Climate Change - Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

Te Kounga Paparangi

Kounga: he āhuatanga motuhake kei te tuakiri, te wairua o te tangata—excellence of physical or virtual qualities.
Paparangi: he taputapu ārahi i te tapahi pounamu, i te kōwiri pounamu rānei—an instrument that guides the cutting or drilling of pounamu. Paparangi is also a contraction of two Atua Matua, arā ko Papatūānuku rāua ko Ranginui.

Change is here. Te Kounga Paparangi sets out our 88 actions to mitigate climate change, build resilience, and promote sustainable business practices.

At its heart is our inter-generational approach: Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei – for us and our children after us.

In taking care of Papatūānuku, we are taking care of our people now and in the future.

The changes

From Aoraki, across the high country, down the awa whiria braided rivers, across wetlands to te moana, the takiwā has been changing.

Since the Industrial Revolution, temperatures and sea levels have been rising, there are more floods, droughts and wildfires, mainly due to human activities.

Many of our marae, urupā and wāhi tapu are in low-lying coastal areas, exposed to rising sea level and flooding. Our glaciers are melting. Waterways are more polluted. Mahinga kai is scarcer. Some of our taonga species are struggling to adapt to the changes and are at risk of survival. Papatūānuku is hurting.

Every challenge creates an opportunity

The environmental challenges facing Papatūānuku (mother earth) are abundantly clear in the takiwā.

Many of our marae are in low-lying coastal areas, exposed to the elements and to the threat of rising sea levels. Our mahinga kai practices are under threat.

Aotearoa is changing, and we need to take innovative solutions across industries to remove waste, clear waterways, improve bio-diversity and educate our whānau
– Te Kounga Paparangi starts this journey.

While it is easy to feel overwhelmed, we are choosing to embrace the opportunity for meaningful change. Click on the video to discover more about how Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is adopting a leadership stance to tackle climate change.

Te Kounga Paparangi is ambitious and influences virtually every part of our operations for the better.

Our targets align with national and global targets of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels. We are serious about these changes.

We are drawing deeply on the wisdom of our Tīpuna. We don’t claim to have all the answers, but our size and influence give us the freedom to experiment and innovate where we operate.

Lisa Tumahai

What’s red on the outside and green on the inside?

Our world-first electric jetboat prototype. It has the potential to significantly transform the iconic Shotover Jet operation in the next few years.

When it comes to our environmental footprint, no single organisation can solve the challenges of climate change, but if everyone plays their part, amazing things can happen.

Ngāi Tahu Tourism focused on identifying how to make the biggest potential impact in its journey to being carbon zero by 2050.

The Shotover Jets are a New Zealand tourism icon, a well-known and much-loved visitor experience, for domestic and international tourists alike, with more than 120,000 passengers annually.

Our Plan

Our plan is ambitious because we are serious about taking action and want to be a climate leader

The key performance indicators set out in Te Kounga Paparangi are consistent with Te Tāhū o te Whāriki (Anchoring the Foundations) He Rautaki mō Te Huringa o te Āhurangi, the Ngāi Tahu Climate Change Strategy.

Update the baseline of current Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group greenhouse gas emissions and review annually to isolate areas of highest emissions for priority reduction. The 2017 baseline is 118,229 tCO2e. Work with Papatipu Rūnanga to develop a science-based audit plan for Papatipu Rūnanga to reduce emissions.
10% greenhouse gas emissions reduction in Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group owned facilities.
8% reduction in biogenic methane.
Reduction in biogenic methane of 13% based on 2017 numbers (normalised for herd size). *
Scope 1 & 2 emissions2 of 54.6% by 2030 from a 2017 baseline.*
Commence innovation on targeted assets e.g. electric jet boats, and diesel alternatives. * 50% of the Ngāi Tahu Tourism jet boat fleet is electric. *
Develop a plan for reduction in car use by staff. Investigate procurement and funding options of Electric Vehicle (EV) fleet for whānau and staff.
Audit use of air travel and develop an air travel reduction plan (compared to 2018). 30% less air travel emissions. 50% less air travel emissions.
Develop plan to phase out use of diesel and petrol vehicles in Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group passenger fleet. 50% of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group passenger fleet comprise EVs. 100% of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group passenger fleet comprise EVs.
Update Travel Policy to ensure rental car use and taxi use are EV or Hybrid only. Rental car and taxi use is 100% EV or Hybrid. Staff rental cars and taxi use are 100% EV. Zero natural gas/LPG appliances and vehicles in the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group.
Supply chain vendors to provide emissions reporting data and collaborate on emissions reduction plans. 70% of supply chain vendors are providing emissions reporting data and working with us to reduce their emissions. 100% of supply chain vendors are providing emissions reporting data and working with us to reduce their emissions.
All procurement of goods and services will be evaluated against impacts on our Ngāi Tahu carbon footprint. 60% of supply chain vendors are committed to becoming net zero by 2050.
Replace all fleet vehicles tyres, where possible, to fuel efficient ones.
*2 Scope 1 and 2 emissions are those that the business has control over.


