Our Sustainability Initiatives

Our Sustainability Initiatives


New Zealand's South Island: "A pristine wilderness";  "Great outdoors that is wilderness without being too wild"; "A beautiful destination that is unspoiled"



Probably nowhere is this stewardship more evident than in Golden Bay which is almost as pristine a destination as you can get without actually travelling into the wilderness.  Over the last three decades, people from all over the world have moved to Golden Bay for that very reason - our local polling booth has the highest proportion of Green Party supporters of anywhere in New Zealand!

Whilst all this is true, it brings with it a responsibility as a tourism operator to protect the very environment that people often travel halfway around the world to see.

We aim to do this whilst still providing a five-star experience for our guests.  We are always looking for ways in which we can enhance our guest's experience whilst reducing the footprint that we leave behind.  With this in mind we have taken the following initiatives:


Nature Conservation

  • All buildings have a low visual impact from Tukurua Beach. This is achieved by using shrubs and other plantings whilst still maintaining a sea view and privacy for our guests. The front villas are built as low as possible; all buildings are painted using regressive colours and a backdrop of trees is used for all buildings.
  • Installed a sophisticated waste water treatment system that will not only prevent pollution of the beach but also provides purified wastewater that fertilises some of our 10 acres.
  • Protect Maori archaeology. Adrift In Golden Bay is situated on the site of a Maori settlement; the ground where the villas are built was probably a garden for growing Kumara (sweet potato or yams). "Tukurua" translates as "Two Streams", one of which flows through the property between the villas and onto the beach. The Maori would have collected shellfish to eat and left many shells behind on the side of the stream. Rockwork and vegetation protect these middens or rubbish dumps from erosion.
  • Use of locally sourced building materials, furniture and craftsmen where possible. Fisher and Pykel (NZ) fridges, dishwashers and cook-tops. Methven (NZ) tapware and showers in the bathroom. Woodwrights (Nelson, NZ) furniture, NZ-made spa baths, settees and armchairs and beds.  Locally grown timber on floors (villas 1 and 2), beams and ceilings. Locally made kitchens (Golden Bay and Nelson).  Employed local builders (Golden Bay) for all accommodation
  • Use locally sourced, homegrown, organic and free-range food where possible. We source the following; Bread (Nelson), Yoghurt (homemade), Bacon (Nelson), Eggs from our next-door neighbour, always free range), Jam (Nelson), Tomatoes (Nelson. home-grown or Golden Bay when available), breakfast cereal (made here) and strawberries and raspberries (home-grown spray free, both fresh and preserved).
  • Use sustainably harvested timber in our outdoor furniture and timber floors.
  • Employ low-toxicity materials. We use natural oils rather than solvent-based finishes for our interior wood surfaces where practical and use eco-friendly cleaning products where possible.
  • Conserve water. A dammed spring and stream allow us just to "borrow" water for irrigation on the way to the sea. We use dual flush toilets and water-saving shower heads. Apply bark mulch to gardens.
  • Little blue penguins would normally burrow under the undergrowth in the native bush; when the bush was removed and turned into farmland by early European settlers this was no longer possible. We provide, maintain and monitor penguin nesting boxes as alternative accommodation and protection
  • The main stream that runs through the property is an important habitat for native fish as it is one of the few year-round coastal streams in Golden Bay. We maintain this by keeping it shaded from the sun and pools have been constructed to encourage native fish. We do not allow fishing in the stream.
  • Developed a small wetland to encourage native fauna and flora.


