Spotlight on Phil Salisbury
15th November 2013
Island manager Phil Salisbury was eight years' old when he
first moved to Rotoroa. His father was a Salvation Army house
manager, caring for the welfare of male patients.
"I loved my time on the island, even the rainy days were good!"
says Phil, who spent three formative and idyllic years enjoying the
freedom Rotoroa had to offer.
"After school work was done, I spent my time exploring the
island with other island kids - at the beach and in the trees
building huts. The whole time we were interacting with the
environment - the farm animals, penguins, sea birds, orca and
dolphins, watching big storms and enjoying the freedom we had to
roam the island - all the things you don't get to do in the
Phil and his wife Ginnene moved back to Rotoroa in 2006 when the
island's restoration began. Their twin boys Aaron and Cody, now
aged nine, have lived on the island since the age of two.
"I wanted my boys and Ginnene to experience Rotoroa as I had -
that sense of freedom - to have nature on your doorstep and learn
about the importance of looking after our native plants and
"In the future, I would like Rotoroa to become a special place
for everyone, especially children interested in conservation.
Rotoroa shaped me as a person. I met some really neat people, both
patients and staff, and I'd like to think it will help shape the
way people think about conservation in the future."