07 October 2008

Backpacker campervans helping keep NZ clean and green

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The New Zealand Government has provided extra funding for a tourism recycling initiative, "Love NZ – Recycle with care", and now tourism operators are putting their own money behind the initiative.

The initiative involves the provision of recycling bins at tourist hot-spots, and it is hoped it sends a strong message to international tourists that New Zealand is serious about environmental protection and tourism sustainability.

Maui, Britz and Backpacker campervans has said they are helping to keep New Zealand clean and green by introducing LoveNZ recycling facilities at their Auckland and Christchurch branches.

"We view it as a fantastic way of assisting our customers with appropriate places to dispose their waste and help reinforce New Zealand’s clean and green image," said Maui, Britz and Backpacker General Manager Marketing, Kate Meldrum.

Environment Minister Trevor Mallard said this is the future for the tourism industry that he and his government envisioned.

"This is exactly what we were hoping for when we started the initiative. Without a commitment from business to sustainability, the needs of environmentally friendly tourists in New Zealand will not be met. It is good to see the tourism sector has committed to taking a leadership role in protecting and enhancing the environment," Mr Mallard said.

Backpackers have been included in the strategies for sustainability.  Recycling bins have already been placed in key backpacker areas including Kaikoura, Wellington, and Taupo, and are showing positive results.

A report from New Zealand’s Labour Department showed that around 10,000 British residents took advantage of the working holiday visa to New Zealand during 2007.  British nationals on a New Zealand working holiday visa can work and holiday in the country for up to 12 months, and then apply for an 11 month extension.

"Many backpackers are environmentally conscious. Having recycling facilities in backpacker accommodation around the country will meet their expectations to do the right thing for the environment," Trevor Mallard said.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.

Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.

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