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Conservation Champion Leading through Story-telling


A leader and change-maker through story-telling, Nicola Toki has held high-profile leadership roles within the conservation and wild-life protection industry in the public, corporate and NGO sector.

Nicola has demonstrated a history in leadership, strategic communications, and relationship management. However, her real strength is in building engagement and action through strong partnerships that create positive outcomes. A well-known face to the public, called upon for her proactive engagement via story-telling through traditional media, digital campaigns and brokering partnerships with broadcast media.

She is currently the Chief Executive of Forest & Bird, leading the organisation into its 100th year of standing up for the protection of Aotearoa’s special wildlife and wild places on behalf of the members and supporters across Aotearoa. In this role she leads a team of 100 staff, plus 5000 amazing volunteers passionate about conservation.

You may also recognise Nicola from the TVNZ 2023 series: Endangered Species Aotearoa with WWF, where Nicola joins comedian Pax Assadi on a journey of discovery to learn about the vulnerable wildlife species facing extinction in Aotearoa and the South Pacific. She also hosts a much-loved weekly RNZ show Critter of the Week with Jesse Mulligan, where she introduces a collection of uncharismatic but lovable members of NZ's wildlife community. This led to the publication of her gorgeously illustrated book titled Critters of Aotearoa.

Prior to this, Nicola held a high-profile role within the Department of Conservation (DoC) for all the country’s threatened species, where she was working to build partnerships and encourage New Zealanders to become involved in the conservation efforts.

Nicola has seamlessly MC'd numerous events, including the highly successful Birds of a Feather Conservation Ball which raised over $100,000 to help bring back the birds to the Wakatipu.

As a speaker, she is engaging and inspiring, Nicola shares her journey and insights into the power of story-telling within leadership.

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