tark and family Tark, the good looking guy above, began life back in the mid 70s as a cartoon character. While working in Fiordland National Park I created a 'character' called Tark of the Park, based on the Takahe, a rare flightless rail found in the Murchison Mountains. Tark, later joined by wife Aurora and tarklettes Tussock and Tiller, inhabited the pages of the park's newsletter Te Namu.

In 1987 Tark had a moment of fame when he was chosen to be the mascot for the centennial of New Zealand's national parks. Tark became my nickname and its stuck ever since. My kids gave me a TARK personalised number plate and this consultancy took on the obvious name.

Dave Wakelin - Tark's alter ego

After graduating from Otago University with a BSc (Zoology) and Dip. Wildlife Management I spent more than 30 years working in national parks and conservation. A reasonable proportion of that time was spent organising and running summer interpretive programmes, designing displays, writing and formatting a variety of publications including brochures, journals and two park handbooks. I co-hosted New Zealand's first childrens television natural history series in 1981.

I worked extensively with the media, most significantly in the years following the 1995-1996 Mt. Ruapehu eruptions and leading up to the lahar in 2007. For two years I ran the International Ranger Training School in Turangi. I participated in three overseas aid interpretation and planning projects in Indonesia, Vanuatu and Fiji all of which required planning skills, stamina and an ability to work under pressure while retaining an understanding for cultural differences.

Tark Communications Ltd is a consultancy based in Taupo, New Zealand. I work to provide publications, display design and multimedia solutions for government, businesses, organisations and individuals. When the job requires it I work with other consultants and specialists who bring their specialist skills and experience to the project.

tark toy

Tark, Tussock and Te Namu (sandfly) as soft toys

on semeru

Dave on top of Gunung Semeru (3676m) Indonesia. The volcano was erupting every 10-20 minutes!