Kaikoura Star - Kaikoura's strong recycling ethos inspiring

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I was fortunate enough to spend a day in Kaikoura last week and as always I was thoroughly impressed at this small but vibrant community.

I was very interested to learn more about Innovative Waste Kaikoura, which is well on the way to achieving its aim of seeing the area reach zero waste to landfill.

During my visit, manager Rob Roche was on-hand to show me around this forward-thinking, creative recycling facility.

Innovative Waste began in 2000 and in just three years, the organisation had achieved 62 per cent diversion of waste from landfill, and it's now more than 75 per cent.

This is an absolute credit to the residents of Kaikoura because at the end of the day, the success of this recycling operation comes down to their dedication to reducing waste and pressure on their landfill.

However, Rob is keen to see an even higher percentage of waste recycled by way of a mandatory Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) which has been proposed by Envision NZ in its 'InCENTive to Recycle' report.

This scheme, a version of which already operates in several countries around the world, would add a 10 cent deposit to the cost of all beverage containers which consumers would recoup when they return that container to be recycled.

There is a need to collect better data around recycling rates for containers. It's difficult to make an informed judgement of the expected outcomes of a CDS when the relevant data to inform this assessment isn't currently being collected nationally.

Following my time with Rob, I had lunch with Mayor Winston Gray, who caught me up with what has been happening in the area.

After this I had the pleasure of visiting Daniel and Sarah Jenkins at Kaikoura Cheese.

This is a young couple who work extremely hard, have exciting and innovative ideas, and their success is truly something to be admired. Unlike many other primary production based businesses, they are not exporting overseas.

Choosing Kaikoura as the location for their business played a big part in this.

Not only did Kaikoura offer great natural pasture, but its location between two major wine regions and being an international destination made it possible for Kaikoura Cheese to tap into pre-existing markets.

I also visited Kaikoura Suburban School, which this year will be 140 years old.

Two of its 100 students led me around their school, and certainly did themselves and their fellow pupils proud. I was also able to chat with principal Hayden van Lent.

This school really is idyllically located, with its iconic Kaikoura views over the flats to Mt Fyffe what a great place to go to school.

Finally, I visited artist Jane Riley at her gallery just outside Kaikoura. She very kindly showed me a selection of her stunning paintings which came in a range of styles, and I left feeling very inspired.

Jane then directed me to a shortcut back to the highway via Lovers Lane. I'd never driven this particular way, and what a treat to enjoy the short trip through the bush before the equally scenic drive home.

As always, I am proud to be MP of such a beautiful, varied electorate that so many inspiring people call home.

Thanks Kaikoura, I'll see you again soon.