Ngāi Tahu and Air New Zealand formalise relationship

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Air New Zealand have signed a future-focused, strategic relationship agreement aimed at boosting economic growth in Te Waipounamu.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Chief Executive Officer Arihia Bennett says the agreement formalises a partnership that will deliver meaningful outcomes for the iwi and airline and is much more than a document that will sit on a shelf.

“This is a natural fit between two unique and driven organisations that will bring mutual benefits, and signing the agreement is just the beginning. We both acknowledge there’s significant economic opportunity to be gained by working together to highlight tourism experiences and high-quality produce from Te Waipounamu. But of equal significance is the expertise we can share at a governance and leadership level to enable our respective organisations to grow our skill base and our people for the future,” says Ms Bennett.

At the heart of the agreement is a commitment to broaden the relationship between the airline and iwi to achieve economic, environmental, cultural and social outcomes within the Ngāi Tahu takiwā, which covers 80 percent of Te Waipounamu (the South Island).

The agreement signed today at Air New Zealand’s head office in Tāmaki Makaurau includes:

Air New Zealand and Ngāi Tahu will develop a regional engagement strategy for the Ngāi Tahu takiwā and identify ways to drive sustainable visitor growth.

Air New Zealand will promote Ngāi Tahu and Takiwa tourism experiences through its marketing channels and integrate these into visitor strategies.

Air New Zealand and Ngāi Tahu will create a talent and skill sharing programme, with a focus on aviation engineering, innovation and research from Air New Zealand and cultural confidence and engagement from Ngāi Tahu.

Air New Zealand will support the primary products of the iwi in its own environments and supply chain where possible.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says today’s agreement follows a partnership with Ngāti Porou announced last year and is an exciting step in the airline’s support of iwi across the country.

“Ngāi Tahu has been an important partner for Air New Zealand for several years and played a key role in the launch of our new direct jet service from Auckland to Invercargill last month.

“Our organisations share common values and a long-term strategic view of sustainable development and I’m confident we can collectively boost the future of the Ngāi Tahu takiwā.”