Whirika finalists in Sustainable Business Awards

Sep 2, 2020

Here at Whirika (formerly Ahikā), we are excited to have been selected as finalists in four categories for this year’s Sustainable Business Awards!

Rhys Millar, Sustainability Superstar

Our managing director, Rhys Millar, has been chosen as a finalist in the Sustainability Superstar category. This award celebrates people who inspire and lead others to make a difference.

Rhys works with communities, including corporates, rūnanga, councils and NGOs, to deliver ideas embedded in the principles of sustainability. He initiated the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group, uniting members of the Peninsula community to protect their unique biodiversity. In 2011 he set up the Landscape Connections Trust to protect the Orokonui Ecosanctuary and beyond.

The Landscape Connections Trust established The Halo Project to deliver community- led predator control, forest habitat restoration, freshwater enhancement and seabird habitat restoration.

Rhys also established Predator Free Dunedin, engaging with 22 local organisations and local communities for funding and on- the-ground action. Predator Free Dunedin is the first South Island project to receive funding from Predator Free 2050 for large-scale predator control and eradication work, reaching across 33,000ha, including Dunedin’s urban centre. More than 400 volunteers are involved and membership is 1,500.

Te Puni Kōkiri, Climate Action Leader Award

Our work with Te Puni Kōkiri has been selected as a finalist in the Climate Action Leader category with their work on Low Carbon Maori Business Project.

Whirika initiated a programme in Otago and Southland to assist 22 Māori businesses understand and prepare for a low carbon future.

The purpose of the programme was to empower Māori businesses by helping them to understand the role carbon played within their operations. With this information they could then take action to offset, mitigate or reduce their emissions. By building capability Whirika is helping strengthen the collective ability to make positive, lasting transformational change.

We used a kaupapa Māori approach of kanohi ki te kanohi (face-to-face) discussions with each business. These personal conversations contributed to the success of the initiative as it allowed for a greater exchange of information. By gaining in-depth insights the Whirika team was able to tailor the information and advice provided to each business.

Watercare, Restoring Nature

Our client, Watercare Services, has been selected as a finalist in the Restoring Nature category for the Hunua Forest Restoration Project.

Predator Free Dunedin, Oustanding Collaboration Award

Our client, Predator Free Dunedin, has been selected as a finalist in the Outstanding Collaboration category for bringing together 22 organisations around the city to establish Predator Free Dunedin.