Te Ara Whakatipu

The path of discovery : Sunday 25th Sept – 1st Oct 2016

TAW LogoThis September we invite 14 Ngāi Tahu rangatahi between the ages of 15-18 to join us on a unique hīkoi through Whakatipu Waitai/The Hollyford Valley, and into Martins Bay. This seven day adventure is an opportunity for Ngāi Tahu rangatahi to explore their:

  • Connection to Ngāi Tahutanga
  • Connection to the natural environment
  • Connection to self (self-identity/leadership/values).

Our programme, called Te Ara Whakatipu, was developed by Kara Edwards (Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio member) and it is funded by Te Rūnanga o Ngai Tahu in conjunction with the Ngāi Tahu business, The Hollyford Track. It features a 21km walk (each way), kōrero from Ngāi Tahu leaders, outdoor bush skills, Te Reo Māori, waiata/haka, whanaungatanga and learning in a remote area of significant cultural value and absolute beauty.

Delivered by a combination of Ngāi Tahu leaders, professional guides, experienced Hollyford Track staff and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu office staff, this is the programme which weaves rangatahi outdoor leadership with Ngāi Tahutanga. Te Ara Whakatipu is very grateful to The Hollyford Track who generously offer their luxury lodge, jet-boat, staff and expertise to this kaupapa.

In brief, this seven day hīkoi includes one day travelling south (to the start of hīkoi, in Manapōuri) and one day travelling home. The other five days are spent immersed in the beauty of Whakatipu Waitai/The Hollyford Valley – a very important traditional pounamu trail linking Te Tai Poutini with Ōtākou and Murihiku.

The on-course costs for this hīkoi are entirely covered by Te Rūnanga o Ngai Tahu, meaning the only associated cost for whānau is transport to the hīkoi start point.

Below you can find further information about the course location, travel costs/hīkoi start point, itinerary, gear list and the application form.

To apply for the hīkoi, simply fill out the application form and return it to us before 4pm, Monday 15th August.

Te Ara Whakatipu acknowledges the manawhenua of both Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio and Ōraka-Aparima Rūnanga.


We welcome applications from rangatahi who:

  • Are a registered member of Ngāi Tahu
  • 15 – 18 years of age
  • Fit and capable of safely hiking 21km (six hours+) with a pack
  • Have a passion for learning about their Ngāi Tahutanga
  • Interested in learning about, and giving back to, the natural environment
  • May also be thinking about a career with their Papatipu Rūnanga, a career with Ngāi Tahu, or be interested in tourism study/working for Ngāi Tahu tourism

Rangatahi/whānau must be able to (a) organise transport to the hīkoi start point, near Manapōuri, or (b) contribute $100 towards the minivan which will be driving Ōtautahi to Manapōuri return. Please see below for further information about course location and costs.

Course Location and Travel Options

The Te Ara Whakatipu hīkoi starts on Sunday 25th September, 6pm, at Te Kōawa Tūroa o Takitimu, 3023 Blackmount-Redcliff Rd, Blackmount, Manapōuri. Te Kōawa is an outdoor education centre, located 30 minutes from Te Anau, or 2 hours from Queenstown/Invercargill.

Rangatahi/whānau must be able to (a) organise transport to the hīkoi start point, near Manapōuri, or (b) contribute $100 towards the minivan which will be driving Ōtautahi to Manapōuri return. There is a section on the application form where you can state your preferred option, and details below on payment (if you decide the minivan is the best option).

Those organising their own transport to Manapōuri will need to ensure they arrive at the destination between 5.30pm and 6pm (Sunday 25th September). Whānau are welcome to stay and join us for the mihi whakatau. If this is your preferred option, please indicate the number of whānau members in your ope so that our ringawera can prepare.

Those organising to travel in the minivan to Manapōuri will need to be at the pickup point between 7.30am and 7.50am at the latest. The pickup point is the Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu office, 15 Show Place, Addington, Christchurch.

Likewise, those in the minivan can be collected from the above address at approximately 7.30pm, Saturday 1st October.

Booking a seat in the minivan

The on-course costs for this hīkoi are entirely covered by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, meaning the only associated cost for whānau is transport to the start of the hīkoi. Rangatahi can book a seat in the minivan which is going from Ōtautahi/Christchurch to Te Kōawa o Takitimu. The cost for the seat in the minivan is $100 per person, return.

