The Te Vakaroa Philosophy - Living Sustainably - TeVakaroa Villas
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The Te Vakaroa Philosophy – Living Sustainably

Te Vakaroa Villas has committed itself to living sustainably in the Cook Islands.

We are Cook Islanders and we fiercely respect our islands, sea and land and the interaction of our people who live here and the values of our guests who stay. In our build, and how we continue to run our resort is with the want for the very best results for Ecological and Social Sustainability. As Cooks Islands luxury sustainable resort, we are aware of the possible negative effects that our resort could have on our eco systems and on the community and are obligated to minimize our environmental footprint by appropriate leadership.

Architecture and Design

  • Native plants to the Cook Islands have been used widely in landscaping and sourced from only sustainable sources, many by our own seedling initiatives.
  • Solar power was installed on build – enough to provide 70% of our annual need.
  • Effluent discharge systems installed on build for gardens.
  • Full water filtration and UV system to all water outlets installed on build.
  • All building products were sourced and from New Zealand, following New Zealand building supply government directives.
  • The hardwood joinery was sourced from wood grown in sustainable plantations not native forest.
  • All our artwork showcased at Te Vakaroa are Cook Islanders – our flower artist is Sylvia Marsters, and other pieces including sculpture work is Reuben Paterson and Ian George.

Energy, Water and Waste

  • 15kw of solar power installed which produces 70% of our electricity requirements.
  • Solar heat our water with an electricity booster when required.
  • Recycle our glass, plastic and collect all green waste which gets delivered to the recycling plant for compost.
  • No phosphate chemicals in our cleaning products.
  • Use salt in our swimming pool as opposed to chlorine which is highly toxic.
  • Use local fruit so as not to use cans, as we use local Cook Island Coffee (Plunger Coffee) not expresso pods and of course all our water is filtered so we don’t use plastic water bottles which add to landfill.
  • Quality organic-based guest toiletries (soap, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion), in refillable containers.
  • Recycle the wastewater onto our gardens, we have done a planting of vetiver grass which absorbs most of the nitrates and phosphates.
  • Effluent discharge from our property is by way of dripper pipe system into a landscaped garden setting where Vetiver Grass has been included as part of the landscaping. This grass has a heavy deep-rooted system and assists hugely in absorbing phosphates and nitrates while reducing soil particles transition to the lagoon.
  • Additionally, Vetiver grass along the stream banks close to the entry to Te Vakaroa Villas that assists in controlling contaminates within stormwater
  • Full water infiltration to all water outlets means NO plastic bottled water at all in the resort.
  • Two-stage septic system with recent upgrade to C.I. Public Health requirements Spa pool water replacement twice a week.
  • Hi level salty system to maintain high level of pool water clarity.
  • Separation of waste, food scraps, bottles cans etc protects Rarotonga’s landfills.
  • Regular ( 6 monthly ) filter cleaning of all air conditioning units.
  • Eco-friendly washing / cleaning liquids used throughout the property
  • Large solar system in place to reduce dependence on local diesel-generated power.
  • We provide education to our guests (and of course within their training) on the steps they can take to minimise their footprint in biodiversity rich areas such as our own Muri Lagoon, and other areas they may visit.

Our Local Staffing & our Te Vakaroa Family

  • Te Vakaroa Villas focus attention on employing local staff as our team members are key to the success of our resort. An authentic, happy, and respectful relationship with our team membership shines through in our reviews constantly from guests, as those personal experiences are priceless.
  • We pay a liveable wage to our staff members – not minimal government wages, which means our staff turnover is virtually non-existent
  • And just to keep things in the family …
    • our architect is the brother in law of co-owner Nick Reeves – multi-award winner, Lawrence Sumich of Sumich-Chaplin Architects New Zealand
    • our interior designer is the sister of our co-owner Nick Reeves – Charlotte Sumich
    • our gardens were designed are still maintained by our co-owner Nick Reeves, who has a Bachelor of Horticultural Science, Lincoln University – New Zealand
    • our owners Nick Reeves, Des and Casey Eggelton all reside full time in Rarotonga.