Embracing New Zealand’s Tiaki Promise

7th February 2023

New Zealand has unparalleled natural beauty, from its rugged coastlines to lush rainforests and snow-capped mountains to serene lakes. It’s a place where Mother Nature reigns supreme, and its pristine landscapes have long been a source of inspiration and wonder for travellers from all over the world. But great beauty comes with great responsibility, and New Zealanders understand this better than most. 

That’s why Tourism New Zealand has introduced the Tiaki Promise – a heartfelt commitment to protect and preserve an extraordinary environment for generations to come. 

In this blog, we’ll explore what the Tiaki Promise is, what it means to New Zealanders, to us here at MajorDomo and how you can implement it in your journey through Aotearoa (the Te Reo Maori name for New Zealand).

What is the Tiaki Promise?

The Tiaki Promise is a collective call to action. It’s a promise made by the people of New Zealand to our land, our culture, and travellers who visit our breathtaking nation. 

The word “Tiaki” means “to care for” in Te Reo Maori, the indigenous language of New Zealand. The Tiaki Promise embodies the idea that everyone who steps foot in New Zealand is a guardian, a protector, and a steward of our land.

The Tiaki Elements

Guardianship: The first element of the Tiaki Promise is “Guardianship.” It reminds us that no matter whether we live here or are visiting New Zealand, this is someone else’s home. Guardianship encourages us to treat the land and the people with respect.

Protection: The second element is “Protection.” This aspect underscores the importance of safeguarding the natural environment. New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna are particularly vulnerable, and we must ensure they remain undisturbed.

Stewardship: “Stewardship” is the third component of the Tiaki Promise. It encourages us to actively contribute to the well-being of New Zealand’s environment and culture. This means not just leaving no trace but actively participating in preserving the land and learning about its heritage.

What does the Tiaki Promise mean?

The Tiaki Promise is a symbolic and meaningful commitment to the planet and the future. By embracing the Tiaki Promise, we are all contributing to a positive and sustainable travel experience. It means understanding the significance of preserving New Zealand’s natural and cultural heritage. 

It’s a promise to connect with the land and its people and to do our part in ensuring that it remains beautiful and untouched.

Here are some key takeaways for our MajorDomo guests:

  • Respect for Culture: Tiaki involves respecting the Maori culture, deeply embedded in New Zealand’s identity. Learning about their traditions, history, and language is not just a courtesy but a way to honour New Zealand’s heritage.
  • Environmental Responsibility: It’s about treading lightly on the Earth. Hike, swim, kayak, and explore, but do so with minimal impact. Leave no trace and make eco-conscious choices, from transportation to waste disposal.
  • Community Engagement: The Tiaki Promise encourages travellers to engage with local communities, both Maori and non-Maori, and contribute positively to the places they visit.
  • Mindful Travel: Be aware of your environmental footprint, choose sustainable accommodations, and support businesses that share your commitment to responsible tourism.

How can you implement the Tiaki Promise?

Educate Yourself: Learn about New Zealand’s history, culture, and environment. Understanding the significance of the places you visit and the people you meet is the first step.

Travel Mindfully: Opt for sustainable travel options, reduce waste, and support eco-friendly businesses. New Zealand offers a range of eco-conscious tours and experiences.

Respect Local Traditions: When interacting with Maori communities, respect their customs and traditions. Learn a few essential Maori words and phrases to show your appreciation.

Leave No Trace: Whether hiking, camping, or enjoying the beach, always clean up after yourself and leave nature as you find it.

Spread the Word: Share your experiences and the Tiaki Promise with fellow travellers. Encourage others to embrace this commitment as well.

How do we implement the Tiaki Promise?

Guide our Team: Our team plays an important role in the manaaki of visitors to New Zealand. We are hosts, guides, and representatives for all New Zealanders. By ensuring our team is well-versed in the meaning and intent of Tiaki, we help them bring it to life for our visitors. 

We show Tiaki at our place: We include information about Tiaki in our customer communication, both pre and post-stay, as well as in our in-villa compendiums. 

We bring Tiaki to life: We have recently embarked on an internal cultural journey here at MajorDomo to support our country’s rich heritage and better understand Te Reo Maori, our national language and weave traditional experiences into our guest experience. 

We have embedded sustainable practices into our business and encourage our guests to stay sustainably. Find out more about our environmental practices

The Tiaki Promise is more than just a catchy slogan; it’s a philosophy that encapsulates the essence of New Zealand. By embracing this promise, you become a guardian, protector, and steward of our remarkable land. You contribute to a sustainable and responsible tourism culture that ensures the beauty of New Zealand endures for generations to come. 

So, when you embark on your journey through Aotearoa, remember to Tiaki – to care, protect, and preserve this extraordinary place for all who follow in your footsteps.

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