Award Categories

There are ten awards categories recognising a diverse range of contributions to the environment. Entries can come from all walks of New Zealand, from individuals, community groups, councils and Iwi right through to large corporations. All entries from New Zealand are welcome.

Protecting our biodiversity

Our indigenous biodiversity plays an important part in maintaining healthy ecosystems which in turn support our tourism-based, agricultural and horticultural economies. This award recognises practical actions to conserve and restore New Zealand’s unique biodiversity.


Resilience to climate change

Climate change is economically and physically impacting on New Zealand communities and poses a significant risk to native species and ecosystems. This award acknowledges those who have taken active steps to reduce greenhouse gases, prepare for the effects of climate change, or make New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity more resilient to climate change.


Minimising our waste

Disposing of waste to landfill is not an efficient use of our resources. More importantly, we should try to reduce waste in the first place. Most waste that is thrown away in New Zealand can be reused or recycled. This award recognises achievements in minimising waste through developing and applying innovative programmes, systems, technology, services or products.


Caring for our water

Our lakes, rivers and wetlands are a defining feature of our landscapes, and many of the plants and animals they support can only be found in New Zealand. We have plenty of freshwater by international standards and mostly it’s of good quality, but in some places waterways, and their capacity to sustain aquatic life, are under pressure. This award recognises efficient water use, actions to improve water quality and restore freshwater biodiversity, and projects that protect and conserve water.


Protecting our coasts and oceans

Being an island nation, the health of our ocean, our land, and our people are inextricably linked. Our ocean has immense value to New Zealand’s prosperity through the range of social, economic and life-supporting services it provides. This award recognises those who have demonstrated innovation and initiative in protecting, restoring or enhancing marine or coastal ecosystems.


Business leadership

This award recognises businesses that take a leadership role in the preservation and restoration of natural resources; implementing practical solutions and bold commitments to sustainability delivering benefits to the bottom line and the environment.


Community leadership

This award recognises volunteer and not-for-profit organisations that have demonstrated commitment and leadership in empowering their community to take action for the environment and conservation.


Leadership in communication and education

It’s important to lift awareness, improve understanding and reach new audiences in order to foster positive change on environmental issues. This award recognises visionary leadership that will grow participation in conservation and environmental issues.


Kaitiaki leadership

This award recognises outstanding kaitiaki leadership and commitment to empowering iw/hapū/whanau to take action to restore or sustain the mauri of te taiao.


Philanthropy and partnership

This award recognises the important role that partnerships and philanthropy play in helping achieve environment and conservation outcomes.