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Sustainable Tourism

Our sustainability Journey

We are Ben and Rebecca.
We met young, started a young family, and started Whanganui River Canoes as we needed to live a lifestyle where we could spend time with our children in the outdoors and having adventures.
Having a sustainable business, and protecting the environment is just a part of our way of life.
We love that we can show our special part of New Zealand to our visitor’s.
Over the years we have committed to Predator Free NZ, the Tiaki Promise and now the Sustainability Commitment – all of which have always been a part of our everyday lifestyle – but we appreciate our opportunity to show our way of living to the rest of the world.

Economic

Resilience – As people we have had to be resilient, taking on life’s challenges and constantly overcoming them. Economically we have worked hard, starting our business in our early 20’s with no debt, and growing and building our business each year.

Investment – Each year we make new purchases, constantly improving our vehicle fleet, canoes and equipment. We are always looking for ways to make our customers trip more enjoyable and investing towards that.

Innovation – A trip on the Whanganui River is quite a feat to organise, with a lot of travelling, safety information to take in and a lot of work managing where everyone is, we are constantly innovating to improve procedures.

Community

Employer of Choice – Our staff are pretty amazing. Our guests are always coming back and mentioning them by name – we love our team and love to help them thrive.

Community Engagement – We are often at Community events, and sponsoring different things for our local community. You will often bump into us at the Council and Community Board meetings, not always with something to say – but sometimes it is just good to be there and to listen.

Sustainable Supply Chains – We love our community. Where possible we purchase locally – when we can’t buy our products locally we choose suppliers who also value the community.

Visitor

Visitor Satisfaction – We always try our hardest to ensure our guests enjoy their time with us, we try to pop in little surprises where we can to ensure guests have the best trip possible.

Culture and Heritage – We are New Zealanders, and we hire New Zealand Staff. It is important to us that New Zealanders have an opportunity to show off our country. Each member of our team has a special connection with Te Awa Tupua, and when we feel comfortable, we love to share our korero with our manuhiri.

Visitor Engagement – We love to engage with our visitors, often sharing updates via email. If you want to keep up to date with everything we are doing – follow our Facebook Page and Youtube Channels. We try to give handy tips and hints to share with our guests about how to enjoy our country. Also have a look at the Tiaki Promise – it has some fantastic information.

Environment

Restoring Nature – We try to work with Predator Free NZ, trapping pests and predators. We have planted close to 500 Native trees since we began and are committed to planting more each year.

Carbon Reduction – We maintain our vehicles and service them regularly, we maintain a modern fleet of vehicles. Unfortunately, with the roads that we drive, the loads that we tow, and the limited communication on the roads that we drive, E vehicles are a bit of a stretch of the imagination for us.

Eliminating Waste – Recycling and Re using are a part of our lifestyle. We have a small lifestyle block with an orchard, a waterway, and some animals. The scraps our visitors leave behind are either placed in our worm farm, compost or fed to our animals. Milk bottles are re used as bailers. Glass bottles are crushed and used in paths and gardens

What else do you need to know?

At Whanganui River Canoes, it is fairly obvious we are committed to our environment and our future. When you stay at our Holiday Park be sure to ask about Alepis Flavida, the rare Native Mistletoe growing in our Beech Trees. 

If you are lucky you could spy the Karearea swooping past as it flies to or from its home in the bush nearby. We even have a small Glow Worm Grotto at the bottom of our Holiday Park.

 We know that we are really lucky to be surrounded by such treasures, and we take a lot of pride in our job to protect them.