GolfcourseCape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay boasts a world-class golf course that is blessed with a stunningly beautiful natural location.

Behind the picture postcard landscape, however, Cape Kidnappers is sending a serious message about the importance of preserving this green space for future generations.

Golf course manager Steve Marsden says the 1000-acre course creates a large footprint that he and his team of 15 full-time staff actively seek to manage as sustainably as possible.

This commitment to preserving the environment extends to initiatives such as predator-proof fences that surround the 6000 acre area, and provision of safe habitats for native and endangered wildlife.

They are also voluntary members of the US-based Audubon Co-operative Sanctuary environmental programme, says Steve.

To be certified with this programme, Cape Kidnappers needs to show what it is doing in areas such as wildlife and habitat management, water conservation and quality management, plus chemical use, reduction and safety.

An important aspect of that management is the use of the Agrecovery Rural Recycling programme.

‘Agrecovery really hits the mark with our chemical container management,’ says Steve.

‘It is the ideal solution to help Cape Kidnappers minimise its impact on the environment and it’s so easy to use.

‘We’ve been recycling our plastic containers through the Agrecovery programme since 2007, and it is an excellent way to back up the other measures we are taking to preserve and enhance the property.’

An extension to the Agrecovery programme was launched in July 2009, providing a safe and simple nationwide system for the collection and disposal of unwanted and expired agrichemicals.

The Chemicals programme takes over from the regional and local council delivered programmes of retraction and recovery which have been undertaken in recent years. Users of agrichemicals can book chemicals for disposal through the Agrecovery website ( or by phoning Agrecovery directly.

At Cape Kidnappers the main agrichemicals used at the course are herbicides for weed control, and fungicides for turf grass diseases.

There is a dedicated area set aside for mixing applications and that is where all the empty containers are triple rinsed and stored before they are dropped off at the local Agrecovery Container collection site.

‘Agrecovery helps promote our professional attitude to managing the environment – both within New Zealand and to the world through the international guests that come here.

‘Even when it comes to purchasing our agrichemicals, we aim to buy products from participating brand owners only.’

It’s a simple process that Steve would encourage other golf courses to make the most of.

‘I would absolutely recommend other golf courses take part in the Agrecovery programme – if they are not using it they need to be asking themselves why not,’ Steve says.