Kaitiakitanga has been described as guardianship or protection. The basic meaning of ‘tiaki’ is to guard, but depending on the context in which it is used, it also means to preserve, keep, conserve, nurture, protect and watch over. The prefix ‘kai’ with the verb ‘tiaki’ denotes the agent of the action of ‘tiaki’. Therefore, a kaitiaki is a guardian, keeper, preserver, conservator or protector. The addition of ‘tanga’ denotes preservation, conservation and protection.
About eighty percent of the property is covered in regenerating native bush and about twenty percent is plantation radiata pines, this is where Peak View Range is located. The range was completely engrossed by 6-7ft high blackberry, gorse and hawthorn. It has been a painstaking task but we are slowly removing it all and planting native trees with assistance from Nelson City Council. In Winter and Spring of 2021 we completed our first stage of planting with 1500 native trees put into the ground. We have also been removing wildling pines. The long term goal when we harvest the pines is to replant those 20ha in all Native trees. We're passionate about re-wilding and bio-diversity.
The pest populations which occupy the land include goats, pigs (which have been officially eradicated now) and possums. We love our native birds and unfortunately so do the possums, we removed 200 possums the first winter we were here via trapping and hunting via spotlight in the evenings.The second year we didn't get any possums in the traps which was fantastic and we noticed a big increase in the native bird life. If you would like to get involved in a possum cull or learn to trap and recover fur we are happy to help, just let us know.
The Retreat was designed to maximise the sun, with clever use of glass and double glazing to passively heat the house. We have found this to be very successful, even in winter when the sun is out the house warms up very quickly. We have a wood fireplace installed for heating and also a central heating and cooling system which can be used throughout the year when needed.
We actively track our energy consumption and identify ways to reduce and improve our usage. In 2019 we upgraded all of the internal lights to low energy LED lights. We have started upgrading all switches to smart switches so they can be turned off on your smart device. We're expecting the entire house to be upgraded to all smart switches by the end of October 2020.
We do all laundry on site, linen is hot washed for hygiene and sun dried to conserve energy, we are lucky to be in the sunniest region of New Zealand.
We installed a Wood fired Hot tub in 2018, we wanted a clean option which didn't rely on heavy power usage and that also uses fresh water without chemical treatment. We decided that the wood fired hot tub would be the most environmentally sustainable option for us. There are a lot of wild pines throughout the native bush and along the driveways that we are progressively removing. We also have trees that get damaged due to weather, so we have an unlimited firewood source on site.
We chose the "Stoked Stainless" brand due to them being Made in Wanaka, and also using stainless steel making them easy to clean and also much longer lasting. We use rain water from our tanks and fill the hot tub fresh for every new guest. We installed piping to send the water from the hot tub down to the orchard to feed the fruit trees.
The roof design of PVR is angled to collect rain water which is then gravity fed down to three 25,000 litre tanks. After our first Summer it was very dry as we did not have any rain for 3 months. The tanks got very low so we decided to install a third tank. Our second Summer was a lot busier and we still had no rain for several months, so it's important to conserve water as much as possible through out Summer.
Certified Organic Cotton Linen
In our personal lives we have been moving away from using synthetic fabrics and transitioned to using all natural fibres. We have taken this a step further for PVR and we have been transitioning to use all 100% Organic GOTS Certified linens.
There are a lot of toxic chemicals used in the textile industry which is not conducive to reducing our impact on the environment, so this has been an important step for us to take. Our towels are sourced from Ottoloom you can read more about them here:
We have been trialling two different companies for organic cotton certified bed linen. We will update here once a decision has been made on our supplier and the transition is complete.
Update May 2020
Since starting Peak View Retreat we have always envisioned running an environmentally sustainable and waste free operation. Our goal is to minimise our impact on our environment as much as possible. The major waste streams in an accommodation business are food and packaging waste as well as toiletries and cleaning products.
Recycling and Conscious purchasing
It is very important to us to actively avoid purchasing products which can not be recycled. In the Retreat kitchen you will find reusable and washable containers for food storage. We do not provide glad wrap and would appreciate you avoiding use of it.
Nelson City Council has the ability to recycle plastics numbered 1, 2 and 5 only. All other plastics are not recyclable in New Zealand and will be sent to landfill. We hope the Government will outlaw use of other packaging, until then we can do our best to avoid it.
We provide three bins, one for recycling, one for landfill and one for food waste. Fruit and vegetable waste is fed to our chickens or composted (no meat or fish please).
Cleaning and Bathrooms
We used to buy 200-500ml products from the supermarket. If you think about how many you use in a year that potentially a lot of plastic that ends up in landfill or polluting out waterways and oceans.
After researching and trialling a variety of NZ made products I was pleased to discover "Real World". They use excellent ingredients and provide products in bulk 5 litre jerry cans. When they're empty we send the jerry cans back, they refill and send them back to us. Learn more about them here:
I sourced metal product bottle holders from "Made of Tomorrow". This business has great design aesthetic and functional items that are all Made In NZ.
I sourced amber glass refillable bottles, with plastic pumps for our shampoo/conditioner/body wash and hand soaps. The glass bottles are made in Wellington by a local business called Arthur Holmes. Very helpful staff with excellent customer service.
We are also using Real World laundry liquid and cleaning products now as well as they can all be ordered in 5 litre bulk quantities.
Update August 2019
We’ve been working on some exciting developments lately. We’re passionate about reducing and eliminating single use plastics at Peak View. We are proud to partner with Ethically Conscious small businesses around NZ making beautiful, sustainable and earth friendly products with very minimal or no use of plastics.
We love supporting local Nelson and NZ businesses that operate in a way that aligns with our personal beliefs. We love Nelson based “Heke Homemade Herbals” and can highly recommend their beautiful teas we have a selection for you to enjoy in the retreat kitchen.
We’re using local Nelson Coffee Roaster "Sublime" for our espresso beans and they provide these in compostable paper bags.
We're still researching our shower and cleaning product suppliers. We rare trying to find a product that uses luxurious natural ingredients that are great for your skin and hair as well as the environment.
We’re also passionate about finding a product that uses no palm oil. We don’t believe there are any true sustainable sources. When you’ve stood in the rainforest in Borneo watching Orangatangs in their natural habitat you really can’t justify using it when it’s not necessary, there are perfect alternatives.
Also our gardens and orchard, we’re going to be starting small with raised beds for veggies and herbs. You’ll be able to go and forage the freshest ingredients to add to your meals.
This is part of our long term goal to become totally food self sufficient, growing and hunting the food we need to survive.
So stay tuned and we will updated you as we go.