Kaikoura District Sustainable Living Info

Sign up for access to the study guide

Kaikoura Council is a new member of the programme.  You can register for free access to 'Future Living Skills' learning guides if you live within the District.  Local information page in preparation - see below.  Suggestions for local public information content (but not advertising) to Rhys@sustainableliving.org.nz

Kaikoura District Council adopted the principles of Agenda 21 in the year 2000:  To sustain the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the community now and for future generations. It was prompted by water supply issues, a fast-filling landfill, depressed economy in the 1990s and difficulties 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. Your contact within Kaikoura District Council staff is Rachel Vaughan, District Planner.

Waste minimisation in Kaikoura

Kaikoura encourages separation of wastes to allow a high proportion to be recycled and minimise landfill. They also encourage reduction of single-use plastic bags by businesses throughout the town  - photo shows one of their fabric shopping bags, available at the Council offices.

Disposal fees listed on council website.

There is no Kerbside Rubbish 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).

The Kaikoura District Council are supporting Agrecovery and 3R to help rid our District of old/unwanted agricultural chemicals and pollutants. Agrecovery will be holding a chemical collection event in Canterbury with a booking deadline of 25th March 2016.  3R will also be encouraging farmers to book POPs (persistent organic pollutants) through The Great DDT Muster at the same time, so that they can be collected concurrently. For more details go to the website www.agrecovery.co.nz or www.thegreatDDTmuster.co.nz

You would also find our group learning guide on waste minimisation useful - it's available free at the downloads page for Kaikoura District residents (you need to register your email once and 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.

A community garden run by volunteers was planned in 2011 - is it still operating? (News story here)

The District library has a good selection of cookery and gardeing reference books. Shop 8, Harakeke Mall
134-136 Beach Road, Kaikoura. Ph. 03 319 6280 .

The Food topic and the Gardening topic of Sustainable Living are useful references, designed for group use, free to Kaikoura residents. 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)

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

The rural fire service is run jointly with Marlborough.

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 water efficiency here.

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 as a Kaikoura resident - see link at top of this page if not yet registered. You only need to register an an email address once and note the password supplied for future visits.



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 for $60 or Christchurch $70, visits the Library, shops (on Weds and Friday mornings $7 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 by Kaikoura's mayor. A 2009 Walking and Cycling Strategy (PDF) explored future low carbon travel options.  It was due to be  reviewed in 2013.

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


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