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Ngai Tahu Tourism unveils Maori names for jet boat fleet

Ngai Tahu Tourism unveils Maori names for jet boat fleet
November 8, 2019

One of New Zealand’s leading tourism operators, Ngai Tahu Tourism, has introduced te reo Maori names across its fleet of jet boats in Glenorchy and Queenstown.

The jet boats at Dart River Adventures and Shotover Jet were blessed by mana whenua on 5th November.

Ngai Tahu Tourism purchased the two experiences in 1999 and they are part of the 14 businesses in the iwi-owned tourism operator’s portfolio.

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai explains "we have a strong focus on ensuring that our commercial businesses reflect our Ngai Tahu identity and values, and the naming of these boats is an important step in that journey. These names further connect our manuhiri with the stories of our tipuna.”

The Shotover Jet boats have been named after rivers and lakes closest to Kimiakau (the Shotover River) that helped Ngai Tahu tipuna (ancestors) move around the area.

The Dart River Adventures boats have been given traditional Ngai Tahu names of the places of significance that surround manuhiri (visitors) on their journey through the Dart River Valley and the World Heritage Area of Mount Aspiring National Park.

Ngai Tahu Tourism Chief Executive, Quinton Hall advises “we are incredibly privileged to have been guided by mana whenua to name our fleet of boats in this way. The names support our purpose of ‘tuia’ – to make the connection with our customers, to our place and to Ngai Tahu, and we are delighted to see them on the water.”

Hosting one million manuhiri each year, Ngai Tahu Tourism is able to offer authentic and genuine connections through adventure, culture and nature.

Hall added "this is a real point of difference for us and we are proud to be able to share the significance of these names with our manuhiri."

David Higgins, Upoko of Moeraki Runanga and member of the mana whenua working party, says the naming theme for Shotover Jet is ‘waterways as highways of our tipuna’. This was chosen because of the nature of the Queenstown Lakes district and its traditional use which enabled Ngai Tahu tipuna to traverse from one coastline to another.

Higgins concluded "during the warmer months, our tipuna would walk inland to Tahuna and harvest the birds from the wetlands, foothills and forest, search for pounamu in the rivers, and gather taramea. To get these resources home they would build a flotilla of mokihi, a reed raft, and make the journey home on the network of waterways,” Mr Higgins says.

Shotover Jet also recently unveiled a new look for its fleet of twin-engine jet boats, the first significant redesign since 2001. The new look includes a kowhaiwhai (Maori pattern) based on the mangopare or hammerhead shark, representing strength, agility and power. Also, within the mangopare pattern, the tips have been modified to represent the mokihi that Ngai Tahu tipuna created to carry mahinga kai (natural resources) and pounamu (greenstone) from one place to another.

Shotover Jet boat names:
Kimiakau - Shotover River
Haehaenui - Arrow River
Orau - Cardrona River
Mataura - connects to Southland
Mata-au - Clutha River
Nokomai - joins Te Papapuni (Nevis River) to Mataura
Te Papapuni - Nevis River

Dart River Adventures boat names:
Whakatipu Waimaori - the traditional name for Lake Wakatipu
Ka Mauka Whakatipu - the Maori name of the Ailsa Range, situated north-west of Whakatipu Waimaori
Tarahaka Whakatipu - the Maori name of the Harris Saddle
Te Koroka - Te Koroka is located at the head of Whakatipu Waimaori. Te Koroka was a well-known area for gathering pounamu. According to Ngai Tahu tradition, Te Koroka is a reclining giant from whose mouth the pounamu exits the maunga (mountain). Te Koroka is the name of the maunga where this pounamu vein occurs.
Tahuna - Tahuna is the Maori name for the area around the wharf at Glenorchy, located on the north-eastern edge of Whakatipu Waimaori. Tahuna is a Maori geographical term used to describe a shallow sandbank. Tahuna is also the name of Queenstown.
Te Puia - Te Puia is a settlement located at the head of Whakatipu Waimaori that was an important stop off point for Ngai Tahu who were gathering pounamu.
Ari - Ari (Mount Alfred) is located at the junction of Te Awa Whakatipu and Puhirere at the head of Whakatipu Waimaori. Ari was a tupuna (ancestor) whose grandson, Oturu, is the Maori name for nearby Diamond Lake. It is common for Maori to name prominent peaks after ancestors.
Oturu - Oturu is the Maori name for Lake Diamond located at the head of Whakatipu Waimaori. Oturu is the name of a tupuna (ancestor).

Images show the recent naming ceremony. Courtesy of Ngai Tahu Tourism.

Related Articles

7th November 2019 - Construction begins on Auckland’s All Blacks Experience attraction

16th October 2019 - Ngai Tahu Tourism looks to launch electric jet boat

25th September 2019 - Ngai Tahu Tourism and Antarctica New Zealand launch new Scotts Base partnership

18th April 2019 - Shotover Jet unveils new brand for adventure experience

30th March 2019 - China’s Minister of Culture and Tourism visits Ngāi Tahu Tourism experiences

20th September 2018 - Ngai Tahu Tourism increases investment in its people

15th December 2015 - New Business Manager gets on board at Dart River

24th May 2015 - Ongoing investment in Dart River Jet attraction

6th December 2014 - Ngāi Tahu Tourism buys New Zealand Guided Nature Walks

26th July 2013 - Jet boat attraction drivers to be charged over Dart River incident

30th January 2012 - Sacred Stone Takes Pride of Place at Dart River

7th June 2011 - Shotover Jet celebrates three millionth passenger

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