Completed Projects

Along with progressing resource consents, developing policy and plans, and facilitating meetings, Gordon Consulting has delivered on a number of exciting projects.  Here’s a taste  of them – enjoy.

RESEARCH & COMMUNICATION: National Geographic Article. 2016

Fiona Gordon’s article  “New Zealand’s Dirty Ivory Trade Exposed” was published in National Geographic “A Voice for Elephants” November 2016. 


In April Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta set fire to a stockpile of confiscated elephant ivory that amounted to the tusks of about 6,700 illegally killed elephants. He did so in an effort to show his country’s commitment to saving Africa’s elephants, stating:

“No-one, and I repeat no one, has any business in trading in ivory, for this trade means death of our elephants and death of our natural heritage.”

At New Zealand auction houses, one elephant tusk fetched $2,032 (NZD $2,900) at Art+Objects, another, at Cordy’s Fine Arts, went for $5,080 and an elephant ivory figure sold at Dunbar Sloane for $3,328.  It’s clear that demand for ivory in New Zealand remains high. It’s the same kind of demand that drives the current elephant poaching crisis in Africa.

New Zealand is part of the international illegal trade in ivory: During the past four years, three convictions have connected New Zealand’s dirty business directly to the U.S., U.K., and France.

Link to National Geographic Article “New Zealand’s Dirty Ivory Trade Exposed”


Fiona Gordon of Gordon Consulting was the principal researcher and co-author of Under the Hammer “ , the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) 2016 Report which provides the results of the first ever investigation into the nature of the auction house trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn in Australia and New Zealand. 


Over a nine-month period more than 2,400 ivory items were found for sale at 153 auctions conducted by 17 auction houses. Investigators also found seven rhino horn items for sale at five auction houses. Very few of the catalogue listings for the ivory lots for sale referred to any provenance documentation about the item’s origin, history and authenticity; leaving potential purchasers at risk of breaking the law.

Link to Report: “Under the Hammer” IFAW 2016


Gordon Consulting engaged with 15 of the world’s most influential leaders in conservation and high profile New Zealanders to develop the content of an Open Letter to the New Zealand Government regarding the international illegal wildlife trade. The Open Letter was delivered directly to Government and published in the Dominion Post 19 July 2014.

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RESEARCH & REPORTS: New Zealand Ivory Trade Report. 2014

Gordon Consulting researched and published the first ever report on the New Zealand Ivory Trade 1980 – 2012.  The Report was submitted to the New Zealand Government and was used to inform the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee in making their decision on Petition 2011/108 of Virginia Woolf and 4,000 others.

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The report includes direct comment from African Wildlife Foundation (AWF): Dr. Patrick Bergin CEO; Born Free Foundation: Will Travers, Founder and CEO; Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA): Mary Rice, Executive Director Environmental Investigation Agency UK; Humane Society International (HIS): Andrew Rowan, Ph.D. President and CEO, Humane Society International Chief Scientific Officer, The Humane Society of the United States;  Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO): Vice Chairman, Peter Lindstrom; Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS): Cristian Samper, President and CEO.

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: Environment Court Evidence. 2012

Gordon Consulting worked with Horizons Regional Council planners to research and prepare evidence for the Environment Court Hearing relating to landscapes under their Regional Policy Statement and Regional Plan.

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“Bringing the Spark Back to the Park” Gordon Consulting engaged with the community, Palmerston North City Council and Horizons Regional Council, to bring new life to an under utilized park in Palmerston North.

With generous local funding Peren Park now has two additional seats, boasts over 500 native plants and a wide limestone pathway for everyone to enjoy.  In March 2016 the new signage was unveiled, allowing the community to readily appreciate the history behind Peren Park and the man it is named after, Sir Geoffery Peren.

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RESEARCH & COMMUNICATION: New Zealand Herald Article. 2013

Gordon Consulting researched and wrote an article for the New Zealand Herald, raising awareness about the illegal trade in rhinoceros horn and discussing the record price achieved for an antique carved rhino horn at auction in New Zealand. The article highlighted the important work of Ol Pejeta Conservancy and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) in Kenya.

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“A four man anti-poaching team permanently guards Northern White Rhino on Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. Photo / Brent Stirton”

Link to Article: Myth may wipe out a Species

For more published articles, see Gordon Consulting Published Work