  • Reduction in biogenic methane of 17% based on 2017 numbers (normalised for herd size) *
  • 100% Ngāi Tahu Tourism jet boat fleet on alternative fuels. *

Identify funding and partnership options to assist Papatipu Rūnanga to develop Marae Centred Climate Change Response Plans.+ Work with Papatipu Rūnanga to identify Ngāi Tahu research priorities to assist in the development of Marae Centred Climate Change Response Plans. + Marae Centred Climate Change Response Plans put into action and adequately funded. +
Continue to identify green-tech solutions for Marae i.e. low energy and self-resilience technology + Develop a plan to upgrade Marae to ‘green tech’ utilising Pūtea Aumakea Fund. + All Marae and Papatipu Rūnanga facilities are supported to upgrade to technologies that ensure long term resilience in energy, water, and waste management. +
Te Rūnanga to work with Papatipu Rūnanga to focus on whānau most exposed to the effects of climate change and where practicable support measures to improve their resilience.+ Te Rūnanga to work with Papatipu Rūnanga and continue to support civil defence planning at marae, to manage the effects of climate change.+ Support Marae to serve as hubs for communities in times of local Climate Emergency such as floods and storms.+
Continue to foster strong synergies with local and regional Government to ensure incorporation of the needs of whānau in climate resilience plans.+ Work with Papatipu Rūnanga to create a risk profile for the takiwā, identifying areas that will need rapid action.


Develop a water management plan for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group, Papatipu Rūnanga and whānau homes (this includes security of water supply, catchment of rainwater, greywater usage, water gardens etc). Have water management plans in place for 60% of operations and Papatipu Rūnanga. Have water management plans in place for all operations within the Te Rūnanga Group.
Ngāi Tahu Farming sites have completed variable rate irrigation upgrade in conjunction with soil sensors.* Implementation real-time water quality monitoring across Ngāi Tahu Farming operations.* Incorporate, where possible, new agritech solutions across Ngāi Tahu Farming sites e.g. nitrogen inhibitors, methane reducing technologies.*
Collaborate with key partners to improve water quality where required. Annual Ngāi Tahu Farming site soil reports conducted.* Agritech solutions implemented on targeted Ngāi Tahu Farming sites to reduce use of water e.g. diverse pasture species.*
Survey aquatic biodiversity of critical waterways within commercial operations.*
Support Papatipu Rūnanga and hapū to prepare their local interpretation of Te Mana o te Wai. + Ngāi Tahu are engaging as Treaty partner when preparing the next generation of freshwater planning instruments (2024-2026), including provisions for Te Mana o te Wai. + Te Mana o te Wai and freshwater planning is aligned with Ngāi Tahu aspirations. +
Continue working towards securing Crown recognition of rangatiratanga over freshwater, including the acknowledgement of Ngāi Tahu rangatiratanga in the Resource Management Act and the Three Waters Reform Programme. + Continue working towards securing Crown recognition of rangatiratanga over freshwater. + Ngāi Tahu is actively exercising rangatiratanga over freshwater. +
Develop action plans to progressively manage the impacts of climate change on the health of freshwater and its access and use by whānau. + Whānau, Papatipu Rūnanga and Te Rūnanga are implementing action plans to progressively manage the impacts of climate change on the health of freshwater and its access and use. +


  • Develop strategic partnerships for agritech solutions.*
10% year-on-year reduction in synthetic fertiliser with paddock-by-paddock soil testing.* 100% renewable energy consumption across Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group business units. Investigate the use of biofuels across Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group business units.
Develop an emissions reduction management plan related to heating and cooling of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group operations. Review and replace, if required, chemicals with non-hazardous alternatives.
Develop construction guidelines with standards for carbon, water, energy, and waste for whole of life management. Complete hazardous waste and remediation plans for all Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group operations.
Complete soil reports for sites where hazardous goods are used near water supplies.


  • All synthetic fertilisers replaced. *
Work with mana whenua to develop and prioritise ecosystem rejuvenation initiatives e.g., create migratory corridors for mahinga kai and marae nurseries. Assess the data from five years of ecological monitoring to determine if we are improving invertebrate numbers, bird species count, and native flora and fauna in targeted locations. *
Implement high country station environmental strategy. All new developments will have ecosystem enhancement plans.
Identifying biodiversity initiatives in the marine environment.
Reinstate the Mahinga Kai Fund, with a climate change lens, to increase whānau driven protection and restoration. + Integrate climate change response into all Iwi Management Plans and/or Mana Whakahono a Rohe agreements. +


  • 100% of our supply chain with ecosystem rejuvenation.*
Complete a baseline assessment of all waste outputs and implement reduction targets. Collaborate with supplies that provide biodegradable/recyclable packaging. Removal of all single use plastics. 100% biodegradable / recyclable packaging on all consumer products produced.
Include end of life disposal requirements in all purchasing. 60% of all operations and partners have waste reduction targets and monitoring. 100% of all operations and partners have waste reduction targets and monitoring.
Innovation workshops with tier one suppliers to challenge product development. 100% of organic waste is composted.
Develop a print reduction plan, include investment into digital publications, management of digital records, and recognition of archive material and permanent records. Paperless office and 100% digital publications.
Investigate solar panel installation and funding options for the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group and whānau homes.

