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Encounter Foundation

About Encounter Kaikoura

Encounter Kaikoura is a locally owned business. The partners involved in Encounter Kaikoura are Ian Bradshaw, Dennis Buurman and his wife Lynette. All three are long time residents of Kaikoura having grown up and been educated in the region.

Ian, Lynette and Dennis

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 his wife Lynette joined Encounter Kaikoura. In 1999 Rik decided to move on to other things and sold his share to the other partners.

We live in a time when ‘Eco Tourism’ has become the latest catch phrase and entrepreneurs throughout New Zealand and the world, are seizing upon opportunities to create activities that involve interaction with wild animals in their natural environment. In pursuing these ventures, we must not lose sight of the fact we are taking a liberty, which although regulated in many instances, is a privilege. For this reason we have a duty to value those animals we come into contact with by giving them the respect they deserve.  

The early days

We at Encounter Kaikoura are focused on giving those who take our tour a natural experience, not one that is fabricated, but one where any interaction between man and mammal is on the terms of the mammal.

We are committed to a strategy which focuses on environmental sustainability and developing improved operating efficiency. This will ensure our clients experience a nature based activity at its very best, with the least impact on the environment and the marine mammals we interact with.