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Sustainable Tourism

As a leading Māori tourism business Te Wharewaka o Pōneke actively contributes to the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment by demonstrating rangatiratanga (economic), manaakitanga (visitor), whanaungatanga (host community) and  kaitiakitanga (environment) within our rohe (tribal area).

Te Wharewaka o Pōneke Enterprises Ltd has made a commitment to sustainable tourism in Aotearoa and will continue to make a positive and enduring contribution to Māori tourism.  Let us share this journey and commitment with you by providing a connection with our people, our place and our stories here in Te Whanganui a Tara (Wellington).

Rangatiratanga, manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and kaitiakitanga are concepts of Te Ao Māori that are inherently incorporated in our business practices. These four pou (pillars) are central to providing an economic, social, cultural and environmental return to our people and the people of Aotearoa. Some examples of how we work to achieve these goals can be found below.


Provide sound leadership and Governance for sustainable economic growth.

  • We are committed to ensuring a physical Māori presence on Wellington Waterfront by reclaiming our land, identity and through the revitalisation of Māori language, customs and practices.
  • Our location is significant being harbour frontage to Te Aro Pā one of the largest Maori communities in Wellington up until 1880’s.
  • Our iconic building contributes to the cultural vibrancy of Wellington, and has received architectural awards for design and construction.
  • We  actively engage and reinvest in our business to provide an economic return to our people.


Showing respect, hospitality, generosity, and care for others

  • Ensure our customers have outstanding experiences with all our tourism activities – arrive as strangers and leave as whanau.
  • Ensure customers are able to provide feedback on their experiences by actively monitoring, evaluating and reporting.  An example is found through our poroaki process (tour closure) and on trip advisor.
  • Educate  visitors on our culture, tikanga, kawa and protocols demonstrating Te Ātiawa language customs and practices.
  • Demonstrate how we’re different in New Zealand, why we value the land and our connection through our stories, places and people.


A sense of family and belonging through relationships built on shared experiences and working together.

  • Provide opportunities for Te Ātiawa ki Te Whanganui a Tara and wider communities to experience waka kauapa and tikanga, revitalising waka paddling and practices.
  • Offer employment opportunities for mana whenua to enter the tourism and hospitality industry, having a place for to stand, connect and share Māori culture.
  • Work in partnership with local and central Government, New Zealand Maori Tourism, Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Industry Aotearoa,  WellingtonNZ and other operators to promote importance of culture, language revitalisation, identity and connection.
  • Support city wide celebrations and events further promoting Māori culture and aspirations of Te Ātiawa ki Te Whanganui a Tara.


Guardianship and Protection of our natural, built, and cultural resources for the benefit of current and future generations.

  • Work with others to protect and enhance the environment in which we operate, specifically  Whairepo Lagoon and Wellington Harbour.
  • Contribute to restoration initiatives in our city like Te Aro Pā located in Taranaki Street.
  • Support our business to reduce our carbon footprint. We have made a great start as our waka and walking tours use man power as opposed to fossil fuels.
  • Our kitchens recycle food waste through the Kai to Compost programme.
  • Engage with our community to promote the importance of restoring, protecting and enhancing New Zealand’s natural environment.
  • Share Māori cultural practices with our visitors through our tourism offerings.