Waste wood wanted


Waste wood wanted to help Kaikōura youth turn earthquake damaged houses into skate and surfboards

Think it's crazy to turn a house into a skateboard? Well that is exactly what Kaikōura District Council Waste Minimisation Case Manager Natalie Absalom wants you to do. Absalom is calling for donations of timber from anyone doing earthquake deconstructions or repairs as part of a unique idea to help inspire and empower Kaikouras’ youth whilst reducing waste.

Working with partners including a local surfboard builder Aaron Surgenor, as well a Goose boards, Billabong, RipCurl, and EmpireSkate as well as the Mātauranga Men’s Shed and local schools. Absalom is developing a programme that will see local youth turn donated timber into skateboards and surfboards over Kaikōura anniversary week.

 “Right now we’re asking for donations of wood. Cedar would be ideal. It’s often found in door trims, tongue and groove flooring, sarking and framing. The longer the better but anything will be considered. Other woods such as pine, rimu and oak would also be good.  People wanting to donate can call me on 027 576 179 for details”

Absalom’s work getting people to reduce the waste their earthquake repairs or demolitions led to the idea of running workshops for youth to build their own skateboard or surfboard. “I was doing some research into waste-reduction initiatives and came across all these beautiful, practical and artistic uses of bits of demolished buildings,’ she said, “then I thought, if they can do it, so can we.”

“I’m here to get people to think about earthquake damaged houses differently, and this project will do just that. It’s about taking something damaged and destined for the rubbish dump and giving it a second life.”

The project is part of the Waste Minimisation Programme. Kaikōura District council is working with Environment Canterbury and WorkSafe to provide people with earthquake damaged houses whose insurance funding has been exhausted funding to identify asbestos, remove hazardous substances and provide advice and support to lower demolition costs. “People need to think deconstruction not demolition” says Natalie. 

Wood types

What does it look like?

Where can you find it?


Redish, light grain, some knots

Door frames, Some solid doors


Light colour, visible grain, lots of knots

Sarking, some flooring, framing


Darker than pine, large grain pattern few knots

Tongue and groove flooring


Clear tight grain pattern

Old furniture (desks table etc)

27 September 2017