The Big Omaha Trail Trust has been set up to promote walking and cycling along a trail from Matakana to Pakiri


John Bluck : Chairman

John Bluck is a retired Anglican bishop, writer and broadcaster living in Pakiri at the northern end of the trail. He has written extensively about Kiwi identity, bicultural history and rural  culture.

Ian Macdonald : Secretary


Ian has lived with his family at Big Omaha for 25 years, a local: he was born in Birkenhead and brought up on the Kaipara. He has been a passionate conservationist and environmental activist all his life. 

He spent eight years as a deck officer in the British Merchant Navy and then majored in photography at Elam, University of Auckland. He was Exhibitions Officer at Auckland City Art Gallery and then established and ran the photography gallery and photo lab Real Pictures in Queen Street, Auckland. He moved to Big Omaha in 1990 and started an IT consulting business, mostly programming statistical analysis software for the market research industry. He is lately establishing a new business specialising in local area mapping, photography and GIS analysis using drones. He also worked concurrently and travelled extensively for five years as the stills photographer for BBC World Wide mostly on their series "Walking with Dinosaurs" and follow-ons.

Ian has widely exhibited as a photographer with work in major public collections such as Te Papa and Auckland City gallery. He has recently acted as a curator organising exhibitions of New Zealand photography in China.

Alister Harlow : Treasurer

Alister Harlow is Executive Director of the New Zealand Roadmarkers Federation. He has worked with the NZ Roadmarkers Federation since 1984. Alister holds a commerce degree from Auckland University with majors in accounting and commercial law and is a Chartered Accountant member of Chartered Accountant Australia and New Zealand.

In his role for the Federation, he represents industry to central and local government agencies, including assisting with the development of specifications.

He lectures for the New Zealand Institute of Highway Technology and was previously Board member and Chair of the Civil Construction Industry Training Organisation.

Alister has provided technical assistance on roadmarking matters to roading authorities and contractors in many countries through the Asia Pacific region.

He edits the Roadmarking News, and presents regularly at conferences and workshops in New Zealand and Australia.

Hugh McKergow


Hugh McKergow grew up on a large South Island sheep and cattle farm but poultry was his first love  and he spent three years in England training at the National Institute of Poultry Husbandry.   

He has lived and farmed in the Matakana area since 1959 and is the chairman of  The Big Omaha Wharf Restoration Society and was the restoration project manager. Hugh also chairs the Whangateau Residendents and Ratepayers Association.

 He  leads the Leigh Walking Group and has walked with the group since 1990, gaining an intimate knowledge of the local landscape. A well known poultry breeder, Hugh has belonged to the Rare Breeds Conservation Society since 1989.

Wendy Douglas

Wendy is a real estate agent on the Matakana Coast, a TV and radio presenter, a DJ, an MC and a voiceover artist. She has a wealth of experience both in New Zealand and overseas. She is resourceful, creative, energetic, incredibly versatile and interested in creative projects of all kinds. Her latest project is narrating a series of children's books for the UK market.

She loves helping people achieve their Real Estate dreams whether buying or selling, and sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for our amazing vibrant region. She has also spent a large part of her life either on screen or on air as a TV and Radio presenter in the UK and then later here in New Zealand. This amazing experience helped her to develop fantastic communication skills whilst working with people from all walks of life.

It has been her great pleasure to meet and interview some of the greats of our time including Cindy Crawford, André Agassi, Jean-Claude Van Dam, Pamela Anderson, Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Peter Ustinov, Will Smith, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock, Jerry Springer, Oprah Winfrey, Seal, Bjork, and Robin Williams to name a few.

Graham Hubble

Graham Hubbble is a  retired district court judge and Judge Advocate who has been a regular weekend and holiday resident of Pakiri since 1967. Before his career on the bench he was a  partner in the law firm of Buddle Findlay and Co.

 A keen sportsman, sailor, tramper and mountain climber, all round New Zealand and overseas, Graham brings a passion for helping people enjoy the outdoors and knows the local area inside out.