Jan is of Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngati Raukawa-ki-te-Tonga descent having grown up in South Auckland.
Jan has always enjoyed a passion for the outdoors and the environment, climbing, diving, mountain biking and just being. Jan’s early career was as an electronics and systems engineer mostly in the New Zealand Airforce with some earlier time with Telecom.
While in the RNZAF he also developed skills in strategy and leadership training and development, international stakeholder liaison and relationship management.
His growing passion for the outdoors and the environment led to a career change in his late 20s where he spent time at Canterbury and Lincoln University completing undergraduate and post grad work in Natural Resources Engineering. For the next 10 years he consulted and worked for clients including regional government, in hazard mitigation, water resource protection and environmental restoration both in New Zealand and overseas, before joining DOC in 2009. Jan spent 7 years with the Department of Conservation leading teams at district, regional and national level building partnerships and developing large scale collaborative impact projects focused on people, biodiversity and water.
Now working for the NEXT Foundation as Environmental Director, Jan leads the Taranaki Mounga Project and assists with development and evaluation of a number of NEXTs environmental endeavours.