Continue the installation of solar panels on marae. +

Provide the option for audits on houses lived in by whānau, develop a plan to improve standards to be warm and dry, investigate funding options and providers.
Investigate options for green energy. Where practicable develop renewable power within the takiwā e.g. solar farm, wind turbines, micro-hydrogeneration. Investigate waste to energy plan options.


  • Ngāi Tahu Group are net contributors to the energy grid via green energy initiatives.
Work towards the development of a Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group ‘future fit’ sustainability framework. Develop a suite of educational and informational videos and digital material to keep whanau and stakeholders engaged in climate preparedness and wider sustainability programs. +
Develop an overarching Communications and Engagement Plan for the Climate emergency. Bi-Annual Tribal Climate Change Symposium and rangatahi wānanga. + A dedicated fund is established to support innovation and creativity in development of new approaches to address climate change impacts. +
Establish a climate change ‘homepage’ on the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu website for information sharing. Identify training and education opportunities that will enable Ngāi Tahu whānau to find climate-resilient employment. +
Technical Term Explanation
Agritech solutions Application of technology to produce more with less, to make the farming process more efficient
Aquatic biodiversity The diverse variety of plants and animals that live in freshwater habitats
Biodegradable Degradable by bacteria or other natural organisms, e.g. composting
Biofuel Fuels that can be produced or made up of renewable material of plant or animal origins, often as full or partial substitutes for fossil fuels
Biogenic methane Greenhouse gas produced by animal or plant source
Ecosystem Nature-based system made up of plants, animals, and bacteria, as well as the physical environments they live in, and the interactions between them
End-of-life disposal The end of a product’s useful life (e.g. when it is no longer able to repaired or re-used)
(EV)Electric Vehicle A motor vehicle that has an electric motor that is powered by a battery, which is charged from an external source of electricity
Field capacity The water remaining in a soil after it has been thoroughly saturated and allowed to drain freely, usually for one to two days
Greywater Wastewater generated from non-toilet plumbing systems within buildings
Micro-hydogeneration Small-scale electricity generation utilising the natural flow of water
Net Zero Achieving the balance between greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere with those taken out, such as from trees
Real-time water quality monitoring Continuous measurement of groundwater quality
Science-based audit plan Identifying greenhouse gas emission sources and setting reduction plans in line with science-based targets
Scope 1 emission Direct greenhouse gas emissions that occur from sources that are controlled or owned by an organisation
Scope 2 emission Indirect greehouse gas emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, e.g. steam, heat, or cooling
Scope 3 emission Other indirect greenhouse gas emission sources
Soil moisture deficit The amount of rain or water required to bring the soil moisture content back to field capacity
Soil sensor Instrument for detecting how much moisture is in the soil
Synthetic fertiliser Fertilisers derived from man-made compounds applied in either liquid or solid form
tCO2e (Tonnes of CO2 equivalent) Standard measure of greenhouse gas emissions
Variable rate irrigation A system that can apply water at different rates depending on soil moisture to optimise water use
Water management plan Plan to optimise water use, including security of water supply, catchment of rainwater, greywater usage, water gardens, etc.
Waste-to-energy Generation of electricity through combustion of waste
Whole of life management Optimising resource consumption, including carbon, water, and energy, from concept to disposal

2050 Goals

  • Te Rūnanga Group will be carbon neutral.
  • Te Rūnanga Group will hold the government to account for their delivery to climate goals.
  • Te Rūnanga Group works with government on climate change impacts on Settlement assets and tribal lands and resources and establishes mechanisms that enable at risk assets, lands, and resources to be transferred, replaced, or compensated.
  • Te Rūnanga Group to implement initiatives to positively impact whanau driven by climate change affecting, well-being, physical and mental health, and whānau-focused measures to build resilience and ability to adapt and innovate if necessary.
  • To have a diverse and resilient asset base contributing positively to the world reflecting our social, environmental and Ngāi Tahutanga aspirations.
  • Te Rūnanga Group will have implemented initiatives to minimise changes to the environment that impact Ngāi Tahu cultural identity.
  • Te Rūnanga Group will work with the central and local government to develop strategies to respond constructively to climate change.
  • Te Rūnanga Group will evaluate our existing portfolio of assets and activities to assess future commercial risks, liabilities, and priorities for diversification, innovative practices, or exit strategies.
  • Te Rūnanga Group are actively investing in places and species of abundance and engaged in necessary protection, restoration, and enhancement.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Our Journey

We are targeting net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from operational activities and our energy consumption.

Gross Group Greenhouse Gas Emissions (tCO2-e)

The above figures for 2017 – 2021 have been audited by Toitū Envirocare. Further detail can be found at

This map shows Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu business units

  • Clicking on a circle will open a pop up that shows the emission reducing initiatives for that location.
  • In the pop up, click the arrows besides ‘1 of 2’ to flick between emissions and initiatives at each site. The numbers are tonnes of carbon dioxide (equivalent).
  • Scroll down to see a graph of total emissions year on year.

We look forward to sharing the outcomes on this journey with you.

“Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei.”

For us and our children after us.