Reduction of Impact on the Environment - Energy Conservation

  • A high solar gain in villa design - large window area facing east to warm villas in the morning
  • Buildings have a good thermal envelope- Villas comply with or exceed the current insulation standard, double glazing throughout.  Ample thermal drapes dress the windows
  • Use of ceiling fans to circulate air for cooling in summer and heat distribution in winter
  • Good design in villas and the studio avoids the need for air conditioning. Large opening windows and doors catch the sea breeze, generous roof overhangs give shade mid-day.
  • Discourage heavy use of fossil fuels. We do not allow jet skis to be used by guests or encourage helicopters as a mode of transport.  All recreation options are non-powered - kayaks and paddle boards rather than motor boats.
  • Reduce vehicle use within the business. Use bicycle transport within the property when possible. All staff live close by and mostly walk to work along the beach. All the family combines business shopping trips with personal shopping.
  • Regularly upgrade our vehicles with modern cars and a modern tractor for mowing.
  • Drying racks are provided for guests as an alternative to using a dryer.
  • Reduce 'food miles' by using homegrown or locally sourced, homegrown, organic and free-range food where possible.  We source the following: Bread (Nelson and Tukurua), yoghurt (homemade), bacon (free-range), eggs from our neighbour (always free-range), preserves (Moutere), Tomatoes (homegrown or Golden Bay when available), breakfast cereal (made here) and strawberries and raspberries and other fruit (home-grown spray free, both fresh and preserved).
  • Discourage "travel intensive" touring. Minimum stay of 2 nights or 4 nights in summer (except for last-minute bookings), with a long stay price incentive. Most recommended activities in Golden Bay are walking-based.
  • All path lighting is solar-powered as are guest flashlights.
  • Use of low-energy LED lighting throughout buildings and gardens
  • A solar panel and wood (all grown on the property) are used to heat the hot water for the house and studio.
  • Instant gas water heaters in all villas mean there is no energy loss in storage.
  • Equipment is turned off when unused.
  • All washing machines have been upgraded to water and electricity-efficient front-loaders


Reduction of Impact on the Environment - Waste Reduction

  • Refillable, locally produced bathroom amenities are used instead of packaged, single-use products.
  • Collect and compost all vegetable waste.  We have an extensive fruit and vegetable garden where this is put to good use.  We often, in summer, have surplus produce to give away to our guests.
  • Buy only efficient and high-quality appliances that should have a long life.
  • Donate replaced items such as surplus bedding and towels to Takaka Hospice shop or the Community Centre.
  • Reusable and paper containers/packaging for all of the ingredients in the breakfast hampers - no single-use plastics.
  • Rubbish bin liners are biodegradable.
  • Reduce plastic shopping bags by using reusable bags for shopping and provide them for guest use.
  • Recycle all cardboard, glass and plastics (where possible)
  • Bulk, eco-friendly cleaning products are used throughout our accommodation business.
  • Our milk supplier, Oaklands is based in Nelson and uses glass bottles, which are collected and re-filled.


Community Support

  • Support local groups through donated goods. Used bedding, towels and appliances are donated to the refugee centre and the Takaka Hospice shop once they are not to our standard and in need of replacement.
  • Help keep the local environment clean. We collect any rubbish off about 2 km beach when going for a walk, run or bike ride.
  • Employ local people to work at Adrift as this supports the viability of our local community.
  • Support 3rd world community.  Give monthly support for 2 children and an enterprise group through Tear Fund. Support Trade Aid.
  • Limit noise pollution for neighbours (and guests).  Adrift Accommodation is in a quiet, rural, residential area so we do not allow jet ski use by guests or encourage helicopters as a mode of transport. Our ride-on lawn mower was selected for low noise emission and we have replaced most of our tools with electric tools.
  • Encourage support for local industry. Whilst displaying local arts and crafts at Adrift In Golden Bay, we actively encourage guests to visit local artisans rather than purchase products from us. This encourages guests to get involved with the local community and help support the local industry.
  • Coffee is from a local roastery, The Wholemeal which has formed a personal connection with and sources beans directly from a small group of farmers in a village in East Timor, ensuring a higher return for them and their families.
  • We have installed an AED (defibrillator) available for use by our local community, 24 hours a day, as the closest one was 4 kilometres away


New Initiatives

  • We have purchased an electric vehicle and will install an EV charger that will be available for guests to use.
  • We are striving to eliminate all "single-use" plastic from our business operation
  • We are working toward a paperless office and business. We hold paperless staff meetings using the latest collaborative software and we are rapidly converting all of our operations to cloud-based applications without the use of printed paper.
  • We have replaced many of our garden power tools with ones using rechargeable batteries, which are so much quieter too!
  • Many common ornamental plants have become a serious problem in New Zealand as they grow and spread very rapidly, displacing New Zealand's often unique native flora. Here in Golden Bay, the problem is very serious because of our almost 12-month growing season. Have over the last few years started to attempt to eliminate the following invasive noxious plants: Agapanthus, Gorse, Broom, Arum Lily, Ivy, Morning Glory, Japanese Honeysuckle, Tradescantia (Wandering Willie) and Banana Passionfruit. We have reduced the population of these to a minute fraction of what was on our 11-acre block of land.
  • We are attempting to eliminate all rats, stoats, ferrets and weasels as these eat the eggs and attack the young chicks of New Zealand's many ground-nesting birds. We use a New Zealand invention, the Goodnature Rat Trap, a high-tech "set and forget" trap.