The care factor: a summer from Tiaki


Humpback whale breaks, Kaikoura. Picture / Delivered.

Maintaining New Zealand’s best contributions is something we can all show our support for – so that we can make the most of this summer and many more and experience something new and exciting in the process.

If there has been a silver lining in recent years, it is that we have all had the opportunity to reflect on it and fully appreciate what we have taken for granted. With summer finally here and the opportunities to enjoy all of the amazing experiences and natural wonders of Aotearoa, it is the perfect time to remind us that we appreciate the landscapes and culture that make this country so incredible Making, preserving and protecting land must be inhabited and visited. And this is where Tiaki – Care for New Zealand comes in, born out of a shared desire to share a connection with the country with those who travel to it. Tiaki is a Te Ao Māori tikanga or principle that we can all adopt – it is about respect for the country and its people to ensure that this precious place remains that way. The Tiaki Promise is one that we can all partake of: drive carefully; be prepared; show respect; Protect nature; and keep New Zealand clean. In addition, operators across the country are of course showing their commitment to Tiaki. Here are a few who are working hard so we can all enjoy Aotearoa at its best for years to come.

Humpback whale breaks, Kaikoura.  Picture / Delivered.
Humpback whale breaks, Kaikoura. Picture / Delivered.

Waka Abel Tasman – Kaiteriteri

You don’t forget to experience the power of the mighty waka so quickly – and with that

passionate group of guides at Waka Abel Tasman, there is an added potency. Waka cultural awareness experiences and multi-day trips include Māori storytelling, learning about Māori history and tribal groups, discovering cultural sites, singing waiata, and learning Māori tikanga in the sublime surroundings of Abel Tasman National Park.

In the past year, Waka Abel Tasman has taken more than 1,000 local rangatahi (young people) to the waka to make a difference. Rangatahi are given the opportunity to learn about key sites in their area, local tikanga, and strengthen their Reo Māori in a way that takes them out of the classroom and closer to te taiao (nature).

Experiences start at $ 95 per adult.

Nature tours on the island of Kāpiti – Paraparaumu

The protection and sustainability of Te Taiao have always underpinned the Mahi of Kapiti Island Nature Tours, now more than ever. The team worked with Ngāti Rereahu and the Department of Conservation to transfer Kōkako from Pureora to Kāpiti Island, bringing the total population of these manu (birds) to nearly 200. They also have a dedicated Pou Taiao, a role who is a kaitaiki and sustainability lens for all aspects of the job – including reducing carbon emissions and developing sustainability and regeneration programs for local schools and the wider community. Convince yourself of the great work and untouched nature on a tour through this special place.

Experiences start at $ 82 per adult for a self-guided trip.

Rapids Jet, Taup.  Picture / Delivered.
Rapids Jet, Taup. Picture / Delivered.

Rapids Jet – Taupō

Rapids Jet in Taupō is New Zealand’s only whitewater jet boat experience where thrills, excitement and jumps can be expected. But behind the scenes, the Tauhara North No.2 Trust, which runs the company – within the raw or territory of Ngāti Tahu and Ngati Whaoa – has kept workers busy during the downturn. It set up seven maintenance roles for “Kaitiaki Whenua”, which also give something back to the locals and the place. The team planted over 20,000 native trees in Rotokawa, restored traditional wetlands, worked on river erosion control, riverside planting and the removal of wild pines (which were then chopped as firewood for Kaumatua). This is how you can feel good supporting the locals and giving something back while your heart beat faster for your adventure.

Experiences start at $ 129 per adult.

Kaitiaki Adventure – Rotorua

Go down rapids, explore the crater of mighty Mt. Tarawera, get a bird’s eye view of it, or a combination of all on an excursion with Kaitiaki Adventures. To ensure that this untouched nature is well cared for, the company, together with Mana Whenua Ngati Rangitihi and the Trust Ruawahia 2B, recently stepped up the existing Te Maunga ō Tarawera (Mount Tarawera) Te Aumangea conservation program. This year Kaitiaki Adventures has hosted over 500 community volunteers who, together with Kaimahi (staff), have grown more than 40,000 pine saplings over an enormous 136 hectares. The work done creates awareness and appreciation for the collaboration between iwi and ecotourism and its fundamental benefits to the wider community, the tourism industry and Te Taiao.

Rafting experiences start at $ 119 per person.

Whale Watching – Kaikōura

Seeing the ocean leviathans up close is a privilege and a joy – to ensure these giants of the marine world are protected, Whale Watch Kaikōura is committed not only to providing visitors with an incredible experience, but also to preserving our natural wonders . As a Māori-owned company, “sustainable” has both a physical and a spiritual meaning – Ngāi Tahu has had a special relationship with whales for more than 1,000 years and intends to do so for an additional 1,000 Detailed records of each trip are kept via propulsion units that minimize underwater noise, and the information gathered about the whales is used as part of ongoing scientific research. The Whale Watch philosophy encompasses people, land, sea and all living beings as a unit (Ki Ua Ki Tai) and so many visitors report a spiritual experience after an excursion here.

Experiences start at $ 150 per adult.

For more information on Tiaki – Care for New Zealand, please visit

Before starting your adventure, please check the current warning level restrictions
and follow government guidelines at


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