We had the good fortune of connecting with chris Sattler and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi chris, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
For Auckland Seaplanes, an award winning and New Zealand’s first carbon-zero airline, I saw a gap in the market for a airline operating from downtown Auckland and wondered why nobody was doing that. After some research, I found that a competitor had created so many obstacles for others with similar ideas that they gave up in their attempts to create a new venture. So we worked on a long-term strategy to work around those obstacles and put enough funding aside to allow us to stay course to a successful launch.

With Kayasand, a distributor of world leading environmentally friendly construction technology, I saw a world class idea out of Japan with a founder that was struggling with funding/process and being “too early” for the industry in Oceania. So with a team of angel investors we put the resources and structures in place to get our first plant built in Australia, a second one in New Zealand is currently under construction and now our technologies ability to safe about about 15-20% of CO2 emissions from cement production – responsible for about 8% of all CO2 emissions globally, is finally recognized as a core component to create recycling and low carbon concrete solutions.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As the CEO of Auckland Seaplanes and Island Aviation I am focused on sharing our love of the area with visitors and locals in a sustainable way and combining some of the best eperiences on Waiheke Island into a great day out. We were the first carbon zero airline in Australasia in 2017 and have offset our CO2 emissions since then, supported many environmental initiatives and done a lot of pest and weed eradication at our 2nd base Waiheke Airport. In this venture I have always aimed to work with others to collaborate and creat amazing experiences. After only 4 years we won the New Zealand tourism industry award and were finalists for the “meaningful travel award” against an Emirates branded resort in Australia. Later in the same year we were approached to purchase the only airport on Waiheke Island and safe it from closure, which would have seriously affected the local community. We now plan to make the airport a centre for electric aviation and starting the construction process on a resort on the stunning airport land. Our long-term focus, collaboration with others and looking for ancillary business opportunities have allowed us to get through Covid ok and set the foundation for further growth.

I think the three most important factors for our success are being a unique experience, being community based an caring for both people and the environment. As such, we support activities for children from disadvantages backgrounds, sponsor school projects and charities in the communities and treat others and our environment with respect.

My second passion is promoting sustainable construction as the chairman of Kayasand, which distributes quarrying and screening technology for manufacturing a high-spec sand for concrete construction. About 8% of global CO2 emissions come from cement manufacture, and our technology and save between 15-20% of cement by providing a superior sand as well as by using more recycled materials like glass and slag. Our processes can completely replace natural sand in construction and has various other benefits which we believe will transform concrete construction.

If you had a friend visiting you in Auckland, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of the great things about Auckland is that while it is the largest city in New Zealand with about 1.6 Mio people it is still very easy to get out. For somebody who is only here for a week I would stay relatively local and probably spend the first 2 days in a hotel downtown. There are some great hotels close to the city centre to choose from like Hotel Britomart or Sudima, both of which have strong environmental credentials. The city is very international and I would try to eat a several restaurants which combine local pacific and maori or western and asian cuisine like Homeland, Kai Pacifica or Cocoro.

During the time in town I would visit the Auckland museum, which has great exhibits about pacific migration, pre-European society and also a real-live simulator of what volcanic erruption would feel like. Auckland is on the pacific ring of fire with about 50 volcanoes locally… I would also definately take a sail boat to experience the harbour and the close by islands and visit the Royal New Zealand Yacht squardron for a meal and to look at the Americas Cup, the worlds oldest sport trophy.

On a trip out of town I would visit the Westcoast beaches of Muriwai/Bethels which have black sand beaches with huge surfing waves and large bird nesting sites. Another interesting place is Tawharanui Regional Park, which is a predator free sanctuary for local wildlife.

Then I would take a carbon-zero flight with Island Aviation to Great Barrier Island and stay there for 2 nights. The flight low level over the Hauraki Gulf is amazing and there are whales, dophins, orca and lots of other sealife to see from the planes travelling low level. Great Barrier is the only dark-sky island sanctuary in the world. And despite only being about 60 miles from Auckland it has nearly no light polution and the most amazing night skys. It also features only about 1 person per mile2, with unspoilt beaches, great fishing, hot springs to soak in and great walking and mountain biking trails. The ocean there is still relatively plentyful with fish/crays(similar to lobster) and other seafoods. I would stay at the Great Barrier Lodge, which is right next to the Ocean with kayaking equipment to get out on the water. This is a place to wind down!

After that I would fly to Waiheke Island, Conde Nast ranked it the 4th best island in the world and Lonely planet put it at number 5. With about 10000 permanent residents is has 48 vineyards, a few micro breweries and gin distileries. Man O’war is one of the amazing vineyards directly on the beach- their Dreadnough Syrah is one of my favourites- to chill out looking over the amazing scenery. I would also visit Poderi Crisci an Italian inspried wineyard with great food and Casita Miro- a family run wineyard with great wine and tapas and Miro/Spanish inspired architecture. The Oyster Inn is also a great place for a dinner and sunset wines at Batch vineyard, the highest winery on the island are a great way to wind down. I would stay at Villas Waiheke – for the views- or the Boatshed – walking distance to the beach- and spend a few nights there before heading back to town by ferry. That would round out a relatively “slow travel” experience which I am sure my best friend will remember for the rest of his life.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Firstly my wife Masako for her support, wise counsel and keeping me focused on things outside work.

The Flying Kiwi Angel group in Auckland, which is a great collection of experienced managers and entrepreneurs that support new ideas and start-ups.

Other: kaipasifika.com https://homelandnz.com/ https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/parks-recreation/Pages/park-details.aspx?Location=220 https://islandaviation.co.nz/ https://greatbarrierlodge.co.nz/ https://www.manowar.co.nz/ http://villaswaiheke.com/ https://podericrisci.co.nz/ https://www.casitamiro.co.nz/

Image Credits
all aviation pictures are Auckland Seaplanes and Waiheke Wings sunset is @ Waiheke Airport Quarry installation is Kayasand Ltd

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.