Kia ora ki whānau ki Tapoi Māori o Aotearoa.
E te Pāpā Lewis, e kore rawa koe me ou mahi hei manaaki i te tangata ahakoa ko wai, e warewaretia. Hoea rā tō waka ki Hawaiki nui, Hawaiki roa, Hawaiki pāmaomao, moe mai rā. Paimārire!
I must apologise for the lack of NewsLine over the past few weeks. As well as the gremlins getting in to our IT system, germs also took down some of us with illness. We're all back on board now, feeling refreshed and ready for the last quarter of 2017!
What a time for it to happen though, as lots has been going on in the last few weeks. The TEC Conference was held in Te Anau, and it was fabulous to catch up with so many of you there. It was great seeing all the photos and updates. Thank you to everyone who has emailed and rung as it's inspiring to see people reconnecting, and starting new projects together - it reconfirms why we support events like this.
We also helped to host Steven Adams' teammates and staff from the OKC Thunder on their visit to New Zealand to hold their annual basketball camps for kids. The pōwhiri held at Nga Hau e Wha marae in Christchurch was phenomenal, where our manuhiri were blown away when they entered the wharenui to find more than 300 rangatahi performing a haka pōwhiri. While I'll be one of the first to admit that I'll never understand the intricacies of basketball, the media interest the group gather, the prominence of the NBA, and the social media influence the group has, exposes Māori tourism experiences to a huge audience.
The New Zealand Tourism Awards were held in Christchurch, where the finalists for the He Kai Kei Aku Ringa Māori Tourism Award were Kāpiti Island Nature Tours, and TIME Unlimited. The Barrett whānau from Kāpiti Island Nature Tours took out the award - Kei runga noa atu koutou! It was a wonderful evening celebrating with industry leaders. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners from the evening, with Waitangi Treaty Grounds taking home the ServiceIQ Visitor Experience Award, and Queenstown Resort College winning the Sudima Hotels & Resorts Tourism 2025 Enabler Award. Ka mau te wehi!
We also said goodbye to our Minister for Māori Development, Hon Te Ururoa Flavell at a poroporoaki organised by Māori Inc in Wellington. Minister Flavell has been a staunch supporter of Māori tourism during his time in Parliament, including increasing the number of Māori tourism businesses represented in overseas delegations, attending Māori tourism trade day, supporting Māori tourism businesses around the country, and understanding deeply the relationship between trade and tourism to name just a few. He will be missed.
Ngā mihi, na,
Pania and the team at NZ Māori Tourism