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Urchinomics Strategic Advisory to Boost New Zealand Operations

Urchinomics, the pioneering venture in sustainable urchin ranching and kelp restoration, is delighted to announce that Mawae Morton will become a senior advisor for Aotearoa and take on the role of non-executive chair for the region.

In this newly established role, Mawae will work closely with Urchinomics In-Country Lead Maru Samuels to spearhead the development of Urchin Ranching operations using Urchinomics proprietary system, to address the growing issue of kina (urchin) barrens in Aotearoa.

Based in both the United States and Aotearoa, Mawae brings a wealth of international investment, advisory, governance and operating experience to the role. He has previously led and invested into aquaculture companies. Mawae currently chairs the KinaNomics and Greenwave Aotearoa initiatives in partnership with Envirostrat. He also serves on the board of TNUE Ltd for New Zealand Green Investment Finance and Tupu Angitu, and is a General Partner with the agri/food technology fund Finistere Ventures.

Having been actively involved in the successful pilot project to establish the viability and ‘taste’ of ranched kina in Aotearoa, Mawae has developed a good working relationship with In Country Lead Maru Samuels and the wider Urchinomics Global team. Through his sector experience, understanding of the Aotearoa opportunity, and extensive networks, Mawae is perfectly positioned to facilitate the next phase of the project – scaling and commercialisation of the kina ranches.

“The opportunity to work with Urchinomics to develop local partnerships providing high quality food products to the world with a sustainable solution for the environmental challenge presented by Kina barrens in Aotearoa is very exciting. I look forward to being a small part of this remarkable global initiative and team, while striving to generate additional local benefits around job creation, economic development and restoring our ocean’s biodiversity,” Mawae said.

Giles Cadman, Chairman of Urchinomics said: “Mawae is a tremendous addition to our team. His deep respect for the land and sea and his strategic insights will greatly enhance our operations and our mission to restore and sustain marine ecosystems. We are thrilled to have him on board and are confident that he will help drive our mission forward.”

“Mawae’s appointment comes at a crucial time as we scale our efforts in Aotearoa and deepen our commitment to the communities and ecosystems we serve,” said Perry Bevin, CEO of Urchinomics. “His expertise in strategic thinking and profound understanding of the urgent issues caused by Kina barrens will be invaluable as we begin scaling our activities.”

Beyond his professional endeavours, Mawae is a married to ‘Aulani Wilhelm with one son at Cal Berkeley and two sons at Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu. He happily spends his free time watching them play water polo or football . Mawae has whakapapa (ancestral) connections to Ngāti Tūwharetoa primarily, and other tribes of the central North Island region.