Nelson Regional Development Agency wins the Industry Collaboration Award at New Zealand Tourism Awards

Nelson Regional Development Agency wins the Industry Collaboration Award at New Zealand Tourism Awards

Written by Charlotte Lang

Posted on Wednesday 1 December 2021

The Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA) has won the Industry Collaboration Award at the 2021 New Zealand Tourism Awards held virtually on Monday 29 November, after a three-month postponement due to COVID-19 disruption.

The industry’s most respected annual awards recognise outstanding tourism businesses and individuals who are leading the way in creating the future of New Zealand’s tourism industry.

The Industry Collaboration Award went to Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA), due to their strong results and the legacy of their Zero Carbon Itinerary project’s impact. “They are pushing the sector forward and there was genuine collaboration in creating the itinerary. This initiative has the potential to change the way the sector organises itself going forward, and the way tourism is seen” says TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts.

The Zero Carbon Itinerary was released in April this year and highlighted 19 businesses who worked with local business Ekos to help measure, reduce, and offset their carbon to become certified as either zero carbon or climate positive.

The idea for the itinerary was born from the Nelson Tasman Destination Management Plan which seeks to build on the region’s natural advantages and the efforts of local eco-friendly businesses and non-profit entities with an aspiration to be bolder in being green.

The aim is to target visitors who balance their desire to explore more with the need to care more for the places they visit as a way of ensuring the region will be well looked after for generations to come.

The work continues as we aim to become the first zero-carbon region in New Zealand, an aspiration set by Businesses for Climate Action, for Te Tauihu (Top of the South). Since the itinerary was launched in April, 7 more local businesses have registered themselves as Zero Carbon and/or Climate Positive, with more businesses in the process of certification.

"We’ve always been fortunate to have a strong network of local operators where collaboration comes naturally. This award is credit to our relationships and the forward-thinking tourism operators who kept a positive focus throughout challenges faced over the last year.” says Tracee Neilson, Visitor Destination Manager for NRDA.

“It’s encouraging to see the impact this initiative has had on businesses throughout the region. We hope to see this approach spread far and wide across the visitor sector in New Zealand” says Fiona Wilson, CE of Nelson Regional Development Agency.

This is the second industry award the Nelson Regional Development Agency have won for collaboration this year, further reiterating the innovative collaborative structure that underpins the Nelson Tasman Regeneration Plan 2021-2031 (Project Kōkiri).


For more information, please contact Charlotte Lang, Communications Coordinator, NRDA

For the full itinerary please visit:  

To read about the wider sustainability initiatives happening in the region:

Businesses in Nelson Tasman who are Zero Carbon/Climate Positive

  1. Chia Sisters
  2. Yum Granola
  3. Celcius Coffee Roastery
  4. Hooked on Marahau
  5. Mussel Inn
  6. The Free House
  7. Abel Tasman Aquataxi
  8. Abel Tasman Canyons
  9. Abel Tasman Centre
  10. Abel Tasman EcoTours
  11. Abel Tasman Lodge
  12. Abel Tasman Ocean View Chalets
  13. Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures
  14. Cable Bay Kayaks
  15. Marahau Beachcamp
  16. Marahau Sea Kayaks
  17. Marahau Water Taxis
  18. Owen River Lodge
  19. Skydive Abel Tasman
  20. The Gentle Cycling Company
  21. Wine Art & Wilderness
  22. YHA Nelson by Accents
  23. Kimi Ora
  24. Abel Tasman Guides
  25. Pics Peanut Butter Factory
  26. Hybrid Bikes