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Sustainability in Action


At TOPEC we follow the principle of kaitiakitanga. Kaitiakitanga is about humans acting as guardians and stewards of the sky, sea, and land, assisting the gods and ancestral spirits to preserve and protect the physical environment.

Kaitiakitanga is a philosophy that aims to deliver the planet to future generations with its mana/status intact. For us, and those who attend TOPEC, this includes running the centre and our programmes following a philosophy of sustainability, environmental protection, and minimal impact on the areas we visit.

As part of our kaupapa, TOPEC offers opportunities for groups to participate in environmental projects. Some of our initiatives include:

  • The earth oven: made from clay, a recycled cattle trough and some good old kiwi ingenuity. The oven is fired from wood collected from along the river and cooks fantastic pizzas.

  • Recycling: TOPEC has been acknowledged by New Plymouth District Council for the recycling efforts we undertake.

  • Eco Lodge: constructed from recycled and or sustainable materials. It is solar-powered and harvests rainwater.

  • Planting native plants to encourage wildlife and birds.

  • Pest Control at Araheke Reserve

  • The instigation of an orchard and vegetable garden.

  • The promotion of the Leave no Trace Principles, River Care Code and Marine Mammal Protection Code.

  • Sharing of local histories and stories of what the land was like, how it was used, and how it is used today to increase awareness of the human impact on the environment.



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