Kaikoura District Sustainable Living Info

Access the Learning Guides

Kaikoura Council is a member of the Education Trust.  You can register for free access to 'Future Living Skills' learning guides thnaks to support from them and from Ministry for the Environment. 

The Council aims to sustain the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the community now and for future generations. It has been prompted by water supply issues, a fast-filling landfill, and the challenge of managing the impact of growing visitor numbers.  Since then the improving environmental credentials of Kaikoura have become part of its international visitor attractiveness and earned independent accreditation under Earthcheck. Urban water consumption and sewerage pumping has been reduced (which also saves energy), as has waste going to landfill, whilst waterway quality has risen and environment-asset-based tourism has grown. For information on environmental and sustainability initiatives in the district please visit https://www.kaikoura.govt.nz/our-district/environment/

Make suggestions for public information content relevant to sustainability (but not commercial advertising) on this Kaikoura local page to rhys@sustainableliving.org.nz  or to  libby.clifford@kaikoura.govt.nz


Waste minimisation in Kaikoura

Kaikoura encourages separation of wastes to allow a higher proportion to be recycled than in many locations, in order to minimise landfill. See Council waste minimisation info.

Disposal fees listed on council website.  There is no Kerbside Rubbish-to-landfill pickup in Kaikoura, but you can drop your waste into our recycling centre:

Innovative Waste Kaikoura
82 Scarborough Street
Phone: 319 7148 (office) 319 7144 (site)
Email: iwk@innovativewaste.org

Recycling pick ups made:

Kaikoura Township and South Bay - Weekly Thursdays
Ocean Ridge - Weekly Wednesdays
Clarence & Kekerengu - Weekly Wednesday Mornings

Download info on rural recycling (PDF).

Information on farm & rural wastes:  www.agrecovery.co.nz

You would also find our group learning guide on waste minimisation useful - it's available free at the downloads page  (you need to register your email and address just once to receive a password)

Food and Gardening

A Farmers Market provides a link between local produce growers and your home. Visit it in Kaikoura on first Sunday each month 11am to 1pm on the 'village green' (near public toilets.)  Website not frequently updated - may also be on Facebook.

The Food topic and the Gardening topic of Sustainable Living are useful references, designed for group use, free. Download from this site once you are registered.

Community resilience

In a country that experiences floods and geological movement ranging from local landslips to major earthquakes and tsunami, it pays to be well informed on Civil Defence and to be prepared at home and work, for any eventuality.  A district webpage to turn to for news in the event of emergencies is here.  Background reading is available on local fault lines and active faults (PDF)  A brief summary of the 2016 earthquake is here on Wikipedia.

Kaikoura's emergency services are mostly run by volunteers - phone them using 111 or via local police on 03 319 5038.

To be well prepared at home to 'get ready and get thru' emergency situations see the Civil Defence pages

You would also find our group learning guide on community resilience useful - available free at the downloads page for Kaikoura District residents (you need to register your email once and receive a password)

Energy Efficiency in Kaikoura

Energywise website from EECA can help you to avoid wasting power on inefficient appliances (you can compare energy use of the most efficient 'energy star' rated equipment with less efficient brands and models), lighting and heating systems.

Home insulation advice and installation help is available in North Canterbury from Community Energy Action 0800 GET WARM (0800 438 9276)

Shopping around for more competitive power supply?  Try Switchme or Consumer Powerswitch.

You may also find the learning materials on Energy at home useful. Download them free from this Sustainable Living website, once registered as a Kaikoura resident.



The Kaikoura District Council is responsible for issuing building consents which aim to enforce NZ standards affecting building safety, durability and weather-tightness, get drains correctly installed and safe water supplied, whether from roof collection or a pipe network. Seek advice before building. Their building staff also know about insulation, installing wood burners and plumbing, so they aim to help you get it right in renovations and new build.

You may also find the learning materials on Eco Building useful when planning a project. Down load them free from this Sustainable Living website, once registered as a Kaikoura resident. You can register using link at the top of this page.

Water use

Water can be scarce in summer in our District, so use efficency is important.  See some ideas for garden water efficiency here.

District Council drinking water info page.

You would need to be water metered if you have  a swimming pool or large irrigation system. A flat charge within the Council Rates apples to water charges for under 365 cubic metres maximum per year at each address supplied by the Council's network, and above that is charged by volume (including water leaks if found on your property).

Rainwater collection from roofs for domestic use is feasible where you live away from salty sea spray and not under large trees. You need to flush away the first 'splash' of water  -carrying bird droppings - when rainfall begins using a 'first flush divertor', and then store the main flow  in a dark tank (minimum 25 cu metres capacity in rural areas), screened against insect access and if possible shaded against summer heat. When using stored water it pays to decant it from near the oxygen-rich water surface rather than at the bottom of the tank and to filter it, too.  Contact the Council before installing a tank; you will need consent inspection if it is your drinking water supply and not just for the garden.

The water topic in our education materials at Sustainable Living covers water use efficiency and also what happens to waste in water, so that you can reduce your impact on streams, rivers and sea. Available to download free once you have registered just once and have the password- see link at top of this page if not yet registered.



Getting around

Travel within the District is principally by road vehicles and there is limited public transport, mostly focussed on needs of tourists (coach and coastal rail).  Car fuel efficiency is important, influenced by choice of vehicle, by regular servicing and by driving techniques.  Sharing travel, combining trip purposes and avoiding trips (such as working from home or mail-order shopping) also has a big influence. 

Kaikoura Community Vehicle Trust takes pre-booked passengers by van or car to medical appointments locally and in Blenheim or Christchurch, for visits to the Library, shops (on Weds and Friday mornings within town, higher cost for further away) and can support other appointments.  Ph. 027346 3751.  A taxi-type shuttle bus service is run commercially by Kaikoura Shuttles 03 319 6166   kaikoura.shuttles@xtra.co.nz

Within towns cycling may be an everyday option, and longer 'Bike Challenge' trips in the region are promoted.

The travel learning guide within Sustainable Living is available free to registered local residents - see above.



Access the Learning Materials

Click here to access our online learning materials.

Become a Course Facilitator

Click here to apply to become a Sustainable Living course facilitator.

Existing course facilitators, log in here

Tip: After you 'Get Thru'?
What would you do in the weeks after a pandemic, flood or earthquake’s disruption? Practical skills offered in our Community Resilience guide.