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Te Ipukarea Society: Corporate members recognised for eco efforts

Saturday 9 March 2024 | Written by Te Ipukarea Society | Published in Environment, National


It is that time of year again where we acknowledge the support of our 2023 corporate members. Corporate members of Te Ipukarea Society help support the society undertake multiple environmental-based projects that protect the Cook Islands natural capital.

This past year saw our very first platinum member, The Rarotongan Hotel group consisting of The Rarotongan Beach Resort, Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach and Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort.

Our very loyal gold members: CITC, Pacific Resort, Motu Villas, Kia Orana Villas, Bank of the Cook Islands (BCI), Goldmine, Capital Bank Security, Koka Lagoon Cruise and ANZ Bank have continued to support us this past year. CITC in particular remains our oldest corporate sponsor, with more than 10 years of continuous support.

We also greatly appreciate all our silver and bronze corporate sponsors for their support over the past year. Your support has allowed community initiatives such as the Citizen Science Turtle monitoring programme and school educational programmes.

Our platinum members which include the sister resorts, The Rarotongan, Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach and Aitutaki Lagoon Private offer some vibrant coral ecosystems for snorkellers to experience. To protect the surrounding coral habitat, the sister resorts make an effort to ensure guests are educated on the fragility of the various coral species found and provide safe coral snorkelling tips. The sister resorts also give back to the community by offering fundraising initiatives that support groups who take part in their ‘Food Forest Working Bee’, where trees for food are planted around the resorts in Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

CITC is a big supporter of waste management assisting community-led campaigns such as the Annual World Oceans Day Beach Clean Up event plus the Rent a Plate portable dishwashing station utilised at food vendor sites to eliminate packing waste. In house actions include initiating recycling trial programmes for single use plastic bottles with ICI, as well as having reduced the amount of single use plastic bags leaving their stores by instead offering paper bags or cardboard boxes.

Pacific Resort is actively involved in waste management training and education for all staff. Minimising plastic waste is achieved through the use of reusable pump dispensers throughout their property for shampoo, conditioner, body lotions and jams used at breakfast. The Pacific Resort group have continued to support the sales of TIS reusable water bottles to their guests, which can then be refilled at UV treated and filtered stations around their resort and the island.

Tae-ria has assisted TIS in designing numerous graphic materials from posters to stickers as well as our very first T.I.S water bottle design. At home the Tae-ria family play their part in practicing subsistence living as well as reusing jam jars for the tasty ‘Mauke Moments’ chutney range.

Motu Villas offers a range of eco-initiatives including providing reusable water bottles to cut down on single use plastic waste. The toiletries and cleaning products used are all eco-friendly. There’s also the opportunity for their guests to make the most of four Avanti electrical-bikes for complimentary use. An electric car is also used to shuttle guests around the island.

Kia Orana Villas are long-term supporters of Te Ipukarea Society and were one of the first corporate members to support the use of the TIS reusable bottles within their accommodation. Encouraging our visitors to practice actions that ‘reuse’ which minimises waste and generally saves you money in the long run.

BCI has put a lot of effort into lessening their paper waste by providing the option to view your transactions on screen.

ANZ has been innovative in reducing its carbon footprint by having gas air-conditioning instead of electric-powered aircon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A limit to the AC temp for the office also helps mitigate energy wastage by preventing overcooling.

Capital Security Bank has implemented top-down systems where policies allow for their operation to be more eco-friendly.

Koka Lagoon Cruise staff have a good understanding and relationship of their marine working environment, minimising their impact as much as possible. Actions include reusable initiatives such as using reusable plates, cups and cutlery on the motu during their tour kaikais.

Motor Centre are taking the electric route upskilling two of their senior technicians in completing a NZ certificate in Electric Vehicle Automotive Engineering (Level 5). By July, Motor Centre will be the only ones in the Cook Islands certified to work on electric vehicles (EVs). By the end of 2024, Motor Centre will have a dedicated EV bay in their workshop, specifically setup to cater for EVs.

Whether big or small our private sector practices a range of different eco-driven actions to minimise their impact on our environment. This is just a selection of what some of our sponsors do that helps with minimising the damage to our environment. By also being a member of the society, they help continue grassroot campaigns that help protect our ipukarea. Become a member today at