Our Story

Koru Environmental was set up in December 2006 by Sue Ira.  Sue has a Master of Science Degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Having worked in South Africa, England and New Zealand, she acquired a number of years of experience in environmental impact assessments as well as project and stormwater management.

Our Approach

Koru Environmental strives to be a leader in stormwater and environmental management.  By exceeding expectations through excellence, we establish trusting & long term relationships.

Sue Ira - Director

 Sue is the Director of Koru Environmental and has a Master of Science (Environmental and Geographical Science) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.  She has long had a passion for sustainable water management, investigating ways of building resilience into stormwater management, and working with local communities.

Sue has extensive experience in stormwater and project management, and in environmental education in South Africa, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

In South Africa, Sue compiled and wrote integrated catchment management plans for 3 major stream systems within the Western Cape. In addition, she developed and delivered a training programme for construction workers, the purpose of which was to educate the workers on environmentally sensitive construction techniques.

In the United Kingdom, Sue worked with a tertiary college to ensure their financial and best practice targets were being met throughout the various departments. In addition, she managed their European Social Funding (ESF) applications (total value >£3,000,000).

Since coming to New Zealand in 2003, Sue worked at the former Auckland Regional Council prior to starting Koru Environmental.  She started her time at the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) as a processing officer, but soon managed the stormwater consent team.  Her work with the ARC ensures that she is familiar with RMA processes, stormwater network issues and the hearing/ environment court process.  In addition, she has appeared in Environment Court for the ARC as an expert witness.

Since leaving the ARC and starting Koru Environmental, Sue has further developed her stormwater technical and project management skills.  She has provided expert stormwater training advice nationally (on behalf of New Zealand Water and NZTA), and has provided input into 2 separate stormwater design manuals.  She managed the Rodney District Council (RDC) stormwater CAPEX programme for 2.5 years and has developed policy documents for RDC relating to stormwater treatment and management.  In addition, Sue has developed a multi-criteria analysis methodology for quadruple bottom line assessments for use in the evaluation of stormwater options.

On behalf of Landcare Research, Sue was the primary developer of the COSTnz stormwater life cycle costing model.  She has also developed a methodology for costing stormwater treatment on a catchment-wide basis for NIWA.  She therefore has an excellent understanding of the short and long term financial implications of different types of stormwater management devices.

Sue developed a peer review process for catchment management plans on behalf of Auckland Council.  She also undertook a review of the stormwater funding gap in Auckland and available alternative funding mechanisms for stormwater management.

Environment Canterbury, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Auckland Council have all retained Sue to undertake technical peer reviews to assist with processing of stormwater and wastewater consents, as well as infrastructure network consents and catchment planning documents.  Sue been appointed as an external peer reviewer on NIWA projects and has provided specialist stormwater management advice to AECOM, AR Civil Consulting and Wood and Partners.

Recently, Sue has been assisting Auckland Council by undertaking an extensive consultation process with key stakeholders, community and iwi groups for Council’s stormwater network discharge consent.