adventure aotearoa mĀori

Do you love being outdoors?
Have you ever thought about working in te taiao? 

Contact Us

Join us for a six-day haerenga in the great outdoors

Recreation Aotearoa have funded us to run an awesome six-day journey designed to give Māori a taste of the different career options in the outdoors! There’s lots of jobs in the beautiful natural environment that might interest you – traditional Māori waka, adventure tourism, conservation, youth work and outdoor education. 

If these job options sound good to you, come and have a haerenga with us and see what it’s all about!



This programme offers an experience to 10 Māori people who are interested in working in the outdoors. The trip will expose participants to a range of jobs within the outdoor sector and introduce training pathways and role models who can support them towards working in the outdoors.


An awesome 6 day long trip doing really cool things with a group of people also looking into working in te taiao!


The people you will get to know most will be the group will be made up of 10 people who are interested in working in the outdoors! There will also be two facilitators who will be with the group the whole way round the haerenga. They get to know the group, facilitate different kōrero, make sure the group get to the next place on time and get to do all the activities too! These facilitators also have their own stories of working in the outdoors in an outdoor education and youth work capacity. Along the way you will meet many more people. Some who are running their own companies and organisations; some who are working for training institutions or qualification authorities. These people will share a bit of their stories of the job they do and how they got there and their journey with te ao Māori.


During the haerenga we will have kōrero about the different types of jobs and if there is one that you think could be for you. We’ll spend some time making some goals and identifying what the next steps are for you to head in that direction. The cool thing is we’ll be meeting lots of people on the way that work for polytechs, internships, workplace training and qualifications so you’ll already know the people that can help you on the next step. So you should leave the trip with a clear idea of what you need to do next if you want to move into one of these careers. After the trip the facilitators that have been with you the whole time will give you a call and check in with you to help you with those next steps. The reason we are running this trip in October is so that straight away you can apply for polytech courses, training courses, internships and summer jobs!


You need to:

  1. Read through this page thoroughly.
  2. Fill out the application form below.
  3. Ask two people to be your references. Here’s the link to forward on to them:

Once we receive your filled in form from your references, we will:

  1. Read all the applications.
  2. Make a shortlist of people who might come.
  3. You might get a letter to let you know that you didn’t get in.
  4. Or you will get a phone call from one of us to have a kōrero about the programme and ask you some pātai, you can ask us some pātai, and make sure you think it’s for you.
  5. We’ll let you know if you have got a spot on the haerenga.

You need to:

  1. Make arrangements for transport, childcare, mahi, study – whatever else so that you can come.
  2. Confirm you’ve made arrangements and you’re definitely coming.
  3. Come!


To be eligible you need to meet the following criteria (or at least most of them):

  • Identify as Māori
  • Interested in working in the outdoors
  • Up for a challenge
  • Be 18 years or older
  • Physically able to participate in several hours of activity at a time
  • Restricted or Full Drivers Licence
  • Experience with some outdoor activity or sport (preferred)
  • Level one NCEA (preferred)
  • Will and able to engage in a smoke, drug and alcohol free week


Anything with an * AST can provide if you don’t have it:

  • Clothing:
    Toilet Gear
    Underclothes (1 change)
    Socks (2 pairs – woollen/thermal)
    Shorts (2 pairs)
    Thermal bottoms (1)*
    Fleece pants (1 optional)*
    Togs or swimwear Tshirt (1)
    Thermal/merino top (2)*
    Jersey or Polarfleece (1)*
    Down Jacket (optional)
    Raincoat or jacket (with hood)*
    Personal toiletries and sanitary items
    Warm beanie
    Woollen Mittens/Gloves (optional)
    Sturdy shoes for walking in (tramping boots*/sandshoes/sports shoes)
    Jandals for campsite
    Sun glasses
  • Equipment:
    Drink bottles (2x 750ml)
    Sunglasses and sunhat
    Insect Repellent Sleeping bag *
    Small Tent*
    Journal and pen (optional)


There is no cost to this programme thanks to Recreation Aotearoa! If you are able to get yourself to the meeting spot in West Auckland then that would be great! If you need help with getting to Auckland let us know and we can help out with that.

    about the organisations
    and the people you’ll meet

    Adventure Specialties Trust has been delivering outdoor education for over 30 years providing a huge range of challenging activities on New Zealand’s rocks, rivers, mountains, caves, sea and coast. Adventure Specialties Trust is passionate about our vision of ‘using outdoor adventure to grow great communities.’ Our mission is to respond to the needs in our community by providing outdoor adventure programmes that facilitate the holistic development of individuals, families and communities.


    Ko wai au? Ko Te Tari te Kaumira, Uretane, Kā Tapuwae o Urihia ōku Mauka. Ko Waihoa te awa. Ko Waihao te marae. No Kāi Tahu te iwi. Ko Kāti Huirapa, Ngāti Hateatea, Kāi Taoka, Te Aitaka a Tapuiti ngā hapū. Nō Te Tihi o Maru ahau engari kei Taupō tōku kaika ināianei. Ko April Heath tōku ikoa. Kia ora, My name is April Heath. I am of European and Maori descent and have whakapapa connections to many rūnaka across Te Wai Pounamu. I am passionate about Te Ao Māori and our whakapapa connections. Since working in the outdoors I have began to see the similarities with Māori worldview of te Taiao and the outdoor industry. I love exploring this relationship through my personal journey and in mahi contribution. In the weekends you can find me mountain biking in Rotorua, exploring Central North Islands ngāhere or searching for a one of a kind item of clothing in the local opshops. Something you should know about me is that I am always down for a laugh and a good joke, so bring your energy! I look forward to working together and commend you for taking up this wero. Ko au te whenua, te whenua ko au.


