Family Defines Us
Maori Tours Kaikoura was set up by Maurice and Heather Manawatu and is family owned and operated.
Our family are the indigenous people of New Zealand or Tangata Whenua (people of the land). We belong to the sub-tribe Ngati Kuri and our main tribe is Ngai Tahu. We are descendants of the chief Paikea - The Whale Rider.
We set up the business in the last weeks of 2001 and began operating in January 2002. We are the first Maori cultural experience in Kaikoura and exist due to the support of family members and tribal elders who gave their blessing before we established. The stories we tell belong to us all and had permission not been granted we wouldn't be telling them.
Our family has been involved in the tourism industry for more than 25 years - hosting visitors, making them feel welcome and creating new friendships comes naturally - we can't imagine doing anything else.
"Every traveller to and within Aotearoa (New Zealand) should take the time to
stand in the heart of the day with Maurice Manawatu"
(Ian Murray - Tour Guide - Tourism New Zealand)
During the set up phase of our business we had lots of hui (gatherings) with our family members where we discussed what kind of business we wanted to be and what kind of experiences we wanted to offer visitors to Kaikoura. From those gatherings we identified two key outcomes:
- We wanted to offer refreshingly authentic experiences delivered in a personal and natural way.
- We would use traditional Maori values in our daily operation and in all our business affairs - we welcome the opportunity to share those values with you.
Not too long after we set up we met again to identify our mission statement and it remains the same today:
We want to share our unique culture, location and history in a natural and intimate way,
whilst preserving our values and strengthening the development of our people - educationally, economically and spiritually.
Ngai Tahu is the largest tribe in the South Island of New Zealand in both land area and people. Tribal members all descend from a common ancestor 'Tahu Potiki' (son of Paikea the Whale Rider) and that is how we were named. Ngai Tahu translates to Tahu's People. In total there are 18 'hapu' (sub tribes) that make up Ngai Tahu today.
"What I appreciate about your tour is the respectful way you share the Maori history and culture and the integral part nature plays in all of that." Nan Erbaugh - Ohio - USA
Ngati Kuri are the Hapu in the Kaikoura area and we are members of that sub-tribe. Our boundary extends north from Kaikoura to Pari Nui O Whiti, south to the Hurunui river and west through the Kaikoura mountain ranges to Hanmer Springs.
Today the majority of Ngati Kuri live outside the tribal area. Those of us that live in Kaikoura are known as the 'Ahi Ka'which means it's our role to keep the fires burning for all our Ngati Kuri whanau who may one day return home - a responsibility we accept and embrace.
Our 'Kaumatua' (elders) are the backbone of the tribe and they provide us with encouragment and support and they make sure we adhere to correct protocol. Prior to setting up Maori Tours Kaikoura we approached our Kaumatua seeking their approval to visit special places and tell the stories of the area. Fortunately permission was given willingly and we're very grateful for that - had it not Maori Tours Kaikoura would not be here today.
Takahanga 'Marae' (gathering place for Maori) is our spiritual base. Many years ago the elders decided to keep it as a working Marae, rather than open it up as a tourism business and as its private property you're unable to wander through the grounds at your leisure. It's a place where you ought to be officially welcomed to whilst observing the correct protocol.
For this reason our tours don't include a visit to the Marae.
"A wonderful combination of natural, social and political history of a
Maori community - first class example of cultural tourism at work."
(Graham Howe - Travel Writer - South Africa)
Maori Tours Kaikoura has been recognized as one of New Zealand’s leading tourism businesses by being
licensed to carry the Qualmark™ endorsement - New Zealand tourism’s official mark of quality. For more information about this endorsement please visit www.qualmark.co.nz
Department of Conservation Concessionaire
Maori tours Kaikoura is a Department of Conservation (DOC) approved Concessionaire and a portion of your fare is given to DOC. DOC is the central government organization charged with conserving New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage for all to enjoy now and in the future. You can learn more about DOC by visiting www.doc.govt.nz
Environmental Policy - (abbreviated)
As Maori children we are taught from birth that if we remove the core of ourselves and ruin the fundamental nature of the world we live in, there will be nothing left for our children, their children and the generations to come.
We acknowledge the natural environment in which we operate is a valuable resource and we actively support its preservation and conservation which is shown in our policies and actions.
Some of the actions we are taking are:
We conserve water and heat
We collect rubbish at sites we visit and we recycle wherever possible
We use bio-degradable cleaning agents and instruct staff in green practices
We participate in community environmental initiatives
To learn more about our efforts in caring the the environment and for a full copy of our Environmental Policy please email email@example.com
We will welcome any comments or feedback you have in this area.
Social Responsibility Statement - (abbreviated)
We believe in improving communities and play an active role in pursuit of a better place to live.
We recognize we have a special obligation to whanau, hapu and iwi and this is reflected in our policies and actions.
We care about our staff........assist in community projects, businesses and individuals where we can; and encourage our staff and whanau to experience the joy of volunteering.
We realise it takes commitment to make a difference in our community..........
To receive a full copy of our social responsibility statement please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We will welcome any comments or feedback you have in this area.
Trees for Travellers
As visitor numbers to Kaikoura increase, there is a corresponding increase in greenhouse gas emissions from higher traffic levels and energy use. Trees for Travellers will help the reduction in greenhouse emission levels and ensure Kaikoura plays its part in the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.
Maori Tours Kaikoura actively supports this Kaikoura community initiative and encourages you to do so. For more info visit www.treesfortravellers.co.nz