BNNZ Committee


Dennis Enright – Chairperson – Mosgiel
I live at Mosgiel, Dunedin on a hectare of land and have more than 20 years experience in soil and fertiliser research with AgResearch, as well as organic production and certification.

NZ Biochar Ltd was established in 2008. I am very keen to have biochar recognised and used as a tool for sustainable management. 


Ben Elms – Treasurer- Otago
I live in Hawea Flat, Central Otago, on a 20 Hectare lifestyle block. I am involved in education around composting and growing food (Dr Compost), as well as mentoring and edible landscape design work, plus a bit of gardening writing.

My latest way to create better soil is by adding biochar, made in a bespoke kiln.


Trevor Richards – Secretary – Kuala Lumpur
Civil engineering background and based overseas since 1988. Connected with biomass energy since 1999 and blogging on biochar since 2009 via BIG-SEA.

Helped establish ABE ( in 2012. Connected with the international biochar community and interested in all aspects of biochar environmental and industry development in NZ.


Damian Richardson – Committee member- Auckland
I am in central Auckland. I read 2 papers in 2004, from the US and the UK Climate Taskforces. It sent my on a journey that kept me tuned to the scientific, economic and political aspects of the climate crises.

I am mainly interested in the scientific aspect, and the need for negative emissions. New Zealand’s largest city must get behind biochar.


Phil Stevens – Committee member- Manawatu
Energy and carbon management with EnergyTS ( Permaculture tutor, incorporating soil-building and carbon farming techniques on a one-hectare lifestyle block (

Currently developing a social enterprise business model which would combine biochar production from forestry “waste” and use it to help remediate nutrient contamination in waterways affected by agricultural runoff.


Rens Bosman – Committee member – Auckland
I am a forester worked for CHH for 20 years in harvesting/sales and shipping and now run my own business in marketing log and chips and carry out forest industry consulting.

I am interested to assess how we can increase value of forest and sawmill residues. Bio energy is emerging and Bio char looks to show promise. From what I have read Biochar has opportunity to sequester carbon,  increase soil fertility, reduce fertilizer requirements and increase water retention.   So my interest is understanding if there are profitable opportunities to convert forest and sawmill residues to biochar.