Our People

 

 
 

About Ahika

 

Ahika Consulting Limited is a Limited Liability Company formed in 2011.  It is the collaboration of two successful Dunedin businesses, Forest Environments Limited and Transitionz Group Limited, both of which were formed in 2007.

Ahika is a Māori word relating to sustaining the fire and keeping the home fires burning.  For us, it means sustaining and enhancing our place and our communities.

Ahika can also be described as a wero or challenge, as burning a large fire alerted opponents to your whereabouts.   Not afraid of a challenge, we are social entrepreneurs that are driven by a dedication to enhancing the environment and promoting sustainability on behalf of our clients and our community.  Our company ethos is evident by the commitment and principles of our team.  Our approach will consider issues through a sustainability lens, seeking a big picture perspective that takes account of social, political, economic and environmental considerations.  We look forward to providing clients with effective solutions and a long-term business relationship.

 
 

Rhys Millar

 

 

Rhys Millar, Director, is an Environmental Consultant with over 18 years of experience.  He is passionate about working with landowners, local authorities and other organisations to create working landscapes that function to their utmost and are able to deliver a wide array of environmental, economic and social benefits.  Rhys also keeps an eye on the overall business strategy and management for Ahika.

Rhys has a Bachelor of Forestry Science, and is a Member of the NZ Institute of Forestry.  He is currently completing a Masters in Development Studies (Geography), which is concerned with the understanding and analysis of processes which change people’s lives. This formal training reflects the integrated social, economic and environmental tenets which underpin his work.

Firmly connected to the land, Rhys has developed an ecologically diverse forestry block in the Marlborough Sounds, has integrated an ecological restoration project within a headland property on the Otago Peninsula and is currently balancing the pastoral requirements of his small sheep and beef farm near Purakaunui with enhancing his QEII native bush blocks.  Rhys and his family get out into New Zealand’s amazing conservation parks whenever they can.  Rhys is a Trustee of the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group and through Ahika project manages all of the projects for the Landscape Connections Trust.

 

(03) 477 9242 or 027 3877 866
rhysmillar@ahika.co.nz

 
 
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Lloyd McGinty

 

 

Ko Hikurangi te maunga
Ko Waiapu te awa
Ko Ngati Porou te iwi
Ko Te Whanau a Tuwhakairiora/Te Aotaki te hapu
Ko Lloyd McGinty ahau

Lloyd, Director and Energy Consultant, trained as a plumber/gasfitter with over 15 years experience. Lloyd attended the University of Otago - graduating with a science degree in Energy Studies in 2006. His plumbing skills compliment his professional qualifications and provide an additional insight into practical processes and building services. Lloyd is in charge of the finances at Ahika, ensuring our vessel is robust in all weathers.

Lloyd has been heavily involved in all aspects of energy management including feasibility assessments for energy efficiency projects, site metering for large industrial processes and developing intensity benchmarks and plant audits.

Lloyd is also very involved in the Otago and Southland wood biomass sector and has been involved in a large number of wood feasibility projects for energy plant. Most recently, Lloyd has returned from Europe after visiting large biomass district heating and co-generation plant. This has light the fire ( the ahika) to ensure Dunedin follows and learns closely from the Europeans and applying this locally.

Lloyd is an accredited energy auditor with the Energy Management Association of New Zealand (EMANZ). Lloyd is also a board member of Tainui Primary School

In his free time Lloyd enjoys surfing the myriad of waves around Otago, hanging out and learning Te Reo Maori with his whanau, and dabbling in DIY.


(03) 742 1093 or 021 202 2172
lloydmcginty@ahika.co.nz

 
 
 

Niki Bould PhD

 

 

Dr Bould is an expert in sustainability, which basically means she can help others to understand what a low carbon economy or a resilient community means for them.  Importantly, she can assist in turning these concepts into action at any level.  

 As an optimist, she sees the best in humanity and believes in our collective ability to turn this ship around.  As a designer, she believes in the power of critical, reflective and creative thinking, in the value of making connections, working collaboratively and understanding consequences of decisions made to drive the level of change needed.  As an educator, she knows there are tools and techniques to help make these changes.  

Ultimately, Niki believes that having a sense of care, whether as a community member or as a decision-maker in business or in government, is a value that leads to the kind of decision-making we need to see.  Change has to come from the top as well as from the ground up.  

