Regenerative & Sustainable Tourism

Free Mighty Waikato Sustainability 'Check-in'

Free sustainability check-in for Waikato tourism operators

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism is offering Waikato tourism operators the opportunity to participate in a free sustainability check-in, worth over $380.

Focussed on helping operators gain practical sustainability tools and advice that are cost-effective and easy to implement, HWT is partnering with environmental and sustainability specialists, InStep.

Instep will undertake a 90-minute, face-to-face session with an operator to identify areas of strengths and opportunities, which will then result in a bespoke two-page report and a step-by-step plan for that operator to:

  • decrease their carbon footprint
  • minimise waste
  • potentially save on operating costs
  • attract new customers who are seeking environmentally friendly experiences

What's involved in the Sustainability Coaching Session:

The Programme allows operators to start small and simple by tackling three main goals, including practical and tangible actions that will be designed to help your business progress.

Goal One: Reduce carbon
Goal Two: Reduce waste to landfill
Goal Three: Restore the mighty Waikato River

After your registration is submitted, an Instep Sustainability Coach will contact you to arrange a time to meet in person and learn about your business. Once all questions are asked, Instep will analyse all information received, and provide you with a two-page report to explain where you are doing well and identify opportunities for you to action to continue your sustainability journey.

After 12 months, Instep will be in contact to discuss how your sustainability journey is going and provide you with further guidance for your next steps.


Limited registrations available. If you have any questions, please email

Please note this programme is only available to tourism operators operating within the Hamilton & Waikato Tourism RTO boundaries.

Background of the Programme

The Mighty Waikato Sustainability Programme is part of our Destination Management Plan dedicated to supporting, protecting, enhancing, and giving back to our place, people and planet. The plan aims to enrich our local communities and provide visitors with a more sustainable, regenerative, and resilient destination.

At the very heart of this aspiration is the desire for tourism operators and visitors to the region to respect the environment they are in; and to educate our visitors on how to engage within the environment in the least harmful way possible (or to give back).

It should be noted that this is not about limiting access to natural assets throughout the region (such as rivers, caves, wetlands, and coast), but rather protecting and enhancing the experiences available within them.

Our tourism sector's desire is to move to the next stage of sustainability - aiming to actively support, enhance, and give back to our place, people and planet. While tourism success has been measured in economic terms to date, we are moving into a new era of thinking. How to create value more broadly for the benefit of our people, our place, and collective prosperity.

Testimonials from tourism operators who consulted with InStep

Being on the beautiful Coromandel peninsula, with limited resources and a unique environment, sustainability has always been a huge part of our business model to future proof our business and area for future generations to enjoy. Signing up to the Instep programme innovative through Destination Hauraki Coromandel allowed us to dig a bit deeper to our daily operating processes and operations to see what we are doing, what impact it has and what more we can do to achieve better sustainability. Peter from Instep’s professional expertise provided great advice of what small changes we can do and set achievable goals. We are looking forward to implementing some of the ideas to our businesses to operate with an even smaller environmental footprint going forward.

Aaron McFarlane – Managing Director – Shelly Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park & Anglers Lodge Coromandel

The Forever Good for Your Soul Sustainability Programme has been a very worthwhile 'first step' for us in gauging a sense of how we are doing on our sustainability journey.

Although I knew that we had sustainability at the core of our business and decision making, Peter was able to give us an indication of how we are doing in the bigger, industry scheme of things. He also gave us some initial metrics we can use as bench markers, and some practical suggestions for future sustainable initiatives.

For small, owner operated businesses that may want to be actively measuring their sustainability initiatives but can't afford to jump into the big programmes (carbon zero certified and the likes), this was just the encouragement needed to start telling our sustainability story with confidence.

Kylie Rae, Nature to Nosh

Joining the Forever Good for Your Soul programme, provided us the opportunity to really evaluate how well we are doing in this space. It led us to making a real difference by encapsulating the great work we do alongside community groups by developing a "Traps and Trees" programme, that has exceeded even our expectations.

Diane Drummond – Hauraki Rail Trail