Haka Tourism Group’s Core Values
Haka Tourism Group (HTG) is always looking for ways to honor and respect cultural traditions, values and customs. One recent example – our newest Haka Lodge in Taupo was opened with a Powhiri and spiritual blessing from the local Iwi. Check out some images from the ceremony here.
As an NZ owned and operated company who directly competes with internationally owned brands within the guided tourism space in New Zealand, HTG is 100% committed to ensuring we adhere to cultural best practice and respectfully incorporate Māori core values and principles into our business practices, personnel development and vision for the future.
Māori values are instruments by which Māori people view and make sense of the world (Marsden, 1988) and are derived from traditional Māori beliefs.
These values and beliefs are centered around land, water, and air. They are regarded as essential ingredients of life that are to be respected, cherished, and sustained.
Everything within the Māori perspective has a life force (known as mauri). Any degradation of natural resources is seen to diminish this life force and affect the wellbeing of all people.
Traditional Māori values contain a common belief that all biophysical things including plants, trees, animals and human beings contain mauri, tapu (sacredness), and mana (status).
Here are the core values which have great importance to us as a company and how we honor them. We know there is always room to improve, that’s why we are always planning future projects to strengthen our connection with our country, our people and our culture.
The three Māori values that guide us are:
1. Manaakitanga [pronounced ma-naa-kee-tung-a]
2. Whanaungatanga [pronounced far-no-nga-tung-a]
3. Kaitiakitanga [pronounced ky-tee-ah-kee-tunga-a]
Manaakitanga is about hospitality and describes the act of caring for a person’s mana. We do this through showing support, generosity and kindness to others. We choose our Tour Managers and accommodation staff carefully, recruiting for attitude over aptitude to ensure our staff’s personal values are aligned with ours and to deliver world-class customer service.
Manaakitanga also stands for reciprocal hospitality and mutual respect. The communities we visit and operate in give us so much, and we’re continuously looking for ways to give back. Our founder, Ryan Sanders, has mentored Māori startup tourism businesses and given back through educational forums and training, all at no expense.We must be doing something right: over the last 4 years, we have beaten over 4,000 other commercial tourism businesses in New Zealand to be named the #1 commercial activity operator according to Rankers. You can view the feedback that earned us this prestigious award here. We also were Supreme Winners of the 2017 New Zealand Tourism Awards!
In our accommodation as well as when we travel New Zealand on one of our adventure, snow, mountain bike, educational or private group tours, we are always looking to welcome travellers with open arms and aim to offer products and services that allow for inclusion, flexibility, and personalisation. Because we too travel the length of New Zealand, we see ourselves as visitors to the local communities and greatly appreciate the hospitality we experience.
Haka Tourism Group is honoring Manaakitanga through:
- Recognising all customers as individuals and offering them as much flexibility, personalisation and support as possible.
- The opening of our last Haka Lodge in Taupo with a Powhiri and a spiritual blessing from the local iwi.
- Taking the Kiwi Hospitality seriously and welcoming all of our guests with open arms.
Our aims and projects to honour Manaakitanga include:
- Developing a series of blog posts and newsletters to educate our customers about the basics of New Zealand’s culture, traditions, history, food and the Te Reo language.
- Continue to educate our Tour Managers about Tikanga and through them will be passing this knowledge onto our customers.
- Establishing a series of giving back projects to express our appreciation for the communities we visit on our tours.
- To provide work experiences and job opportunities for Iwi who we establish partnerships with.
Whanaungatanga is about feeling a sense of belonging, relationships and connections. These are fostered through shared experiences and team work.
They are not necessarily about whānau or blood family connections. Whanaungatanga is all about being connected, and so is Haka Tours.
Haka Tourism Group aims to establish connections and strengthen relationships with all stakeholders and to form bonds that benefit everyone.
Haka Tourism Group is honoring Whanaungatanga through:
- Establishing strong and long-term relationships between stakeholders and tourism businesses throughout Aotearoa.
- Bringing together a small group of strangers who become friends / family during their trip.
- Selecting experiences and activities that are authentic and allow for cultural understanding and connections to develop.
Our future aims and projects to honour Whanaungatanga include:
- Develop and strengthen partnerships with the local Iwi in each of the locations we operate.
- Invite Iwi representatives to share their local stories and customs.
- As we are continuously expanding the Haka Lodge brand and planning on inviting Māori artists to create art in our future properties.
- Offer experiences that allow for true dialogue, engagement and mutual understanding of our culture, land and people.
- Establishing a series of Māori Art Galleries in the Haka Lodges, where pieces or art can be displayed and purchased.
In terms of our own internal core values for Haka Tourism Group, our value centered around “Whānau” is our internal interpretation of Whanaungatanga:
“In the Haka family we trust one another, treat each other well, and put equality and honesty at the heart of what we do”. You can view our Mission, Values and Goals document here.
Kaitiakitanga is about guardianship and the connection between people and the natural world. It states that it is our job as humans to be guardians of the natural environment, to look after resources and ensure their survival for future generations.
Being a New Zealand owned company, we feel a great responsibility to honor, protect and preserve it in the best way we can. Kaitiakitanga also means making sure best practices and materials are used so that the services we provide are safe and of high quality.
Haka Tourism Group honors Kaitiakitanga through:
- Using worm farms to recycle food waste such as “Hungry Bins”.
- Educating our customers on environmentally conscious behavior and recycling procedures in New Zealand.
- Developing ecotourism and sustainable based educational programs and tours through Haka Educational Tours to inform and educate the younger generations.
- Accepting our responsibility to protect and preserve the environment which is the base for our existence.
- Following a Green Purchasing Policy for the Haka Lodges and the wider Haka Tourism Group which means purchasing environmentally friendly cleaning products.
Our future aims and projects to honour Kaitiakitanga include:
- To develop a comprehensive strategy for making the Haka Lodges even more eco friendly.
- Incorporating volunteer opportunities for our customers where they take an active role in giving back to the land.
In terms of our own internal core values for Haka Tourism Group, our Value centered around “Aotearoa Proud” is our internal interpretation of Kaitiakitanga:
“We care deeply about this land, so while we aim to take huge strides, we endeavour to leave few footprints.”Our love for New Zealand is why we do what we do. You can view our Mission, Values and Goals document here.
In terms of our own internal core values for Haka Tourism Group, our core value centered around “One in a Million” is our internal interpretation of Manaakitanga:
“Our customers are as individual as fingerprints, and we strive to create flexible, personalised products and services that make everyone feel included, whether they are 18 or 80”. You can view our Mission, Values and Goals document here.