As the leading Māori tourism provider in Wellington Te Wharewaka o Pōneke Tours were selected as finalists in He Kai Kei Aku Ringa Māori Tourism Award in both 2018 and 2019.
As first-time entrants 2018, it was a fantastic experience to be selected as a finalist, raising the profile of our business and acknowledging Wharewaka o Pōneke as a serious tour operator. While Wellington is not traditionally known as a Māori tourism destination, Te Wharewaka o Pōneke Enterprises Ltd are pleased to be breaking new ground.
Our selection once again in 2019 alongside Rotorua based Kaitiaki Adventures and MDA Experiences was equally exciting. Both opertions have been in the Maori tourism market for some time and are located in Rotorua.
The New Zealand Tourism Awards are run by Tourism Industry Aotearoa, with Award Partners Air New Zealand and the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment.
The 2019 Awards were updated to align with the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment, recognising environmentally sustainable and financially successful tourism businesses that embrace kaitiakitanga.
More than 100 tourism businesses and individuals entered these awards, which celebrate the industry’s success, and recognise the efforts of operators to provide economic, environmental, and social benefits to New Zealanders and Aotearoa.”
The judges said this is an inspiring Māori business enjoying great success. It has filled a niche in the market and is bringing Māori culture to visitors to the capital. It provides an amazing range of tourism products all with Tikanga Māori at the centre. The Karaka café experience in particular is something they felt should be available everywhere in New Zealand for visitors to experience.
Representatives from Kaitiaki Tours, MDA Experiences and Directors Liz Mellish and Mark Te One, Wharewaka o Pōneke Tours