About Takiwā Tourism

We are a collective of māori adventurers and entrepreneurs of Ngāi Tahu descent.
Our goal is to share who we are, as Māori, with the world.
Ngāi Tahu means the ‘people of Tahu’. As a collective,
we can all trace our ancestry back to the tribe’s founder, Tahu Pōtiki.

Ngāi Tahu are a resilient, entrepreneurial people who made their home in Te Waipounamu (the South Island) over 800 years ago. Our ancestors were long-distance seafarers who navigated by stars on voyaging waka (canoes) from Hawaiki Nui.

Our tribal takiwā (territory) covers Stewart Island and over 80 per cent of the South Island of New Zealand. Our connection to the ocean, rivers and land in our takiwā informs our tribal identity. As a collective of locally owned and operated business, our goal is to share our connection to our takiwā with the world.

To experience our country with Takiwā Tourism is to connect with the history and traditions of our people. We invite you to experience and explore our lands with us.

Nau mai haere mai tauti mai – welcome!


Our language (Te Reo) is an essential window into our culture.
Here are a few words (kupu) that will help you in your journey through our takiwā:

Tēnā koe
The modern-day use of tēnā koe is a formal greeting to one person.
However, when we say Tēnā koe, we are saying we acknowledge the person standing before us (there you are). We acknowledge where you’ve come from (your home), and those who have come before you (your ancestors).
This is how we connect with our manuhiri (visitors).

Kia Ora (interjection)
Our most recognised greeting. A way to say hello! cheers! good luck! best wishes!

Manaaki (verb)
Manaaki translates to the duty of care and respect for others. For the Takiwā collective, manaaki is also the sharing of our mana (the
essence of our being) with others; and in doing so we hope to uplift and increase the mana of others.
Our hope is this approach to manaaki is transformational across all cultures and geographies.

Takiwā (noun)
This can refer to a tribal district, area, territory, vicinity or region.
It can also be a setting, space or even time, period or season. We felt the interconnection between time and space to be an appropriate
representation of what we offer as a collective.

Te Waipounamu (location)
The South Island of New Zealand. For maori, it is referring to the greenstone (pounamu) waters (wai).
Pounamu is a taonga (treasure) for generations of Ngāi Tahu whānau. Formed millions of years ago deep within the earth’s surface, pounamu has a whakapapa told through intricate stories that breathe life into the stone and the culture surrounding it

Whānau (noun)
Whānau is often translated as ‘family’, but its meaning is more complex.
It includes physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions and is based on whakapapa (genealogy).
Whānau can be multi-layered, flexible and dynamic. Whānau is based on a Māori and a tribal world view. It is through the whānau that values, histories and traditions from the ancestors are adapted for the contemporary world.