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Hawkes Bay Environment Centre is a registered charity – Sustaining Hawke’s Bay Trust CC25936 . We have been in the community for 30 years. We are audited annually by an independent auditor. We belong to EHA (Environment Hub Aotearoa) CEN (Community Energy Network), ZWN (Zero Waste Network). Our focus is community resilience, environment restoration and climate action. 


Our Vision

A resilient connected community with strong regenerative food systems, biodiversity, and a circular economy within the Hawke’s Bay social and ecological boundaries.


Our Mission

To inspire and empower people, businesses, and community to create a resilient and regenerative Hawke’s Bay within the regions social and ecological boundary limits

Our Role

  • Inspiring - By actively demonstrating a participative and cooperative approach, and providing positive solutions.


  • Leading - By engaging with communities,  national, and local, and enabling new actions to be taken in adapting to sustainable personal behaviours and business practices. By leading through building strong networks to extend the understanding of the wider issues relating to creating a sustainable community by representation, creating affiliations, sharing information and supporting like-minded organisations.


  • Educating - By raising the level of community awareness, consumer practices and behaviours of sustainable and environmentally friendly activities. By running community courses, conducting presentations, seminars, and forums and identifying relevant information sources and gathering and distributing this to interested parties.


Our Values

  1. Sustainability - We promote sustainability both out in our community and within the operations of Sustaining Hawke's Bay Trust. Out in the community through our activities; and internally, through our working practices (use of recycled paper, environment-friendly material resources, energy savings). We endeavor to walk the talk of sustainability and help people understand in a simple way what sustainability is about and to find easy ways to implement sustainable practices in their day-to-day life.

  2. Integrity - We are a professional, non-profit, registered charitable trust. We are passionate about our work and deliver this in a clear and structured way to be a valued and authoritative organisation in the Hawke's Bay community.

  3. Openness - Our role is to generate a positive dialogue in the community, and to share our knowledge, experience and expertise, and the information we believe to be useful for a sustainable future. We are open to new ideas and opportunities.

  4. Inclusiveness - We practice a cooperative, collaborative and warm collegiality to our task and in trust operations and activities.

  5. Dedication - We are dedicated to helping people receive consistent, relevant, complete and useful information. We have huge energy and passion for the creation of a better earth.

Our Board

We are very fortunate to have an amazing board with a broad skill base and strong experience in finance, environmental science, health, safety and risk management, community wellbeing, community engagement, and communications.

Co-Chair: Sarah Walker

Sarah has been with the board for seven years. She has a background in Biomedical Science andAccountancy. Sarah is a Chartered Accountant and has her own practice Epplett & Co, from which she has been serving the Hawke’s Bay community for 12 years. She has a passion for the environment, driving an electric car and always has a keep cup in her hand! She grows organic fruit, veges, eggs and meat in Pukehou, CHB. She has governance experience as the chair for the HB Breast Cancer Trust for the last eight years. Sarah is also on the regional council for Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand for the last four years as well as being on the local leadership team for the last six years. Sarah is broadening her practice to include a greater realm of sustainability and emissions in accounting.

Co-Chair: Joanne Heperi

Joanne has a diverse knowledge base and skillset. Joanne has a degree in environmental science combined with a beautiful  te ao Māori worldview. Jo also has experience in writing and researching large scale  Cultural Impact Assessments (CIA) and reviewing and engagement for resource consent applications. She is currently engaged to work on the Gorge project for Waka Kotahi. Jo has worked on environment and restoration projects. Building relationships and engaging with hapū, iwi, crown agencies, stakeholders, landowners. Jo has held many governmence roles

 across a wide variety of organisations i.e. Te Rongo o Tahu Marae Board Trustee. ,Ngā Ara Tipuna Trustee, Whatumā Governance Group,. Takapau Health Centre, Takapau Town Hall committee,  Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea.




Karen Morrish

After over 18 years in horticulture Karen now works for herself whilst studying towards a degree in Psychology and running a lifestyle block in Rissington. She spent three years as a Director on the Board of New Zealand Apples and Pears and currently is a Director on the Global G.A.P. Advisory Board (based in Cologne). Her operational role within horticulture was for Scales Corporation (including Mr Apple) heading up group Health & Safety, Sustainability, Compliance, Market Access and crisis management. Karen’s time in this role has led her to having a very varied and interesting skill base which she looks forward to sharing with the Environment Centre and wider community. Karen has a particular interest in corporate and business sustainability and has implemented carbon footprint measurement and sustainability strategic plans/ frameworks. Karen also has an interest in psychology and change management.


Dr Anthony Cole

Tēnā koutou, Ko Tainui te waka, Ko Tararua te maunga, Ko Ōtaki te awa. Ko Ngāti Koroki te hapū. Ko Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga te iwi. Ko Rikihana te whānau. Ko Raukawa te marae. Ko Anthony toku ingoa. I am a kaupapa Māori, indigenous transdisciplinary pūkenga (transl. scholar) and founding director of Te Toi Ōhanga Limited. Anthony’s work focuses on the goals of Māori community wellbeing and cultural survival. For the last 15 years Anthony has led the development of an alternative to National (GDP) Accounting called Māori Genuine Progress indicator (mGPI) accounting.  Nāku noa, nā. 

