Gerry Kessels

Gerry Kessels

Principal Ecologist

Gerry Kessels

Managing Director and Senior Ecologist


In Gerry’s twenty-seven years’ experience as an ecologist, he has been involved in surveying, assessing and developing restoration and conservation management measures of natural areas since 1989. Gerry’s Master’s thesis was on the conservation management of the Whangamarino Wetland, where he obtained first class honours, and the concepts of collaborative management outlined in his thesis are now being applied by central and local government with Waikato-Tainui. After working for the Department of Conservation for 5 years, Gerry worked for a large multi-disciplinary consultancy before forming Kessels Ecology. Since the RMA was enacted in 1991, Gerry has assisted many district councils, such as Hauraki District Council, Wairoa District Council, Ruapehu District Council, Nelson City, Waikato District, Franklin District, Papakura District, Far North District, Manukau District Council, Waipa District Council and Thames Coromandel District Council. Gerry has also been involved in assessing the impacts of a range of small to very large infrastructure projects throughout New Zealand, including roading, subdivisions, geothermal energy, wind farms and agricultural activities. In addition, Gerry has worked for many developers, tangata whenua, community groups and rural landowners independently assessing the values and addressing the management needs of a vast array of natural features. Gerry’s approach is also direct and practical, enabling him to work with all types of people and organisations to find ecologically beneficial solutions to land use and development as well as guide policy and restore degraded ecosystems. He brings both passion and objectivity to his work. He is able to guide both large and small projects through the resource management process, having successfully ushered many ecological assessments from conception to conclusion through the legal process. Gerry has a strong association with the rural community, local and regional authorities as well as engineering consultancies and the energy sector. One of Gerry’s strengths is having a wide and practical field-based background in management and restoration of natural areas. Gerry has developed skills to assess the feasibility, both in achievability and best practice from an ecological view point as well as the “on-the-ground” and the clients’ financial requirements, of all types of projects within a wide array of habitat types. Companioning these skills has led to Gerry being part of many projects throughout New Zealand resulting in significant positive biodiversity outcomes.


  • Bachelor of Science (Zoology), Massey University, 1988
  • Master of Resource and Environmental Planning (First Class Honours), Massey University, 2000

Key Skills

  • Terrestrial vertebrate biology (indigenous avifauna and bats)
  • Landowner consultation
  • Mitigation design, including biodiversity offset mitigation
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Ecological significance assessment
  • Conservation policy development
  • Broad vegetation type assessment

Contact Details


Linked In: Gerry Kessels

All life interacts to form a synergistic and self-regulating system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions suitable for people to live on the planet. Let’s do our best to keep it that way.


  • Project management
  • stakeholder consultation
  • assessment of ecological effects studies for large infrastructure projects
  • council and environmental hearing evidence
  • avifauna
  • bat ecology

Society Memberships

  • New Zealand Ecological Society
  • Ornithological Society of New Zealand
  • NZ Water Sciences Society
  • New Zealand Botanical Society
  • NZ Planning Institute (affiliate – eligible for full membership)