Sustainability is a bit like cake, you shouldn’t try and have it all in one go.
That’s Danica Tauri’s take on things. She’s a third-generation member of the Tauri family who has owned and operated the Te Anau Lakeview Holiday Park for more than 50 years.
Danica says her belief in sustainable practices is unwavering and having a sustainable action plan is a great way to drive what to do, action by action - a little bit at a time. Back to that cake analogy.
“Like a cake, you’re not going to eat it in one sitting, rather one piece at a time. It’s not something you do then put away, it’s something that’s ongoing.
“Four generations of our whānau have resided in Te Anau, so we see that it is our responsibility to conserve the area for future generations.”
Danica says they invite their guests to share in their kaupapa (philosophy) to tread lightly and respect others and the environment. Manaakitanga and kaitiakitanga are at the core of their operations as good hosts and guardians of the Te Anau area.
“We’ve always had the value that we don’t just work here, we live here and try to impart that through our staff too.”
Visitors learn different aspects of New Zealand kaupapa wherever they travel, she says.
“As time goes on different parts of New Zealand have our own conservation priorities — it might be possums here and something else elsewhere.”
They are proud sponsors of the kōwhiowhio/blue duck hand-rearing programme at the Punanga Manu o Te Anau/Te Anau Bird Sanctuary. “They’re such cool little surfing ducks.” Kōwhiowhio are endemic to New Zealand and there are less than 3000 left in the world, so they need a little help.
Other initiatives they offered in the past included the ability for patrons to donate a tree that was planted in their native garden, while they have also been involved in predator control work over the years.
Te Anau Lakeview Holiday Park is part of the Qualmark programme and has been recognised as a tourism business with a strong focus on sustainability. The assessments ensure they are keeping up to date with best practices in the industry. “We try to go a little bit further and it helps push us to get the very best results from our business on all levels,” Danica says.
They do all the things everyone should be doing, such as switching off anything that doesn’t need to be on, especially during the winter months when guest numbers are lower, and they can close off accommodation that is not required.
They have also started to measure their carbon footprint and look for ways to reduce emissions. Actions have included the installation of a solar array, EV charging facilities and a fresh water bore. Waste is one of the main challenges for them, and because of this, they follow the zero-waste principle (refuse, reduce, re-use and recycle).
“We aim to minimise waste and wasteful practices by conserving resources such as water, electricity, and packaging. We try to choose products and appliances to reduce consumption and educate guests in the process.”
The company recently implemented a new recycling system in three main areas of the holiday park, which includes the removal of bin liners and small bins from communal areas.
Te Anau Lakeview Holiday Park aligns its values with the Tiaki Promise - to respect the environment and others and their culture, driving carefully and being prepared.
As well as the holiday park, the family operates Southern Secret Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruises, Doubtful Sound Kayak and Tracknet, a bus and boat travel service for visitors to the Great Walks and travelling regionally. Danica says they have embedded the same sustainability practices across all their businesses.
“We do the best we can. It’s a work in progress.”.
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