Renowned photographer new patron

Craig Potton loves the West Coast

Acclaimed photographer and conservationist Craig Potton is the new patron of the West Coast Blue Penguin Trust.

Mr Potton is New Zealand’s pre-eminent landscape photographer, a passionate conservationist and presenter of television series Wild Coasts and Rivers.

The photographer says he adores the West Coast and is delighted to support the excellent work the Trust is undertaking to protect blue penguins in the area.

“I defy people not to love penguins and I am happy to be associated with an organisation trying to protect them.  Penguins are universally loved and New Zealand is central to the breeding of many species,” he says.

“As a kid I remember hearing blue penguins under the bach at Golden Bay, the sad thing is you don’t hear them any more.”

Blue penguin populations are declining throughout New Zealand but research by the West Coast Blue Penguin Trust has found that, unlike other regions, traffic and dogs are the biggest threats to the penguins on the West Coast.

West Coast Blue Penguin Trust chairwoman Kerry-Jayne Wilson says the Trust was looking for a patron with a high profile whose values and approaches to conservation matched the Trust’s.

“Craig was perfect, through his publishing company he produces books that are scientifically robust yet accessible to the layperson, through his photography and television work he helps the wider public to appreciate and enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of New Zealand’s landscapes, flora and fauna,” she says.

The West Coast Blue Penguin is a charitable trust that aims to conserve blue penguins and their habitat on the West Coast.  The Trust raises funds and conducts research on the penguins and works with the community to raise awareness through education and advocacy.