About us

We are a not for profit organisation looking to make a positive difference for nature and the environment.  

We will do this through the application and improvement of New Zealand environmental and natural resource management laws. We will research and review the application of these laws and the outcomes for the environment. We will publicise and promote our findings to the community. We will support advocacy for better outcomes for our natural taonga and the wider environment of Aotearoa. Where necessary we will take or support legal action to defend nature, combat climate change, and fight for a healthy environment for all.

We will partner with Iwi and hapu, other community groups, not-for-profits and individuals to achieve common outcomes.


ELI is a charitable Trust advised by a small expert scientific, policy and legal panel.  It has a small number of employees and engages legal support and other services for individual cases and projects.

Advisory PanelDavey Salmon (Auckland)
Horiana Irwin-Easthope (Wellington)
Professor Catherine Iorns Magallanes (Victoria University, Wellington)
Rob Enright (Wanaka)
Dr Mike Joy (Wellington)

Mike Britton – Chief Executive

Mike Britton – Chief Executive

Mike has taken on the role of the first Chief Executive of ELI, having been involved in its establishment.  He has wide experience in conservation management working for DOC, Fish & Game, and as General Manager of Forest & Bird. Mike is currently Chair of the Tongariro Taupo Conservation Board.

Anna Sintenie – Manager, Biodiversity and Freshwater (Nelson)

Anna began her career as a lawyer in Crown Law, working in teams focussed on natural resources and public law. Later honing in on freshwater management for Fish & Game Waikato, Anna enjoyed weaving together science, planning and legal strands to support advocacy for habitat protection. This work grew out of an education in law and science, and a fascination for the natural world after growing up mostly outside in the Canterbury foothills.

She is a mum of 2 and being with her family in wild places not far from their Nelson home is what she enjoys the most.

Ingrid O’Sullivan – Manager, Marine Sustainability and Protection (Silverstream)

Most of Ingrid O’Sullivan’s career has been working for government on international fisheries management and policy. She feels at home in the zone where science, policy and law meet and feels fortunate that her education of law and science (a somewhat unusual combination at the time) has enabled her to work on many fascinating, fulfilling and important issues.

Ingrid believes the environmental challenges being faced today are unprecedented, but not insurmountable. She is keen to do her bit to make a difference and loves working with people with different interests and perspectives to help bring about change.

She lives in Wellington with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two guinea pigs, and a tank of tropical fish.

Dr. Brittany Graham – Manager, Marine Research (Wellington)

Dr. Brittany Graham – Manager, Marine Research (Wellington)

Britt’s career has spanned many disciplines from research in oceans, coasts, and freshwater environments, and she has traversed the globe working in East Africa to North America, with a focus in the tropical Pacific. During the past 8 years her focus has been on issues important to Aotearoa. She is an expert in tools used to examine how marine food webs work and when the marine systems might change. Britt has worked on large-scale, multi-discipline international projects with teams of talented scientists, NGOs and local communities to ensure successful outcomes.

Britt lives in Wellington with her partner and their baby boy. Their goal is to ensure he grows to love sailing, kayaking, snorkeling in tropical waters, and everything to do with the sea as much as his parents do in coming years.

Allan Brent – Senior Advisor, Conservation Law Researcher (Christchurch)

Allan Brent – Senior Advisor, Conservation Law Researcher (Christchurch)

Allan spent the better part of a decade working in leading New Zealand resource management and other legal teams. This work provided a long-running exposure to administrative law issues and litigation strategy, something he brings to ELI. Despite his experience, Allan prefers to call himself a student rather than an expert.

Allan’s family and heart are in Otago, though he lives in Christchurch. In his spare time he tries to get out in the mountains to climb, ski and tramp. Or in town to run, bike, get in the veggie garden, or read.

Reto Blattner de Vries – Environmental Researcher (Wellington)

Reto Blattner de Vries – Environmental Researcher (Wellington)

Reto has recently completed his LLB/BA degree and is particularly interested in increasing Māori representation within the New Zealand legal system and Māori Environmental law. Reto has had experience working with mātauranga māori, māori land law and māori fisheries rights.

Reto was raised and educated in Rawene, Hokianga, and continues to stay involved in local matters.