Council members and contributors

Murray Wilson
NZSS President | 021 139 2272

I have been caving for about 25 years, mainly in NZ, but a little in the UK. I love NZ caving not just for the challenge and amazing underworld environments but because of the strong social bonds that form and exist between cavers that become firm friendships.
Chris Cheer
Business Manager | 027 328 4397

I became Business Manager (treasurer) after having too much wine at an NZSS AGM barbecue. My day job is IT Manager at a charitable financial institution. Many years ago I was treasurer for WCG and VC (Victoria University caving club).

Alison Pickford 
Secretary | (03) 544 7085

Began caving at Waitomo, age 16, when the tramping club I belonged to had a weekend at Awatiro, courtesy of ASG. Instantly and totally in love with the underground - weekend trips to Waitomo became the norm. I also really enjoyed the company, and still have good friends around the country from those early years.

Moved to Nelson and carried on caving, as well as lots of tramping- some of which was, of course, getting to and from and looking for, caves. Not in the hard caver category - but nevertheless, a stayer!

Put my name forward for Council, partly because a change of night for choir practice prevented me attending the local meetings for a while , but mostly I also wanted to put something back into the Society for the many years of fun, visiting places most people never get to see, both past and to come.
Chris Whitehouse
Training & Safety Coordinator 

Caving for me started in 2008 and soon became an obsession which has lead to many adventures. Within a few months I went from relatively simple daytrips in the caves of Waitomo to multi day expeditions into Bulmer Cavern. This steep learning curve continued and I soon became interested in the technical rigging side of caving which in turn lead to the world of vertical rope rescue. I am regularly in the hills looking for and exploring caves and jump at the chance to take people on adventures and teach them the skills so that they can look after themselves.

I joined the NZSS council so that I can help steer the future of caving, protect caves and encourage people to enjoy this sport as safely as possible. It is an honour to be part of such a passionate organisation that has such an awe inspiring environment to play in.
Ian Millar
Research & Conservation Coordinator | (03) 546 3147

I started caving when an old school friend invited me on a trip during my first year at university. The trip was to Makuri in the Wairarapa and we found a ‘new’ cave: very short but involving quite a large amount of water that entered from a too tight side passage and disappeared into a terminal sump. I found the exploration aspect exciting and where the water came from and went to intriguing. I have been involved in caving off and on for over 40 years since then. I studied animal ecology at uni so naturally got interested in cave-adapted species and how they survive and thrive in a lightless, resource-limited environment.

I worked for the Department of Conservation in Nelson for 25 years, first on wildlife and then specifically on rare/threatened invertebrates.  I managed to get cave management included into my job descriptions, so have had an active interest in both cave fauna and cave conservation issues.

Although caving hurts a lot more than it used to, I can still get geared up at the prospect of a new find or the possibility of looking for cave fauna in a new karst area.
Bee Fradis
Membership Coordinator | 021 107 8209

I first went caving in 2011, and was blown away by the enormity and beauty of the systems under New Zealand, and excited by all the exploration potential. My immediate enthusiasm for the sport has taken me to some amazing places in the last few years, and gotten me involved with some exciting projects. For me, caving is about doing something and being somewhere completely unexpected. I find it impossible to stress and worry when I am underground, either exploring untouched territory or moving through well-traveled cave.

I’m so happy to be on the NZSS Council, and to be a part of such a fun, open and adventurous community.

John Patterson
SAR Coordinator | 027 232 6255

For me the exploration for caves and Karst is what I enjoy the most. So many caves, not enough time… I began caving when I was 18yrs and have never tired of visiting the spectacular karst regions in NZ, they are very special and mysterious places. Cave exploration is a team effort, and I have many great experiences and friendships from caving. It is a privilege being part of the Caving community and being on the NZSS council.
Marcus Thomas
Bulletin Editor 
Bruce Mutton
South Island Maps Officer 
John McLaren
North Island Maps Officer 
Ben Davidson
Webmaster & Technical | 027 370 7958

Lindsay Main
Tomo Times Editor | 03 337 1256

John Malan
NZSS Librarian & Archivist | 07 878 7640