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Dark Sky Project, He Kai Kei Aku Ringa award winners, 2021.
Star gazing, Kiwi conservation and luxury guiding were the top Māori tourism experiences at the New Zealand Tourism Awards on Monday evening.
For the first time ever, the event was hosted online by event organisers Tourism Industry Aotearoa. The last tourism awards event was held in Ōtautahi in 2019.
Ngāi Tahu-owned Dark Sky Project in Takapo won the NZ Māori Tourism sponsored He Kai Kei Aku Ringa award, for its “fantastic project which truly delivers the Māori message and embraces everything the tourism industry is about”.
The award attracted a high caliber of finalists, which comprised of two former He Kai Kei Aku Ringa award winners - MDA Experiences from 2019, and Waitangi Treaty Grounds, from 2016.
National Kiwi Hatchery
Also Ngāi Tahu-owned, the National Kiwi Hatchery took out the Conservation Award, sponsored by the Department of Conservation.
Ceillhe Sperath, Ngā Puhi, who owns TIME Unlimited Tours, was commended for her commitment to growing a business for the sake of the community, winning her the Marsh Tourism Industry Champion Award.
Ceillhe Sperath, TIME Unlimited
NZ Māori Tourism Chief Executive Pania Tyson-Nathan congratulated all the winners and finalists, noting it had been a difficult two years for everyone.
“To come this far for any tourism business is a feat in itself, but to see so many brilliant finalists was truly inspiring. A huge mihi to you and your whānau for all the hard work you’ve put in to get this far.”
You can see a list of all the finalists by clicking here.
KUA MUTU / ENDS.
New Zealand Tourism Awards 2021 Winners
- Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust Community Engagement Award
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari (Waikato)
- Department of Conservation - Conservation Award
The National Kiwi Hatchery (Rotorua)
- Tourism Talent Employer of Choice Award
iFLY Indoor Skydiving NZ Ltd (Queenstown)
- Toitū EnviroCare Environment Award
Wellington Zoo Trust
- Tourism New Zealand Industry Collaboration Award
Nelson Regional Development Agency
- He Kai Kei Aku Ringa Māori Tourism Award
Dark Sky Project (Takapo)
- Westpac Resilience and Innovation Award
Waiho Hot Tubs (Franz Josef Glacier)
- NZME Visitor Experience Award
Redwoods Treewalk & Nightlights (Rotorua)
- PATA New Zealand Trust Emerging Tourism Leader Award
Loren Heaphy, ChristchurchNZ
- Marsh Tourism Industry Champion Award
Ceillhe Sperath, TIME Unlimited Tours
- Sir Jack Newman Award - Outstanding Industry Leader