Mõhio Tours is a Maori based organisation and kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of the environment is an essential part of our deeply rooted and practiced Maori kaupapa (philosophies). It has always been the aim of our company to be as eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable as possible. We seek to be among the most environmentally responsible businesses in the country as well as to cooperate with and promote other organisations that share our perception.
As Maori, our traditional knowledge tells us that there is Papatuanuku – Mother Earth, and Ranginui – Sky Father, from them came the guardians of all the elements – ranging from Tangaroa (Sea), to Tane Mahuta (forest), and all the other parts of nature as well. These early children of Papa & Rangi created everything in nature. After the world was created, Tane Mahuta was helped to create the first woman, and from his and her union, humans descend. So from a traditional Maori perspective – humans are closely related to everything in nature, and in fact everything in the natural world, (from water, to rocks, to insects...), is our older sibling or cousin etc. So it is our responsibility and obligation to respect and care for all of the elements in nature.
To achieve the level of sustainability that we strive for, constantly considering our decisions about how we operate, develop products, network and consume is essential. To think in an eco-friendly way is a predominant factor that influences our actions. This is utilised in both big decisions, and also in the small every day decisions that us, (and our staff) make. It has an impact on how we use our office, what kind of equipment we purchase, how we plan and execute our outdoor activities, the choice and maintenance of our vehicles, the education of our clients, the choice of the cafés and stores that we visit, the companies we recommend to our clients, the choice of refreshments on our tours and last but not least our role within the community.
An important factor regarding our role within the community is to always be thinking of ways to give something back. As Maori, we never operate in isolation. All things are connected to the broader whanau, hapu and iwi (extended family, sub-tribe and tribe). The owner of Mõhio Tours, Melissa Crockett has long been involved in volunteer work in the community since she began a phone counsellor at Youthline as an 18-year-old. More recent positions on Charitable Boards including four years as the Chair of a Charitable Trust that worked creating theatre with at-risk Maori youth, and time spent as an elected member of the NZ Maori Tourism Council, have honed her skills and commitment to working for the greater good of the community. As Director of Potiki Adventures (the former name of Mõhio Tours), Melissa won the ‘Outstanding Business Citizenship’ Award in the New Zealand Women’s Business Awards, for the company's services to the community.
To conclude, we are proud to be able to say that we are constantly working to maintain our stance as an eco-friendly organization. We acknowledge that there are always more things to learn and incorporate into our business to keep it kakariki (green), but we take very seriously our obligation to look after our ancestral lands and ensure that future generations will be able to carry on this work into the future.
Toitu Te Whenua, Ake Ake Ake
The land will always remain, forever, forever, forever
For more information – scroll down:
Recent major eco developments:
- We decided that we would reduce our maximum group size of our daily tours to enable us to downsize our vehicles, using an 8-seater instead of a 12-seater van. This is a much smaller vehicle, has less carbon emissions and does not toll the environment nearly as much. It meant potentially losing some revenue as we cannot take as many people per day – but we like it much better!
- We have developed a new super eco friendly tour – it's a half day walking tour around the city! We meet people at a central point, use public transport to get to the start of the tour, then spend 4 hours enjoying a 3 kilometre flat walk, using our own foot power to get around. Additionally, we supply a stylish 100% recycled eco bag given to clients to store their shopping and rubbish in, (and they can re-use it after the tour), those unique 100% bio-degradable water bottles filled with locally sourced mineral water, and we use a recycled paper folder to put special offers from the local businesses into. The special offers have been requested from selected local stores, cafés etc – and aim to encourage clients to return to their stores – thereby adding much welcomed tourism spending into the local economy. The selection of places to include was made based on the business meeting the criteria of being locally owned, employing local staff and selling locally (or at least NZ) made products.
Some examples of the 'small stuff' we do:
- We always buy 100% recycled paper, preferably made in NZ, or Australia as a second choice. We only print if there is no other way around it, (this drives our accounts person a bit crazy lol). Every last shred of paper is reused, then recycled.
- We do business electronically wherever possible, banking online, using email and scanners rather than printing, posting or faxing.
- We have a scooter for city marketing and brochure distribution, rather than using couriers or driving a car. Whenever possible we walk to appointments in the city, or use public transport.
- We have a 'use only if necessary', and an 'if not in use, switch it off at the wall' policy for the utilisation of power (lights, heaters, computers etc).
- The office doesn’t have air-conditioning – we open the windows! Desks are orientated for the best use of natural light, meaning additional desk lighting is not required.
- The Director and company interns use public transport to get to the office every day that it’s possible. With the central location of the office, the Director usually walks to city meetings, or uses public transport – unless she is really late!
- We use reusable cups, cutlery etc on our tours. We purchase NZ grown seasonal fruit, (with a preference for locally grown and purchased direct from the grower at markets), or we pick it from staff gardens when available. Any other snacks must be NZ made. Any plastic bottles we use, packaging etc is gathered from clients throughout the day, and recycled.
- We are concessionaires with the Auckland Regional Council, meaning a portion of the cost of each clients tour to the West Coast goes towards conservation and maintenance of the rainforest parks.
- On our Insider's Guide Tour, we use individual bottles of ‘Good Water’ eco water, which is locally sourced mineral water in bottles made from plant materials – 100% bio-degradable!
- Mõhio Tours purchases New Zealand made goods wherever possible to reduce the pollution level caused by transportation.
- On our beach and forest walks we attempt to pick up any rubbish/litter that we see, and take back to the city to recycle. We discuss this with clients and encourage them to help us if they wish.
- Our vehicles are serviced regularly to ensure that carbon emissions are minimised.