    Ko Ruapehu te maunga. Ko Taupo te roto. Ko Te Arawa te waka. Ko Waitahanui te marae. Ko Ngāti Maniapoto te hapu. Ko Tuwharetoa te iwi. Nō Whanganui ahau. Kei Muriwai tōku kāinga ināianei. Ko Dan Walters tōku ingoa Kia ora, my name is Dan Walters. I am of Maori decent and whakapapa to the above pepeha as well as Nga Puhi and Ngai Tahu. I am currently learning Te Reo and have recently completed Te Reo Level 4. I have been involved in youth work for over 10 years specialising in mentoring. I have had over 20 years of facilitation experience and in my last youth related role was one of the Lead Facilitators for the Project K Mentoring Programme for Adults wanting to be Youth Mentors. I have worked extensively with young people regarded as New-Zealand’s worst young offenders and also in programmes that span across all year levels of secondary school. I am now working for Ngati Whatua in the Woodhill Forest in Auckland in a Kaitiaki role and am the current Secretary for the Iwi whanau Hunting Committee in that rohe. The Kaitiaki role has been a blessing in terms of being in an organisation that operates to the best of its ability along the lines of Te Ao Maori and Tikanga Maori practices. The values of sustainability, whanaungatanga and aroha practiced within this role makes being part of this programme all the more appealing. Nga mihi maioha.

    CanyoNZ is based in the beautiful Coromandel a region, rich in Māori and European history. Canyoning trips offer true adventures which go down a steep set of waterfalls involving abseils, water slides and jumps.


    Wayne started training in vertical rope systems & guiding in the Summer of 1995 and began taking crazy but willing participants into the vertical caving environment of the great Waitomo Caves. This saw him guiding some of New Zealand’s most spectacular cave systems and various canyons in NZ and Europe. It wasn’t long before Wayne was dragged into the office in the position of Operations Manager of one of New Zealand’s leading caving companies. He thoroughly enjoyed his time in the Waitomo region but his dream of leading & guiding for a company that was his own was realised, and so he teamed up with his good mate and Adventure colleague Russ – the two purchased Canyonz and the journey began of making it their own and delivering a product they could be truly proud of. When Wayne is not guiding he teaches Rope Rescue skills along with Outdoor First Aid. He is an Outdoor Assessor and is qualified in Industrial Rope Work as well as Adventure Guiding & Instructing

    TAK MUTU –

    MDA Experiences is an outdoor company with a strong focus on Māori culture. The crew of guides carry on the traditional beliefs of Manaakitanga, Kaitiakitanga and Whanaungatanga. Moving MDA Experiences forward as an owner operator, Tak Mutu has been busy actively marketing and growing the now well known luxury adventure brand, creating solid relationships with New Zealands leading luxury agents. Along with his family and friends who are all a part of the MDA crew, the business has grown in leaps and bounds starting a new era in Adventure Tourism, catering for the exclusive clients. Tak and the team have created a hub for outdoor enthusiasts alike to meet, play and enjoy Aotearoa at its finest.

    Te Toki Waka Hourua is committed to ensuring that the traditional knowledge and practices of ocean navigation remains alive, by sharing and celebrating these skills with the community, maintaining and sailing a fleet of training and voyaging waka, and training the next generation of navigators and crew who will continue to keep these practices alive.


    John-Reid Tihirahi Willison grew up knowing the stories of how his ancestors sailed waka hourua to Aotearoa and had a clear view on how this was all possible through his Uncle Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr. He started sailing from a very young age with his uncle aboard Aotearoa One which ignited his love of sailing. Since then he has been completely taken by the voyaging lifestyle and lives eats and breaths waka. John-Reid’s focus is to understand the true meaning and responsibilities of what it takes to be a waka hourua kaitiaki and more importantly to help support his uncle to continue to grow the waka kaupapa.

    how to register

    fill in the application form below

    NB: You’ll need to attach a CV

    send this link to your two references




    Based in the Waikato, Wintec offers courses in outdoor adventure education where students learn to lead and mange groups in the outdoor environment. They offer a Certificate in Outdoor Adventure and Recreation which can also lead on to a Bachelor in Sport and Exercise Science


    AUT based on the Northshore of Auckland offer a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation with a major in Outdoor Education.

    skills active

    Skills active allows you to choose from a range of different activities to turn your passion into your everyday working life by becoming a qualified outdoor recreation professional.


    NZOIA (New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association) has developed outdoor instructing and guiding in NZ into a profession. NZOIA is the qualification body for 9 outdoor disciplines which are recognised national as the industry standard. 

    ‘Hāpaitia te ara tika pūmau ai te rangatiratanga mō ngā uri whakatipu’

    ‘Foster the pathway of knowledge to strength, independence
    and growth for future generations’

    Recreation Aotearoa is the voice of recreation in Aotearoa, representing all professionals in the industry. We empower our members to deliver the quality recreation experiences, places and facilities, that fuel a more active, healthy and connected NZ.

    We are thrilled to support this programme through our Outdoor Activity Fund; a fund which aims to enhance diversity and inclusion in outdoor recreation, and to connect people with their culture through the outdoors. We look forward to following this haerenga and its outcomes.


    For more information, please feel to contact us or flick us a message:

    4 Winston Place, Henderson, Waitakere 0610

    (09) 837 6033

    Message US