Committed to Sustainability ~ Supporters of our Local Community ~ Devoted to enriching our Environment
Our Sustainability Commitments
Akaroa Dolphins strives to give an authentic, personal, and luxurious harbour nature cruise while protecting the environment and giving back to the community.
As a provider of a first-class service, Akaroa Dolphins recognises that we have an obligation to this unique and special environment in and around Akaroa harbour. It is vital that our activities have a positive impact. We believe in thinking beyond short-term gains that may be detrimental to the planet and focus on long-term initiatives that enrich the environment and community for future generations. We strive to educate our guests while providing a highly sustainable, quality experience.
We are proudly ‘Committed to Sustainable Tourism’.
In 2018 Akaroa Dolphins joined New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitments, a TIA (Tourism Industry Aotearoa) led project developed with the vision of leading the world in sustainable tourism.
We are committed to hosting communities, contributing to restoring, protecting, and enhancing our natural environment, and continuing to be a high-quality destination of choice for domestic and international travellers.
In 2019, we joined the Tiaki Promise movement, which is a commitment to care for Aotearoa - New Zealand, for now, and for future generations. To learn more about how you can make a difference watch the short video below or CLICK HERE!
Akaroa Dolphins is committed to being a sustainable business
This is how we uphold our sustainability:
- Caring and looking after the wellbeing of Banks Peninsula’s resident Hector’s dolphins, by finding new ways to protect them.
- Continuing to educate the public to increase awareness of these endangered mammals.
- Ensuring a percentage of each passenger's fare goes to the Department of Conservation, to be spent on research and education of marine wildlife.
- Minimizing our impact on the environment and keeping wildlife disturbances to a minimum. An example of this is our new catamaran 'Akaroa Dolphin' was purpose-built, with minimum noise transfer to the dolphins, using environmentally designed state-of-the-art engines.
- Being a SMART (Sustainable Marine Mammal Actions in Recreation and Tourism) operator.
- Continuing to provide a high-quality tour.
- Complying with all environmental legislation and operational requirements from the Department of Conservation and other local authorities.
- Keeping an effective maintenance and staff training program to reduce the risk of emergency situations.
- Complying with all of the regulations and laws related to the sale of alcohol. Staff are regularly trained on the serving and selling of alcohol, not serving minors & guests who are inebriated. Holding the correct certificates related to alcohol service.
- Reducing our waste & energy consumption and therefore carbon emissions in all areas of our operation.
- Reducing the use of non-recyclable materials and recycling where possible.
- Being an example in promoting a clean, safe harbour by encouraging the public and other boat operators to act responsibly.
- Removing any rubbish we see in the ocean ourselves.
- Employing local personnel, where possible, therefore providing jobs within the area.
- Paying our team members above the 'Living Wage'.
- Stocking locally made products and using local services wherever possible. Encourage the public to do the same.
- Become an agent of change, by having a sustainable procurement policy.
- Having a 'Sustainability Corner' in our shop selling products that are reusable.
- Being a plastic bag-free business, which has phased out single-use plastics.
- Committed to the Tiaki Promise. Tiaki means to care for people and place.
We are committed to enriching the environment
This is what we do to help the environment:
- Having strong Department of Conservation relationships, since 2004
- Supporting and contributing financially to research conducted in the Akaroa harbour area on Hector's dolphins, since 2004
- Having a strong relationship with the New Zealand Whale & Dolphin Trust.
- Providing a SeaWeek conservation cruise with all proceeds going toward their research.
- Team members actively joining their research vessels, collecting data for PhD projects on the Hector’s dolphins, since 2004
Sponsoring SeaWeek conservation activities annually, since 2004
- Participating in ocean debris clean-ups during our cruises, since 2004
- Representing the Tourism Industry in the development of the first Threat Management Plan for Hector's dolphins, in 2007
- Being a corporate member of Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust, since 2009
- Sponsoring the Tui Project through the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust, since 2009
- Assisting in water testing with Christchurch City Council, monitoring the health of our harbour, since 2010
- Leading the way in establishing the Akaroa Marine Reserve, after 20 years of debate, which was formally opened in 2014
- Supporting ‘Plastic Bag Free Akaroa’ by eliminating the use of single-use plastic bags in our shop & boats, since 2016
- Being the main sponsor for the Banks Peninsula Vermin Shoot Competition, 2016 - 2019
- Having team members trained as Project Jonah Marine Mammal Medics, which was put into practice at a recent whale stranding at Robinson’s Bay on the 12th of March 2017
- Sponsoring the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust's - Port Hills Revegetation Project, 2020
- Assisting Pohatu Penguins with the Kororā Little Blue Penguin Survey, by providing our catamaran and skipper at no cost, 2020
- Sponsoring Akaroa Area School's reforestation project - Hammond Point / Te Umu Te Rahua, 2020 - 2025
- Volunteer our time to help plant native trees on Hammonds Point, 2021
Akaroa Dolphins Supports Our Locals
These are the groups we support:
We work hard to support our community by undertaking a number of actions. Many of these you will not see, but some you may notice. Below are examples of some actions we have taken:
- Providing sponsorship to our local schools, community groups, and sports clubs, since 2004
- Mentoring other businesses within the Akaroa and Canterbury region.
- Offering work experience and mentoring local students.
- Supporting the Police, Coastguard, and Maritime NZ in search and rescue operations.
- Many of our team members donate their time to local community groups, working on initiatives that support the environment and people within our region.
- Offering famils to journalists and influencers who will help showcase Akaroa and Canterbury as a destination of choice.
- Assisting New Zealand universities with research, for a wide range of topics, including marine ecotourism and cultural awareness within tourism.
- Donating $30,000 towards the Akaroa Hospital Rebuild, 2019
In summary, Akaroa Dolphins is focused on sustainability for the next generation and beyond. Tourism is the lifeblood of Akaroa’s economy and we are committed to helping future-proof the industry through initiatives promoting Akaroa as a destination. We value the community of Banks Peninsula, giving back to causes we believe enrich the lives of locals and visitors.
To view our sustainability policy CLICK HERE
If you have any questions or would like to learn more please CONTACT US!