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Introducing the Climate Action Co-Leads

Climate Action Aotearoa are excited to introduce our two Climate Action Co-Leads: Arohanui West and Esther Whitehead.

With funding contributed by the Community Trusts of Aotearoa New Zealand, the two part-time contracted Climate Action Co-Leads will accelerate progress on the goals of Climate Action Aotearoa’s Funders’ Commitment.


The Climate Action Leads, as contractors for the Centre for Social Impact (CSI), and directed by the Climate Action Working Group, will assist Community Trusts in the development and implementation of climate action plans and will support in an advisory capacity. They will work with Chief Executives and Community Trust staff to accelerate effective responses to climate change to enable greater equity in the transition to a low carbon society.


Meet the Climate Action Co-Leads:


Arohanui West

Arohanui has a background in waste minimisation, wetland restoration, journalism and communications. Her formal involvement in climate issues began with a role as an environmental intern with Te Arawa Lakes Trust. Current roles include consulting to Para Kore, a Māori, not-for-profit, zero waste organisation with a vision of oranga taiao, oranga whānau, oranga marae. Tribal affiliations: Te Arawa whānui, Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Tūwharetoa



Esther Whitehead

Esther brings extensive experience working in the not-for-profit sector, the Centre’s climate change kaupapa. A passionate advocate for the natural environment, Esther has a BSc in Ecology. She is a founder of Sustainable Queenstown Community Trust, and a councillor at Queenstown Lakes District Council. Other significant roles include being an educator, author, change facilitator and key researcher on Social Impact, for example, the Ākina Foundation's Impact Initiative on Transforming our Economy.



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