2022 Award winners

Te Tohu Matua Supreme Award

This award was presented for the most outstanding achievement.

» Te Kotahitanga e Mahi Kaha Trust - Project Ngā Wai Ora o Ngāpuhi

Driven by a deep desire to restore the awa of significance to mana whenua in Kaikohe, the trust has overcome many challenges with this project. Through building whakawhanaungatanga and following a te ao Māori approach, they have achieved outstanding results.

The determination and perseverance shown in this project extends beyond restoring the awa. Their vision and kaupapa have guided them to pursue opportunities for the betterment of their rangatahi, culture, economy and te taiao.

Through inspiring and sharing their knowledge with others, and using innovative approaches, future generations will gain a deeper understanding of how mātauranga Māori can be used alongside conventional knowledge to help restore te taiao.

People potting seedings.

Te Kotahitanga e Mahi Kaha Trust - Project Ngā Wai Ora o Ngāpuhi team at work.


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.

» Vision Kerikeri and Friends of Wairoa Stream

For a collaborative, grassroots restoration project that has transformed a degraded stream into a wildlife corridor and public walkway.

Highly commended

  • Wairahi Tracks Charitable Trust

For their energy in connecting community members with each other and the whenua, by tackling weeds and creating public tracks for all to enjoy.

Man holding flax flowers and certificate.

Wairahi Tracks Charitable Trust representative.

Highly commended

  • Friends of Rangikapiti

For their sustained success in inspiring a growing network of community groups to restore a culturally significant, much-loved site.

Man and woman with flax flowers and certificate.

Friends of Rangikapiti representatives.

Environmental action in pest management

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

» Kerikeri Peninsula Conservation Charitable Trust

For a large-scale eradication project that’s achieving impressive results, educating the community and aiming to restore a balanced relationship with te taiao.

Highly commended

  • Te Toa Whenua

For tackling pests in Waipoua Forest on an ambitious, intergenerational scale, passing on knowledge and collaborating with the local community.

Group of people with certificate and flax flowers.

Te Toa Whenua team.

Highly commended

  • Bay Bush Action

For combining their innovative use of technology with a huge on-the-ground effort, putting them at the forefront of pest management — and all with limited funding.

Group of people with flax flowers and certificate.

Bay Bush Action team.

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 kaupapa Maori, early childhood centres or tertiary institutions, and can include the whole school, groups or individuals.

» Tangiteroria School

For a sophisticated programme of environmental action that empowers students to care for our natural world, and teach others to do the same.

Highly commended

  • Bay of Islands College

For a wide-reaching, ongoing restoration project that provides relevant educational opportunities and benefits for the community.

Teachers and students with prizes.

Bay of Islands College team.

Environmental action in water quality improvement

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

» Te Kotahitanga e Mahi Kaha Trust - Project Ngā Wai Ora o Ngāpuhi

For their community-focused approach to restoring waterways around Kaikohe, incorporating mātauranga Māori and providing opportunities for local youth.

Highly commended

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

For continuing to build meaningful relationships and a sustainable conservation model, to restore the mauri of the Hokianga Harbour and other catchments.

Group of people with flax flowers and certificate.

Hokianga Harbor Care Incorporated Society / Tiaki Nga Wai ō Hokianga team.

Highly commended

  • Dargaville Intermediate School

For a long-running restoration project that provides educational opportunities, and partners with the community to nurture Kaipara waterways.

Teacher and student with flowers and cetificate.

Dargaville Intermediate School representatives.

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.

» Hori Parata

For his tireless leadership in educating others in the ancient practice of hauhake tohorā (whale harvesting), and sharing the Māori view of the natural world.

Highly commended

  • Reconnecting Northland

For their landscape-scale, connected approach to conservation, helping communities establish a collective vision and supporting them to achieve it.

Three women with prizes.

Reconnecting Northland representatives.

Highly commended

  • Max Hutchings

For his determined leadership and on-the-ground mahi over many years, helping the Pukenui Western Hills Forest and its native creatures flourish.

Man and woman with prizes.

Max Hutchings and his supporter.


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

» Te Toa Whenua

For an iwi-led, intergenerational project that’s restoring Tiriti settlement land, creating jobs, and carving an innovative path that others can follow.

Highly commended

  • Te Kotahitanga e Mahi Kaha Trust - Project Ngā Wai Ora o Ngāpuhi

For patiently bringing together diverse landowners around Kaikohe, leading intergenerational mahi and sharing mātauranga Māori.

Man with prizes.

Te Kotahitanga e Mahi Kaha Trust - Project Ngā Wai Ora o Ngāpuhi representative.


Youth environmental leader

This award recognises a young individual or group, aged 12 - 24, whose leadership, support of others and willingness to share ideas is making a significant contribution to Northland’s environment.

» Curtis Robinson & Jayden Edwards - Junior Fishery Officers

For their ongoing dedication and commitment to advocating for sustainable fishing.

Highly commended

  • Cézanne Hamilton

For her enthusiasm and passion for waste reduction, and her innovative approach in sharing this with the community

Woman with flowers and certificate.

Cézanne Hamilton.

Highly commended

  • Samuel James Doughty

For his commitment and advocacy for pest control, and for demonstrating that young people can successfully start and run a small business.

Man with prizes.

Samuel James Doughty.

Kiwi Coast outstanding group or project award

This award recognises high achieving Northland groups or projects who have proven their commitment to restoring the health of their local native forests and wildlife, including kiwi.

» Bay Bush Action

For a truly outstanding, community-led project with proven results in forest health regeneration and steadily increasing kiwi populations.

Man in bush setting pest traps.

One of the Bay Bush Action team setting a trap line.