Kapiti Island Nature Tours operates a nature and cultural tourism experience on traditionally owned Māori land which has been part of its whānau for eight generations since 1820.
This successful business takes its role as kaitiaki of the land seriously and has a collaborative partnership with the Department of Conservation who also occupy and manage part of Kapiti Island. This successful business was instrumental in assisting the island to become predator free, offering a haven for critically endangered native birds from all around New Zealand.
The business includes ferry transport, guided walking tours and overnight stays with the visitor offering structured around four main kaupapa (values) - kaitiakitanga (guardianship), kotahitanga (unity), manaakitanga (hospitality) and whanaungatanga (kinship).
Kapiti Island Nature Tour's primary focus is the protection of the flora and fauna of the island and they are proud to host visitors, sharing with them an authentic nature and cultural experience.
The business was the winner of the Department of Conservation Environmental Tourism Award in the 2018 New Zealand Tourism Awards.
The judges said Kapiti Island Nature Tours sends a message to other small businesses that you can run an operation that is both successful and sustainable.