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Seafest to become NZ’s first zero waste festival

Media Release – September 16, 2004

Kaikoura Seafest aims to become NZ’s first zero waste festival

Kaikoura’s annual Seafest next month aims to become New Zealand’s first zero waste festival event.

Kaikoura was the first South Island district to commit to zero waste in 1998. The October 2 festival this year will implore all people attending to embrace the local zero waste policy.

``We hope people will help us make it New Zealand’s first zero waste festival,’’ Kaikoura District Council chief executive Stuart Grant said today.

``Zero waste extends beyond the Seafest gates and visitors will see our recycling and waste bins provided to prevent waste and littering in the township.’’

Kaikoura ended its rubbish collection in 1999 and a kerbside collection now collects just recyclable materials. The local high school is aiming to becoming one of the country's first zero waste high schools in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, tourism is driving the Kaikoura economy, creating 30percent of local employment. The town’s 3500 residents often struggle to meet demands on more than one million visitors a year that puts significant pressure on the town’s amenities.

``Tourists come here to see the whales and enjoy our mountains so we have to look after our environment. We are becoming a Green Globe 21 community which means we can protect our environment and society while ensuring sustainable growth of tourism in the town," Grant said.

Kaikoura’s fish stocks still abound but supplies will not last forever without a sustainable management system. A rahui (fishing ban) near the town has been in place for two years.

``The rahui is a good example of the community working to prevent over-fishing with help from honorary fisheries officers. The community is concerned which is why a `mountains to sea’ management area is being investigated which will ensure the sustainable management of the land and marine environment.’’

A limited number of 5500 people will attend next month’s 10th annual Kaikoura Seafest which is regarded as one of New Zealand’s top festivals.

The Seafest offers paua, mussel, oysters, scallops, prawns, whitebait, crayfish, blue cod and crab plus other food and many Marlborough and Kaikoura wines.

One of New Zealand’s top chefs Rex Morgan of Citron Restaurant in Wellington will demonstrate seafood cooking at the festival.

Ends

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