About Aoraki Bound

Aoraki is the sacred mountain of Ngāi Tahu and the tallest in Aotearoa.

“Ekea kā tiritiri o te moana…
Ascend to the heights of your aspirations”

Ngāi Tahu oral traditions record that Aoraki was the eldest son of Rakinui and Pokoharuatepō. Aoraki and his three brothers brought the great waka, Te Waka o Aoraki, down from the heavens, but it became stranded and overturned tipping the brothers into the water.

They climbed on to the upturned canoe waiting rescue, but as time passed their hair went white and they turned to stone, becoming Ka Tiritiri o te Moana (the Southern Alps) with Aoraki forming its highest peak.

The place of Aoraki in Ngāi Tahu culture is significant; the mountain is a symbol of our mana (prestige and character) and as a people we look to its lofty heights with respect and for inspiration. Aoraki Bound a 20-day cultural and personal development programme draws on this relationship to help build the leaders of tomorrow.

Aoraki Bound combines Ngāi Tahu cultural knowledge and expertise with the experience and reputation of Outward Bound in a journey from Anakiwa at the top of Te Waipounamu to the feet of Aoraki.

Te Rūnanga recognises cultural revitalisation is crucial to the future sustainability and development of Ngāi Tahu as individuals and as a collective. We have a genuine desire to share our knowledge and values and a strength of the course is that it is not just for Ngāi Tahu, but for all New Zealanders.

The value of Aoraki Bound is being realised by the differences it makes to our young generation in terms of reviving and enhancing Ngāi Tahu culture, knowledge and identity, and the development of our people as future leaders.

What can you expect from Aoraki Bound?

  • Increased understanding of Ngāi Tahu culture, beliefs, language and history
  • An enhanced sense of connection and identity
  • A once in a lifetime experience
  • To be pushed beyond your comfort zone
  • To be challenged physically and mentally
  • Personal growth (mentally, emotionally, physically)
  • Leadership development
  • An ability to work in a team
  • Communication skills
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Motivation, determination and drive
  • Improved fitness and wellbeing

Mark Solomon, Kaiwhakahaere [Chairman] of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu:

“The value of Aoraki Bound will be realised by the differences it makes to the next generation in terms of the revival and perpetuation of Ngāi Tahu culture, knowledge and identity, and the development of our people as future leaders.”

“A strength of the course is that it is not just for Ngāi Tahu, but for all New Zealanders. If we want to be seen as an active member of the community, then we need to involve the community. Enhancing cultural tolerance and understanding doesn’t come from being exclusive, we have to be inclusive and the learning and sharing of knowledge works both ways. You can’t be proud of something unless you know what it is all about.” He says.

Our Vision

“To develop a programme for the personal development of people within a Ngāi Tahu cultural context”.

aoraki-partner-logos