2021 Award winners

Te Tohu Matua Supreme Award

This award was presented for the most outstanding achievement from the eight category winners.

» Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust — Experiencing Marine Reserves

This long-running project is always looking forward. Always looking for ways to improve how it delivers its vastly popular schools programme, how it encourages the community to become citizen scientists, and how it works with other organisations to promote marine protection. Collaborating with mana whenua is integral to their kaupapa. Māori cadetships provide opportunities for rangatahi, and hapū have a strong voice in marine biodiversity programmes and public snorkelling days. This programme has expanded to seven other regions in New Zealand, and to one state of Australia. Long may it continue to grow.

People leaning on railing by beach.

Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust — Experiencing Marine Reserves team.


Environmental action in the community

This award recognises individuals or groups who are working collaboratively within their community to protect and improve Northland’s environment.

» Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust — Experiencing Marine Reserves

For always striving to improve how they help Northlanders from all walks of life experience and protect our precious marine environment.

Highly commended

  • Curtis Robinson & Jayden Edwards, Junior Fisheries Officers

For two outstanding, dedicated youths who are taking the lead, connecting with communities and advocating for sustainable fishing.

Award recipients with certificates.

Curtis Robinson and Jayden Edwards.

Environmental action in pest management

This award recognises individuals or groups who are committed to projects and activities that support pest management in Northland.

» Pest Free Peninsulas Kaipara

For an outstanding, large-scale collaboration that empowers landowners to protect native habitats and birds from predators.

Highly commended

  • Pataua South Wilding Pines Project

For tackling wilding conifers and other pest plants in a true partnership that incorporates mātauranga Māori and offers upskilling opportunities for iwi.

Pataua South Wilding Pines Project group.

Pataua South Wilding Pines Project team.

Highly commended

  • Chris Venmore

For donating his time, resources and very particular set of skills to cull feral pigs from the Mt Tiger area, reducing the risk of spreading kauri dieback and damage to bush and pasture.

Chris Venmore.

Chris Venmore with his award.

Environmental action in education

This award recognises those in the education sector that are driving learning and action to bring about change on environmental issues. The award is specific to schools, kura Māori, early childhood centres or tertiary institutions, and can include the whole school, groups or individuals.

» Oruaiti School

For growing the kaitiaki of the future through student-led environmental projects that teach ākonga skills, resilience and, most importantly, hope.

Highly commended

  • Whangarei Heads School

For creating an opportunity for students to learn diverse conservation skills in and around the Bream Head Scenic Reserve, and using that knowledge to improve other environments.

Three women holding certificate and bouquet.

Whangarei Heads School representatives.

Environmental action in water quality improvement

This award recognises individuals, groups and businesses who are taking action to protect and enhance water quality and biodiversity values within water bodies in Northland.

» NgāiTakoto Taiao team

For an unwavering dedication to the holistic health of the Far North’s dune lakes and the Kaimaumau wetland.

Highly commended

  • Tiaki Nga Wai o Hokianga / Hokianga Harbor Care Incorporated Society

For a riparian management project that has quickly put down strong roots, getting noticeable results and creating employment opportunities.

Recipients from Tiaki Nga Wai o Hokianga.

Tiaki Nga Wai o Hokianga / Hokianga Harbor Care Incorporated Society recipients.

Environmental leadership

This award recognises an individual or group whose leadership, support of others and willingness to share ideas and resources is making a significant contribution to Northland’s environment.

» Tiaki Nga Wai o Hokianga - Hokianga Harbor Care Incorporated Society

For building meaningful, diverse relationships and leading by example to restore the mauri of the Hokianga Harbour and other catchments.

Highly commended

  • Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group

For being the glue that binds the many agencies involved with the Kaipara Harbour, and supporting their shared goal of ecosystem restoration.

Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group recipients.

Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group representatives.

Highly commended

  • Te Rarawa

For embedding mātauranga Maori in a leadership programme that uses local environments as places of scientific learning, and prioritises action based on aroha and tikanga.

Te Rarawa representatives.

Te Rarawa representatives.


This award recognises the unique relationship tangata whenua have with natural and physical resources in accordance with tikanga Māori, and is open to whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori organisations.

» Tohe Ashby — Kauri Die Back Project

For his passion in demonstrating the value of mātauranga Māori for treating kauri dieback, and willingly sharing traditional knowledge to protect the environment.

Kaitiakitanga award recipient group.

Kaitiakitanga award recipient group.

Highly commended

  • NgāiTakoto Taiao team

For their perseverance in nurturing the Far North’s dune lakes and wetlands, and inspiring the next generation to proactively protect these taonga.

NgāiTakoto Taiao team.

NgāiTakoto Taiao team.

Highly commended

  • Te Rarawa

For empowering whanau, hapū, iwi and other landowners to achieve their aspirations for the whenua, mixing up modern technology with a tikanga-based kaupapa.

Te Rarawa award recipients,

Te Rarawa representatives.


Environmental action on climate change

This award recognises action taken to adapt to our changing climate and transition to a low-carbon future for Northland.

» Carbon Neutral NZ Trust — Kerikeri Branch

For enabling and inspiring widespread, meaningful and long-term change on the journey to a zero-carbon future.

Highly commended

  • Golden Bay Cement

For thinking outside the box with its project to turn tyres into a fuel source, reducing its reliance on coal and lowering CO2 emissions while diverting an enormous amount of waste from landfill.

Golden Bay Cement representatives.

Golden Bay Cement team.

Environmental action in industry

This award recognises businesses that demonstrate sustainable practices which contribute to the sustainable development of natural resources in Northland.

» NZ Sustainable Farming Ltd

For an impressive, best-practice model of sustainable farming that’s focused on creating a living system, lifting the wellbeing of both the whenua and the people.

Highly commended

  • Golden Bay Cement

For demonstrating real dedication and commitment to reducing environmental impacts, by getting a large, challenging project across the line to turn waste tyres into a fuel source.

Golden Bay Cement representatives.

Golden Bay Cement team.