If you would like to book a seat in the minivan, please indicate this on your enrolment form. If you/your rangatahi application is successful, we will confirm their placement and then await your contribution. Contributions can be made via direct debit (details below). When the payment is made, please send proof of payment (i.e. a screen shot of confirmed direct debit) to: alice.dimond@ngaitahu.iwi.nz
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu : 010806 0029857 001 : $100 per person
Part: TAW | Code: Last Name | Reference: First Name of Rangatahi

How to apply

To apply, please complete our enrolment form and send/email it to us before Monday 15th August. This enrolment form needs to be completed by the parent/caregiver and rangatahi.

Please also note that, due to the remote location of this programme, we will do a 20 minute phone kōrero/interview/health check. You can use your application form to write your preferred day/time for this kōrero.

Fitness, Health & Safety

The programme management actively look to manage all health and safety aspects and will endeavour to implement correct management procedures to eliminate, isolate or minimise those hazards where possible. However, there will still be inherent risks on the programme, including:

  • Te Haerenga: A supervised 21km hike (42 km hike return + daily smaller walks) through the exposed outdoor elements crossing forests, ledges, large hills, bridges, creeks, coastal landscapes, etc.
  • Mahi (service) & ringa wera ringa kaha (kitchen work)
  • Te reo me ōna tikanga (language and culture)
  • Respectfully listening to tribal leaders, ngā hau kāinga, kaimahi who support the hīkoi, manuhiri/guests, and other rangatahi
  • Various Jet Boat excursions with a commercial operator
  • Optional Swimming on a remote coastline or river swimming (supervised, weather permitting)
  • Exploration of Ngāi Tahutanga and open discussions
  • Mahinga kai (food gathering)

A medium to high level of fitness, and the ability to walk with a pack for 21km, is strictly necessary and required as there are no alternative transport options.

The consent part of our application form outlines more detail around health and safety.


All rangatahi will be expected to conduct themselves in a respectful manner at all times. It is critically important that everyone listens and follows instructions. This is especially important when out on the track and or undertaking outdoor activities whereby adhering to expectations and rules are essential for the health and wellbeing of the hīkoi participants.

The following code of conduct, which ensures an enriching experience for all, applies to the course:

  • Being respectful to the natural environment
  • Taking care of one another and being respectful (to rangatahi, kaumātua, tribal leaders, ngā hau kāinga and manuhiri) at all times
  • Listening to, and following, instructions and participating in all activities as part of the rōpū (e.g. mahi/service, ringawera/kitchen work, hīkoi/on track safety, te reo me ōna tikanga/language and culture, horoia te whare/cleaning the house or kitchen etc.)
  • Communicating concerns, especially physical ailments/discomfort/limitations, to staff immediately, if they occur

Those not adhering to the above will be issued two opportunities to improve behaviour. In the unlikely event that misbehaviour continues and is having a detrimental effect on the individual and or the rōpū health and wellbeing, then unfortunately the rangatahi will need to return home at the expense of the family. This cost could be substantial and therefore we ask that you ensure that your son/daughter is well aware of the consequences of their behaviour.

If there is a need to make emergency contact with whānau, there is a satellite phone at Martins Bay lodge which can be used to call out. Alternatively, in the event of an emergency, whānau can call into the lodge via the Ngāi Tahu Office contact (Donelle Manihera, 027 670 7243), or by emailing the Hollyford Track Operations Manager, Travis Donoghue travis.donoghue@nzwalks.com

Te Ara Whakatipu is a cellphone, technology, smoking and alcohol free kaupapa.


Program Leader & Developer
Kara Edwards
Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio Member
GM Te Ao Tūroa, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

Outdoor Lead & Tuakana Lead
Kahurangi Wilson-Mahuika
Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio member
Hollyford Track Lead Guide (3 years)

Outdoor Second Guide
Kyle Davis
Te Rūnanga o Ōraka-Aparima Member
Environmental Advisor – Culture and Heritage
Te Ao Tūroa, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

Programme Lead Support
Dallas Seymour,
Programme Leader, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

Jet Boat Driver/Lodge Host
Travis Donoghue
Business Manager, Hollyford Track

Chief Cook
Rachel Forsyth
Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio

Makaawhio Runanga Kaumātua
Helen Rasmussen

Ōraka-Aparima Kaumātua
Jane Davis

Rangatahi & Communications Facilitator
Nikki-Leigh Wilson-Condon
Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio member

Driver and Ngāi Tahu Office
Donelle Manihera
027 670 7243 / 03 974 0145


Te Ara Whakatipu is a wilderness based programme which includes more than 42km of walking, in unpredictable weather. Proper gear and equipment is essential for this hīkoi.

Please download the brief Te Ara Whakatipu – hikoi itinerary.
In an effort to keep rangatahi absorbed in each moment of the hīkoi, we only offer a brief itinerary.