Spotlight on Maori Tourism
Experience Hikurangi – Ngati Porou Tourism
Tourism is New Zealand’s largest export industry in terms of foreign exchange earnings. It directly employs 7.5% of the New Zealand workforce according to statistics NZ 2016. So it is no surprise that as part of Budget 2017 the Government is looking to invest in growing this industry.
Maori Tourism is unique to New Zealand, it is our point of difference in the Global market and attracts foreign visitors by the thousands onto our shores. There are many successful operators who work tirelessly to give visitors an experience that they will never forget. Over the last 10 years, BDO has been on a journey with Ngati Porou, which has seen us help to ‘bring the branches of the tree together’ post-settlement.
One venture that BDO is proud to work with is Ngati Porou’s Experience Hikurangi which runs tours to their sacred maunga (mountain) Hikurangi. Hikurangi stands at 1,754 metres and is located 130kms north of Gisborne and is the first point on mainland New Zealand to greet the morning sun. Ngati Porou are proud to share the cultural icon, which is a symbol of home for the 70,000 plus tribal members.
BDO backs Ngati Porou Tourism by working closely with the Ngati Porou team. An option to visit the site by helicopter was included in BDO’s recent annual conference agenda. This was a trial offering to assist Ngati Porou Tourism to develop their tour packages.
There was great interest from the BDO conference attendee. Unfortunately the weather did not play its part and on the day the grey stormy weather made it unsafe for the helicopter to depart and land upon the symbolic maunga. While disappointment was felt it didn’t hamper the BDO conference.Tairawhiti did what it does best and we improvised with other offerings that the district is renowned for; great food, wine and company.
Visits to Hikurangi require registration with the Ngati Porou team. You can walk up or drive by four wheel vehicle to the hut, the last leg can only be done on foot. Walking the maunga will take approximately 6-8hrs, which is no easy feat. You can book to stay at the hut part way up the maunga to break the journey.
On your journey up the maunga is Te Takapau a Maui which was an installation of nine whakairo (carved art works) that were erected to celebrate the dawning of the new millennium. They are impressive to view, if ever you get the opportunity to visit the site you will not be disappointed.
There are guided tours to view the whakairo, contact the Tourism Ngati Porou booking office on 06 864 9004 for an unforgettable experience.
For more on the above, please contact your local BDO representative.