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Blue Flag accreditation for Barefoot Sailing

Keep New Zealand Beautiful announces recipients of sought after international Blue Flag accreditation

Rachael Biggins (left), from Barefoot Sailing, receives the Blue Flag Award from NZB Education Manager, Christine White.

Three New Zealand marinas and one sustainable boating tourism operator (SBTO) have been awarded the Blue Flag for the 2017-2018 season, joining elite marinas and boating operators internationally in receiving the highly regarded accreditation. The SBTO accreditation is a recent addition to the long standing Blue Flag beaches and marinas programme. This week, Keep New Zealand Beautiful (KNZB) were pleased to present the Blue Flag award to Barefoot Sailing Adventures. Based in the Bay of Islands, Barefoot Sailing Adventures is the very first New Zealand Blue Flag SBTO recipient. KNZB Education Manager, Christine White, said that Barefoot Sailing Adventures maintain a strong environmental focus throughout all their activities and are leading the way in sustainable boating tourism in New Zealand.

Rachael Biggins from Barefoot Sailing Adventures said what first attracted her to Blue Flag was the strong environmental education component of the programme; “We are passionate about providing support and educating others on conservation initiatives, such as ‘Project Island Song’ in the Bay of Islands; the Blue Flag criteria aligns well with this commitment”

This year the Blue Flag was also awarded to three Auckland marinas, Westhaven Marina, The Landing and Outboard Boating Club.

Blue Flag is a world-renowned eco-label trusted by millions of people around the globe. It currently operates in 45 countries with over 4000 marinas, beaches and sustainable boating operators flying the Blue Flag internationally.

Keep New Zealand (KNZB) became the national operators of the Blue Flag programme in 2016 and are very excited about what this programme means for New Zealand. Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO Heather Saunderson says that if a beach, marina or small boating tourism operator is awarded a Blue Flag this is a signal that an operator has demonstrated a strong commitment to excellence with respect to sound management and environmental protection.

“Each marina, beach or small boating tourism operator who has been awarded the Blue Flag has undergone an extensive application process and been thoroughly reviewed by the KNZB national body as well as the national and international Blue Flag Juries.”

Marinas, beaches and SBTO's who would like to apply for Blue Flag accreditation can do so through the Keep New Zealand Beautiful website.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful has developed detailed handbooks and guides for beaches, marinas and small boating tourism operators outlining the process to get Blue Flag accredited. You can download these resources from here.

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