Sustainability

Our environmental & community care.

 

Our Sustainability Story

At Rainbow Springs we have the passion to share New Zealand’s wildlife story by inspiring and empowering conservation through participation. We are committed to create an engaging conservation experience for our manuhiri, support cultural sustainability and promote authentic, future-focused and impact-driven community and environmental care programmes. Find more about our action and commitments below. 

 

Our Environmental Care

Solar Power & Energy Consumption.

Mercury Energy produces 100% sustainable energy through solar and hydro generation and is our only energy supplier with zero use of other fossil fuel power on site. Additionally, we have our own 36 solar panels that generate 10-15% of our energy consumption.
Recently, Mercury has generously donated funds for the ICU unit at the National Kiwi Hatchery and a Tesla battery (energy storage) to maintain our incubation and brooder facility in operation in case of a power failure thus protecting and sustaining the health of the most vulnerable kiwi on-site.

Solar panels at Rainbow Springs National Kiwi Hatchery

Sustainable Hygiene & Cleaning Supplies.

We work with Green Certified Sustainable partner Jasco Distributing for our cleaning needs and hygiene supplies. We use certified organic non-toxic, biodegradable, non-allergenic and environmentally friendly cleaners (Bio-Zyme), Ecologo-certified soaps & hand sanitizers packaged in recyclable containers, and 100% recycled tissue and handtowels.

Sustainability in Food & Beverage.

We choose to partner with organisations that lead positive change within the Food & Beverage industry and whose ambitions & operations align with our vision of environmental care. Our F&B partners are:

  1. Locally based and use locally sourced produce, thus reducing CO2 emissions during the transportation process;

  2. Committed to reducing energy and water usage during the production process;

  3. Helping us in achieving our long term ‘zero waste to landfill’ goal by using sustainable packaging.

Here is what our partners do to support our vision of environmental care:

  • Frucor Suntory, our soft drink partner is CEMARS certified (a globally recognised certification for companies actively managing & reducing carbon emissions); making its fleet of vehicles Hybrids; re-formulating many of its beverages to reduce their sugar content; improving its packaging to be more recyclable and contain more recycled content; committed to a wider initiative for the future to be zero landfill at its site in Auckland and reduce water usage by 5%.
  • Diverse, our food packaging partner is helping us remove all single use plastics throughout of F&B offering by providing us with an Eco-range of compostable food containers and other environmentally friendly packaging supplies such as paper, bags and protecting film; and has its production facilities certified to ISO14001 environmental standards.

Recycling.

Administratively we are largely a paperless environment. On the rare occasion that printing is required, we use recycled paper and plant-based dyes.

Light Pollution.

All our new buildings have been designed with Dark Sky Friendly lighting fittings to minimise the amount of blue light emitted in the night-time environment.

Worm Farms.

We feed our wildlife with fresh fruit & veges; the leftover trimmings are fed to our worm farms and the resulting ‘tea’ is either sold for a donation to the National Kiwi Hatchery or used throughout the park as natural fertiliser to make the flora stronger.

Electric Vehicle Charging.

Our fast electric-vehicle charger can fully recharge most models in 3-4 hours and is available for our visitors to use free of charge or for a nominal donation to the National Kiwi Hatchery.

Electric-vehicle charger at Rainbow Springs

 

Our Community Care

He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

 

We support our region, our people and community, and our precious wildlife through educational, cultural and care initiatives. 

 

Promoting our region and supporting the local economy.

We promote tourism in our region and support our community by contributing to a strong local economy; our partnerships with Destination Rotorua, Tourism New Zealand and 100% Pure New Zealand, as well as our own network of domestic & offshore sales teams all contribute to stimulate visitation to our region.

Our people.

We look after our people as we look after our family. In 2018, we committed to the Living Wage as part of the Ngāi Tahu Tourism businesses to better support our Te Whānau Tapoi o Ngāi Tahu (the Ngāi Tahu Tourism family). We encourage our people to grow and support them to join local and national community groups and organisations. For example, you would be thrilled to know that our Kiwi Husbandry Manager is on the Kiwi Best Practice Committee, is a ZAA Kiwi Husbandry Advisor and is on the Wildlife Rehabilitation Network NZ.

Education.

  • Kiwi Rangers Programme.

The Kiwi Rangers Programme is a first of its kind local conservation initiative by Rainbow Springs & The National Kiwi Hatchery to nurture kids passion for conservation and the outdoors by enabling a number of rangatahi nominated by their school and community groups to engage in hands-on conservation activities, educational sessions, and understanding the important role of volunteering for the conservation of our wildlife and environment. Examples include building environment enrichment, learning about natural environments such as wetlands, trapping, understanding the stakes of kiwi egg candling, and more!

The programme also helps our rangatahi develop crucial skills such as leadership, including tuakana/teina as they will be taking part in identifying and collaborating with the next year’s Kiwi Rangers, communication by sharing their experiences with other students at their school which also enables to expand the impact of the programme to a community level, and confidence.

  • Rotorua Education Network.

We are part of the Rotorua Education Network – a group of businesses encompassing cultural, geothermal, natural environment, and adventure elements, and aiming to provide unique and quality out of the classroom experiences for students nationwide. All member businesses are Qualmark rated and also members of the Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter.

Further information about the Rotorua Education Network is available on www.rotorua-education.co.nz

  • 'Edutainment’ activity booklets.

We aim to pass on our passion for conservation to the younger generations through involvement and education. We are developing our wider education outreach programme and have recently designed and launched our seasonal ‘edutainment’ activity booklets – Junior Explorer, which are complimentary with your visit at the park and also distributed via our community care programme. Junior Explorer booklets focus on one native species each season and are filled with lots of interesting information, games and activities to complete while exploring the park and some to take and finish at home.

booklets

Wildlife care partnerships.

  • DOC.

We have strengthened further our relationship with the Department of Conservation and welcomed a range of endangered species within the Park, including whio and pateke breeding pairs.

  • KiwisForKiwi.

The National Kiwi Hatchery is the world’s leading kiwi hatching centre, with a state-of-the-art hatching facility and a specialist husbandry team. The Hatchery supports national training and the upskilling of kiwi workers by co-hosting, in partnership with KiwisForKiwi, egg candling workshops aiming to enhance technical skills of kiwi practitioners, study embryo development, as well as to cover techniques to handle and transport kiwi eggs safely.

Cultural initiatives.

As part of Ngāi tahu Tourism, cultural sustainability is at the heart of what we do.  At Rainbow Springs, we work collaboratively with local iwi Ngāti Whakaue to support and preserve our cultural heritage and the use of Te Reo in daily life.

More recently, we worked closely and collaboratively with Ngāti Whakaue to develop and launch the new Taonga Experience, an interactive, engaging, entertaining and educational 20-minute show which focuses on sharing the history and legends of rich Māori treasures.

Discover more at Rainbow Springs!

The National Kiwi Hatchery

Taonga Experience

Don't miss our cultural & interactive show: Taonga - Treasures of New Zealand.
11.30am and 2.30pm daily in the Rainbow Arena.

Sacred Spring & Plant Tour

Journey to a spring steeped in history and cultural significance. Not usually accessible to the public, this guided tour takes you to a sacred spring nestled in forest behind Rainbow Springs.

Junior Explorer Activity Booklets

Jam packed full of fun and educational activities for the park an at home!