NEXT Foundation is saddened to hear of the loss of iconic environmentalist Sir Rob Fenwick, KNZM KStJ.

Sir Rob was a valued mentor and friend of the NEXT Foundation team, a regular guest speaker at NEXT events and a key member of the NEXT Advisory Panel.

“ Aotearoa New Zealand has lost a precious taonga, a national treasure, “ NEXT spokesman Devon McLean said.

“ Sir Rob was an architect of Predator Free New Zealand and the major influencer in the Government embracing it as a national policy. He was more than a visionary. He was a listener, a master communicator with a common touch and an ability to simplify the complex issues around our environment and biodiversity. He was willing to challenge and encourage innovative thinking, and he understood that saving our biodiversity was mostly about people. For all of these reasons and more he was hugely respected by everyone who was lucky enough to meet him.

“In his final blog published in the Listener this week Sir Rob talked about his cancer, and how he was dancing with the disease. “I refuse to call it a struggle or battle, I am dancing with the disease,” he said.

“As a nation we owe it to Sir Rob to continue the dance with biodiversity loss , to face the challenges involved in making New Zealand Predator Free, so the revival of the nature and environment he valued so much can be his legacy.”

“Our thoughts are with his wife Lady Jennie and their three daughters.”

NEXT was fortunate to have Sir Rob as one of our guest speakers at a NEXT Outlook thought leadership breakfast. It is fitting to share this video, where he outlines his vision for a Predator Free New Zealand.