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Encounter Foundation

About Albatross Encounter

The partners in Dolphin Encounter (now Encounter Kaikoura) launched the albatross tours in 1998. This expansion of the business focused on the prolific pelagic birdlife within easy access off Kaikoura’s magnificent coastline. With as many as 14 species of albatross on show, Kaikoura is famed as one of the albatross hotspots of the world.

Encounter Kaikoura History

Ian, Lynette and Dennis

Encounter Kaikoura is a locally owned business, the three business partners are Ian Bradshaw, Dennis Buurman and his wife Lynette. Ian Bradshaw, along with Dennis’ brother Rik Buurman, were the first to make specific ‘swim with the dolphin’ tours in New Zealand, back in the summer of 1989-90. In the year of 1991 Dennis and Lynette joined Dolphin Encounter. In 2000 Rik decided to move on to other things leaving the business in the capable hands of the other partners.

 In 2004 the business was relocated to new premises with the addition of a café, conference facility, enlarged retail area and gallery, all within the same complex. The business was rebranded to Encounter Kaikoura and is committed to a strategy which focuses on environmental sustainability and developing improved operating efficiency.

Environmental Commitments

The early days

The Encounter Kaikoura partners consider sustainable practices as essential to the business and in 2003 they embarked on the Green Globe accreditation system. GREEN GLOBE 21 is a global benchmarking, certification and implementation system for sustainable travel & tourism. It is based on Agenda 21 principles for sustainable development, endorsed by 182 Heads of State at the Rio de Janeiro United Nations Earth Summit. It provides a path to sustainable travel & tourism. 

Encounter Kaikoura first obtained Benchmark status in 2003 and Certification was achieved in 2004 and the following 4 years. More recently Encounter Kaikoura has focused on the Qualmark certification, achieving Qualmark Enviro Gold In 2009, which is the highest achievable level within the Qualmark accreditation system in New Zealand.