Rangers) for the Pūharakekenui Freshwater Improvement Fund Project. Matt is has lived within the catchment area since he was 15 years old with a brief 7 years in Wellington to complete his degree. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his partner and dogs. He volunteers every other weekend and on the opposite ones he enjoys working on motorbikes. He is currently undergoing training to become a dog trainer too. Hobbies include swimming, listening to music, video games, reading books, cooking, and training his own dogs.

Aimee Blythe

Aimee is one of our Field Staff Intermediates (Rangers) for the Pūharakekenui Freshwater Improvement Fund Project. She has been working in conservation for the last 2 years. In her free time she enjoys hanging with her dog Missy and her friends and family. Her hobbies include tramping, fishing, mountain biking and when she has the time she enjoys travelling around NZ.


Courtney, originally from Christchurch has a background in people and places, having studied ecology and psychology. She has a personal business as a mindset coach and has recently left the Parks Department at Christchurch City Council. In her spare time, she likes to hang out with her dog and partner, out in nature or travelling. Courtney is very excited to be onboard with the team in this role, working directly with people educating them about the environment in such a special place.

Hannah Beehre

With a professional practice spanning twenty years Hannah has shown in galleries and festivals in New Zealand and around the world. Hannah gained a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Canterbury in 2019 and her book 'Drawing in Flow' followed in 2021. She has been an Olivia Spencer Bower Trust Award Recipient and Artist in Residence at Scott Base, Antarctica. In 2016 she won the Parkin Prize for Drawing. Hannah's practice draws on science and spirituality, frequently dipping her toes into what Einstein referred to as 'the cosmic religious feeling'. Her proposed work with Pūharakekenui hopes to draw directly on the kinetic qualities of the currents to explore the nature of the river. Her work will be on exploring ways to co-author a series of works with Pūharakekenui. It is her hope not to anthropomorphise the river but to contemplate it’s particular spirit through observation and enquiry. As part of this process she intends to explore a variety of methods that might enable the river to make its own drawings. This would include designing and building simple technologies and tools to translate the kinetic energy of the river into mark-making, or drawing actions.

Khye Hitchcock

Khye Hitchcock (they/them) is an organiser and creative, based in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Since 2015, Khye has been engaged in citymaking and creative community projects that seek to create a more equitable and engaging environment, both independently and with: The Green Lab; Te Pūtahi - Centre for Architecture and Citymaking; Toi Moroki Coca; and SCAPE Public Art. Khye also frequently works with LGBTQIA+ organisations and is currently Kaiwhakahaere Pakihi at Mana Tipua. Khye is interested in collaborative and experimental modes of creative practice which prioritise community and unsettle hegemonic systems. They have an MFA from University of Auckland; they write, draw, design, and facilitate. At Pūharakekenui, Khye will follow an established research methodology to engage with the catchment; what they find will guide the form of their creative outcomes.

Dominic Grace

Dominic, (Ngāti Maru, Ngāi Tahu) is a Christchurch local and has worked in a variety of industries including Parks, libraries and hospitality. He has an interest in material culture, traditional technology and mahinga kai- which led to him gaining a honors degree in Maori and Indigenous Studies, from the University of Canterbury in 2019. In his free time he enjoys gardening, fishing, mountain biking and gaming.

Aaron is an intern who helps out with our field work and advocacy projects. He studies invasive waterway plants at the University of Canterbury, and got involved with the Trust to make a practical difference for the local environment. In his free time, you can find him off lost up a hill somewhere.