Nathan Foote

Ko Te Pakakohe, me Tangahoe, me Ngati Kahungunu oku Iwi, Ko Nathan Foote toku ingoa Nathan has been involved in some way shape and form with TeTaiao “officially” since 1999. He was one of Kay Baxter’s first apprentices at Koanga Gardens in Kaiwaka in 1999 where he learnt the importance of seeds, soil, and water. Since then, he has been fortunate enough to have learnt from some amazing people about various “Growing” philosophies, which include Bio-intensive Gardening, Permaculture, and Biodynamics, and the latest Urban Farming movements. He is a believer in the concept of a “Garden Nation”, which means that everybody has the knowledge and commitment to growing their own nutrition using methods that grow soil and enhance Te Taiao in the process. This is a “Human scale” approach to Growing Soil, Plants and People. Nathan has a background in Mahi Whakairo Rakau – Traditional Maori Wood Carving that informs me of Mataurangi Maori and that all things are interconnected. Nathan is about educating people of the importance of reconnecting to Papatuanuku and Ranginui with a hands on, soil under fingernails approach to solidify the understanding that we are a part of the cosmos and not separate from it. 

Rizwaana Latiff

Tēnā Koutou, Ko Rizwaana Latiff toku ingoa.  Originally from South Africa, and privileged to call New Zealand my home for 23 years. She is a nurse/midwife. Practised for 30 years, before pivotting my career into Community Engagement. Rizwaana has worked as a Community Engagement Advisor for Ministry of Ethnic Communities, Te Whatu Ora and DPMC. Her governance experience range from Multicultural Association HB, Zonta, Napier Pilot City Trust and many more. Rizwaana’s passion is to build capability and resilience in our Community.Enviromental issues affects everyone in our Community and the solution will be having everyone involved. She would like to raise the awareness, to bring all or communities together to commit to reducing our impact on the enviroment and on the journey to sustainability. Rizwaana look forward to working with the current Board and Staff.


Rebecca Ashcroft

Rebecca has been on the board for three years, and has also volunteered as a waste warrior. Rebecca is a communications and engagement specialist, passionate about bringing te taiao, the environment, and tāngata, people, together. Rebecca can see the opportunity the Hawke’s Bay community has to reimagine the future we want for our mokopuna, and wants to support the Environment Centre be the facilitator and advocate for these conversations. Rebecca has a Bachelor of Communications from Massey University, has completed the International Association for Public Participation Australasia Certificate in Engagement, and New Zealand Certificate in Te Reo (Reo Rua) Level 1 and 2 from Te Wananga o Aotearoa.


Marilyn Scott

Secretary to the board.  Ko Marilyn Scott tōku ingoa. Marilyn is a passionate advocate for environmental sustainability & social justice and has always tried to try to live simply and in harmony with the natural world. Her tertiary qualifications are in anthropology & history and during her professional life she has worked as a teacher, restorative justice facilitator, probation officer, and advocate for women survivors of domestic violence. Above all, Marilyn is aware of her privilege to live in Aotearoa/NZ and her responsibility to try to do all she can to be a conserver not just a consumer of the world’s resources and to try to ensure that the future is better for those who are to come after her. Mauri ora, Marilyn.

Our Team


Emma Horgan-Heke CEO

Emma is passionate about making a difference in climate change. She has 26 years of project management experience across industries worldwide. In the last 15 years this experience has been in large scale complex projects in the $100 million space. Emma has also had her own consulting practice in the Regenerative and community building areas. Emma is a board member for EHA (Environmental Hubs Aoteroa), a network that works across 22 Environment Centre/ Hubs across New Zealand. She also sits on the think tank for Hawke's Bay Regionals emissions reduction plan creation.

Thank you to Our Sponsors


Hastings District Council is an active long term supporter, providing both financial and non-financial assistance. The Council staff work collaboratively with our centre staff in a joint effort to teach and engage the community on sustainable living.


The Ministry for the Environment provides financial support through Enviroment Hub Aotearoa to keep our centre open and allows us to connect with the Hawke's Bay Community.  We are grateful for their support.


Hawke's Bay Regional Council has funded our move into new premises. Without them we would not be able to continue to operate


Lotteries community fund have funded our mobile wash station. This project will reduce 100's of tonnes of single use packaging initially at events and then growing to serve our Napier and Hastings cbd reusable packaging needs

NZ Environment Centres

Environment Centre Hawke's Bay are members of a national umbrella group: Environment Hubs Aotearoa (EHA). Members of EHA form a nationwide network of environment centres and other entities that act as local hubs for information, events, networks and projects that make a difference to our world. EHA supports local environment centres that help Kiwis take practical action in their homes, neighbourhoods, workplaces and wild places. By collaborating nationally we deliver better local solutions for global challenges.

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