Who we are

NZ-owned and operated, the NativeAwa business was launched by partners Robert Shearer and Vanessa Browne as Cleanerenviro in 2012. Robert and Vanessa are genuine people who love New Zealand and its environment. Integrity and values are the cornerstones of the NativeAwa business.

Robert’s farming and landscape construction background mean that he gets results. Robert knows the land – he took his first steps on the farm at Reporoa aged 1. He is honest, hard-working, and humble, and yet is a big-picture thinker, who prides himself in making a difference and ensuring that parts of the bigger puzzle are solved.

The NativeAwa Philosophy


The business is interconnected with many environmental factors and considers the future of New Zealand and New Zealanders.


Robert leads by taking of ownership of results, and sees himself as a guardian of the land, a caretaker

Kaitiakitanga – Maori belief of the kinship between humans and the natural world expressed through managing the environment.

Source: teara.govt.nz


All business activity takes into account the state of the environment, using New Zealand native plants to enable a cleaner greener New Zealand, giving protection to the land, earth and waterways for all inhabitants.

Ultimately NativeAwa wants to contribute to changing the way New Zealanders think, to encourage investment in the land for a better future for our environment.

Our values


We operate at all times with integrity – we are reliable and trustworthy.

Common sense

We find the common ground between idealism and realism – the lost art.

Work ethic

NativeAwa always gives our clients our very best in terms of advice and workmanship. We find ways to get the hard jobs done, not find excuses not to.


The NativeAwa team are respectful of the past, present and future in all we do.

Our journey

Early in 2014, we embarked on a process of rebranding with The Icehouse – although our name – Cleanerenviro, described what we did, we felt that it lacked foundation and it wasn’t reflective of our journey.

Native”, relates to the foundation of all of our work – planting New Zealand Native plants. “Awa” – means river, stream, creek, canal, gully, groove, or furrow. The name NativeAwa represents balance using part English, part Maori. It portrays the need for integration of environmental work in New Zealand and represents the passion the NativeAwa business owners have in their work.

Both Vanessa and I are connected to the Waikato River. The state of the river as well as other polluted rivers in New Zealand is the driving force behind our business. Our own lives and that of our forebears have flowed with the river. I have enjoyed the river from a very young age and would like to see it here for future generations.

Vanessa’s family resided next to the Waikato River. The homestead was home to many generations of Lapwoods and saw the renaming of the road to Lapwood Road. Her Poppa Norman’s life flowed with the river – his father worked at the Lapwood brother’s flax mills and many of his uncles were successful river traders. He grew up in the era when paddle steamers like the legendary Rawhiti II ruled the river. During his lifetime the river was a lively, vibrant waterway.

We shared our vision and wish to use “Awa” in our name with our colleagues at Waikato-Tainui. Our meeting further confirmed that the name change to “NativeAwa” was meant to be. They said that although the language can be used by everybody, they emphasied the fact that we had already established substance by the work we’d already done on the ground. Our actions created the blessing. We feel empowered by our new name.

Robert Shearer & Vanessa Browne – August 2014

Ready to go with your project? Contact us today.

Our partners

Fish & Game New Zealand
Waikato River Authority
Auckland Council
Waikato RiverCare
Waikato Regional Council
Greenwood Associates
Ruakura Iinland Port