Sustainability and Earthcheck

Kaikōura's community takes a sustainable approach to growth in the district. This helps us manage the impact of visitors and residents on the natural environment and local infrastructure.

Path to sustainability:

Waste minimisation-managing your earthquake waste

Kaikōura District is a 'Zero Waste Community'. Our vision is to send zero waste to landfill. We currently divert approximately 75% of our waste away from landfill.

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake on 14 November 2016 caused extensive damage to land, coastal areas, buildings, homes and infrastructure in our district. It is estimated about 8000 tonnes of earthquake waste will be produced – equating to about eight years’ of waste for Kaikōura. 

The Ministry for the Environment has approved $2.6m for a 'Waste Minimisation' project, to help to reduce earthquake waste and increase the recovery of useful resources from waste. 

Kaikōura's Case Manager for the Waste Minimisation project is Natalie Absalom. Her role is to:

  • Help homeowner’s to reduce and recycle building waste generated by the earthquake and earthquake repairs.
  • Help people keep themselves and their families safe and reduce environmental impacts throughout renovations and demolitions.
  • Help with asbestos testing and issues. This might be through organising free tests, or helping people work with EQC to make sure the cost of asbestos removal is covered.
  • Work with IWK and others to properly manage earthquake waste and  hazardous substances.

What does this mean for you? 

Right now the message is simple – if you’re doing any work on your property, including demolishing it, contact us and make sure you’re following the Waste 
Minimisation guidelines.


Kaikōura is Platinum Certified under the Earthcheck Sustainable Communities programme.  EarthCheck is the world’s leading scientific benchmarking certification and advisory group for the travel and tourism industry. They work with governments, businesses and destinations to deliver clean, safe and prosperous destinations. Earthcheck was developed from the United Nations Environment Program and is based on Agenda 21. 

Our Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy outlines our commitments.

To see how we are performing, read our Benchmarking Report

How you can help:

Volunteer: If you can spare an hour, a day, or part of a day for tree planting, site preparation, litter quitters or recycling.

Reduce Waste: Help us by recycling and buying products with reduced packaging. Recycle even while traveling - just drop your recycling into Innovative Waste. 

Reduce energy and water use: Reuse your towels and linens, switch off your lights and unused appliances.

Fantastic No Plastic: Help us reduce waste and protect our marine environment by using Re-Usable Bags. Say NO to a plastic shopping bag.

Respecting our natural environment: Help us by acting responsibly, do not leave litter of any sort, use the public toilets, find out about natural history.

Public Recycling bins: use the 'Love NZ Recycling Bins' dotted around our town.

Trees for Travellers: A locally run replanting programme that helps offset carbon emissions, replant our native reserves and make people  generally feel good about themselves. Buy a tree, plant a Tree or volunteer to help - find out more.

Walking and Cycling: Help us by hiring a bike or walking to explore our environment.

Respect our Coast: Follow fishing quotas and size limits.Keep your distance from marine mammals and remember they are wild animals not pets.

Sustainable Living programme

Kaikōura is part of the Sustainable Living programme. The Sustainable Living programme is a practical, fun way to learn and use actions to reduce environmental impacts at home.

See how to make a healthier, drier and warmer home or how you can easily reduce your waste to landfill. Other topics to explore are: home food growing, water efficiency, avoiding toxic chemicals, smart food shopping and preserving tips, reducing your power bill, eco-building design or house renovation suggestions, lower-carbon transport options, and community resilience.

Find out more.

25 July 2018