Niki loves to walk on our spectacular beaches and she loves her electric bike, which has made her hilly commute to work that much more achievable.

 

(03) 477 9242 or 021 254 8928
nikibould@ahika.co.nz

 
 
 
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 Mike Thorsen PhD

Mike Thorsen is one of New Zealand’s leading experts in managing biodiversity, botany and ecology with over 20 years’ experience in ecology, conservation biology and the management of invasive species worldwide. Mike enjoys assisting a diversity of groups to realise their biodiversity ambitions using his wide-ranging experience and enjoys the challenges of working in the interface between the conservation and use of natural resources with the aim of producing good outcomes that are both environmentally sound and pragmatic. A developing interest is in using human-generated landforms as surrogates for native flora and fauna communities.

Mike also runs a small nursery specialising in growing endangered plants (despite the challenges of a young daughter who loves to pull out labels and watering everything in sight) and is a keen photographer (see some photos here). Mike was an instigator behind the Endangered Species Foundation of NZ which is raising $30 million to support the conservation of NZ’s rarest plants and animals and is their Principal Science Advisor. Mike holds a PhD from the University of Otago (2010).

027 350 0175
mikethorsen@ahika.co.nz

 
 
 
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Hilary Lennox

 

Based in sunny Cromwell, Hilary works on a diverse range of projects including Resource Management Act planning work, native forest restoration and riparian enhancement projects, carbon accounting for farming and forestry landowners, and policy assessments for businesses. Having spent 10 years working in the resource consenting space in both Otago and Southland, Hilary is well acquainted with local environmental issues, both in the physical and the regulatory context. Hilary has a Masters degree in Environmental Engineering, is a certified RMA Commissioner, and recently completed Massey University’s course on New Zealand's Agricultural Green House Gas Emissions and Management.

Hilary is passionate about using her skills and experience to make a difference in terms of protecting and enhancing the natural environment, and finding solutions to complex problems, taking a bigger-picture view and considering the needs of all stakeholders. She loves strategic planning and asking ‘why’, so that solutions are fit-for-purpose in the long haul rather than just being quick fixes. Working with Hilary, you’ll soon see that she is straight-up and honest, loves meeting and connecting people, and enjoys seeing a project through to completion.

When not working, Hilary is kept very busy in her voluntary roles as a Director on the board of Wastebusters Ltd, a Trustee for Sustainable Queenstown Charitable Trust, and as a working group member for both the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust and the Cromwell Cultural Centre Trust. She loves living in Cromwell, which is a central location for work across Otago, Southland and South Canterbury. It’s also a great place for running with her huntaway dog and mountain biking with her boyfriend and mates.

(03) 477 9242 or 021 300 554
hilarylennox@ahika.co.nz

 
 
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James Tweed

 

James is an ecologist with a focus on New Zealand’s indigenous and introduced fauna, he has a particular fascination with insects, although he enjoys working with all elements of NZ’s biodiversity. James officially joined the Ahika team in 2019 and has worked on a diverse range of projects throughout New Zealand, including ecosystem restoration, animal and plant pest management, and biodiversity (fauna and flora) surveys/monitoring.

Growing up in small-town North Canterbury, he spent most of his weekends working on farms or volunteering with local environmental groups. Combined, these past times gave him an appreciation for how biodiversity could be integrated into working landscapes. This led to him completing a BSc (Geography and Zoology) and MSc at the University of Otago. His MSc research focused on landscape scale restoration, habitat succession and the use of insects (especially moths) to monitor ecological changes.

James is passionate about protecting New Zealand’s unique biodiversity, especially under appreciated groups such as insects. He particularly enjoys getting out in the field to help clients discover the unrealised biodiversity values of their land, working with them to improve those values and integrate them into their daily operations.

When not working, James spends most of his time in the outdoors tramping or chasing trout, making sure to always keep an eye on the local insect life.

(03) 477 9242 or 022 424 8459
jamestweed@ahika.co.nz

 

 

 
 
 

Aoife

Pronounced eeefa

 

Aoife is our office dog. 

When she is not busy in the office providing cuddles and general cuteness,
she can be found snoozing in the sun or under the heater.
In her spare time she enjoys chasing rabbits.