Kaitiakitanga is the Maori principle of 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.
Kaitiatitanga encompasses the responsibility to care for and preserve the land, waterways, forests, and all living creatures.
Kaitiakitanga emphasises the interconnection between humans and nature, recognising that we are duty bound to be responsible stewards of the environment.
Visitors to Aotearoa New Zealand are encouraged to respect and support the values of kaitiakitanga, understanding that you too have a role in preserving our country's unique natural heritage for future generations.
About 80 percent of the Peak View property is covered in regenerating native bush and 20 percent is plantation radiata pines. The range used to be completely engrossed by 2 metre 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. We completed our first stage of planting with 1500 native trees put into the ground and have also been removing wildling pines. When the 20ha pine plantation is ready to be harvested we will replant in all native trees over a five-year period, aiming for 4ha a season. We're passionate about re-wilding and bio-diversity and protecting this special piece of paradise.
The pest populations which occupy the land include goats, pigs and possums (which were introduced from Australia). We love our native birds and unfortunately so do the possums. We removed 200 possums the first winter we were here through trapping and hunting via spotlight in the evenings. The second year we didn't get any possums in the traps which was fantastic and as a result we noticed a big increase in the native bird life. If you would like to get involved or learn to trap and recover fur we’d love to show you, just let us know.
Resource and energy use
The Retreat was architecturally 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. We upgraded all of the internal lights to low energy LED lights. We also installed smart switches (compatible with apple system) so they can be turned on/off on your smart device. If you’re out late and we notice that you’ll be coming home in the dark, you may notice we have remotely turned on the lights for you.
We installed a Wood fired Hot tub as 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 so we have an unlimited firewood source on site.
We chose the Stoked Stainless brand due to them being Made in Wanaka by a lovely small business, and also using stainless steel making them much more hygienic and easy to clean. We use rain water from our tanks and fill the hot tub with fresh rain-water for each new guest. We installed pipes to send the used water from the hot tub down to the orchard to water 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, just beautiful blue skies every day. 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 throughout Summer.
Certified Organic Cotton Linen
We use entirely 100% Organic GOTS Certified linens for all of the sheets, duvets, and towels. 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, which supports traditional hand looming small family businesses in Turkey.
Eliminating plastic and reducing waste
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 that cannot be recycled. In the Retreat kitchen you will find reusable and washable containers for food storage.
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 the use of other packaging, until then we 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
Instead of buying 200-500ml cleaning and body care products from the supermarket, we order bulk products in 5 litre containers – this is the most sustainable option currently available to us is
After researching and trialling a variety of NZ made products we were pleased to discover Santosa and Real World. They use excellent ingredients and when the containers are empty we send them back to be refilled.
We’re still not 100% happy with this system as we would like to eliminate the plastic and transport components altogether. We hope one of our favourite personal brands Ethique will soon provide a wholesale bulk solution where we can order bars and then convert them to liquids to refill our glass bottles. This step will completely eliminate all plastic – which is exciting.
If you have not heard of Ethique, their founder is an incredible and inspiring woman and we are huge fans of the brand and what they’re doing to help our planet.
We use metal product bottle holders in our bathrooms from Made of Tomorrow. This business has great design aesthetic and functional items that are all made in NZ.
We also use amber glass refillable bottles, with pumps for our shampoo, conditioner, body wash and hand soaps. The glass bottles are made in Wellington by a local business called Arthur Holmes. They have very helpful staff with excellent customer service.
Environmental sustainability stance
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 and you will find a tea menu in the compendium.
We are also big fans of the beautiful husband and wife team Aroha Chocolates, and during winter we make their gorgeous Hot Chilli Chocolate available for your to try. You can find Aroha Chocolates at the Nelson markets every Saturday, and you can also order their products online.
We provide local Nelson Coffee Roasters Sublime and Pomeroys coffee beans, for the espresso machine. They provide their beans in compostable paper bags. We share the love between the two businesses as we enjoy both of their coffee beans.
We’re always looking for ways to improve our practices and if anyone has any suggestions we are very open to hearing them. So please do get in touch by emailing Natalia firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope by sharing this information it may inspire you to make changes in your own lives.