Camden Howitt

New Zealand Environmental Hero of the Year


Ministry for the Environment

New Zealand Environmental Hero of the Year

Te Toa Taiao o te Tau

Ministry for the Environment
The people ensuring the future of our environment. These are the ones who have made a remarkable contribution to restoring our environment and/or protecting our unique species.

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must have taken tangible action with proven impact towards protecting and restoring nature and the natural environment in Aotearoa.


Nominators should consider talking about the following areas in their nomination:

  • THE NOMINEE: Describe the person you are nominating and what they’ve done to inspire you over the past year to nominate them as the 2024 Ministry for the Environment New Zealand Environmental Hero of the Year Te Toa Taiao o te Tau.
  • PURPOSE: How does the environment benefit from the mahi, contribution, or influence of this person – and how?
  • COMMITMENT: Describe the commitment of time, risks, and challenges overcome to create an impact to this point (this may still be ongoing). What have they done that has gone above and beyond to show leadership, creativity/innovation, and create change?
  • PROVEN IMPACT: How has this person clearly demonstrated a positive impact to the environment* (particularly over the last 12-months)? How has this been measured?
  • LONG-TERM IMPACT: If known, how does the nominee plan to grow and/or adapt their work, contribution, or influence in the future? How would winning this award impact this person/group and the work that they are doing?

* What do we mean by positive impact to the environment? A nominee may be working towards reducing the impacts of: Climate change, air and water pollution, water scarcity, food insecurity, deforestation, rising sea levels, loss of species and habitat biodiversity, or loss of indigenous environmental knowledge and traditions. Or working in protection and restoration such as driving social change for the benefit of the environment, restoring lands and waterways or pest management.


Conditions of Entry

Camden Howitt

Camden Howitt has spent the past 14 years devoted to ending ocean pollution and regenerating nature. As Co-Founder of national charity Sustainable Coastlines, new recruit on PwC′s Sustainability and Climate Change team, member of the Aotearoa Plastic Pollution Alliance, and Edmund Hillary Fellow, Camden is an inspiring leader and a driving force for collaborative and scaleable solutions for te taiao. He has designed and delivered community environmental programmes around Aotearoa and the South Pacific; engaging 150,000 volunteers in protecting the places they love. Alongside his everyday mahi, Camden is also a regular contributor to national and global sustainability dialogue who consistently pushes for innovation and collaboration; twice addressing the United Nations in New York and presenting at the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya. Most importantly, his dedication is making an impact. To date, the charity team has removed a staggering 1.7 million litres of litter from our coastlines; planted 330,000 trees to restore waterways; provided education for ocean action for 250,000 school students and businesses, and contributed data to inform several of Aotearoa′s single-use plastic product bans.



Charmaine Bailie



New Zealand Environmental Hero of the Year

James Palmer

Chief Executive, Ministry for the Environment Te Tumu Whakarae mō te Taiao

"The Ministry for the Environment is honoured to celebrate these environmental heroes for their outstanding contributions to restoring and protecting our unique environment. Behind the scenes our heroes have spent decades supporting projects across Aotearoa to ensure our beautiful moana, whenua and native plants, birds and animals can thrive. It’s thanks to the mahi of these incredible New Zealanders that we are one step closer to creating a flourishing environment for future generations to enjoy."