Find out about some of the operators our Travel Ambassdors met on the journey.

Feature Host

kiri.jpgTe Puia

Te Puia

Kirimatao West, Guide

Kia Ora, I am Kirimatao West, I am of Tūhourangi Ngati wahiao descent which directly connects me by Whakapapa (genealogy) to the geothermal and cultural wonderland that is Whakarewarewa. I come from a long lineage of whānau (family) who have guided multitudes of manuhiri (Visitors) across the valley, allowing them to witness first-hand our valley that we are so proud to call home. 

There’s definitely a sense of pride when every single day here at Te Puia, I walk with the knowledge that I am following in the footsteps of my Tipuna (ancestors) who walked this very path. I have been guiding since 1986 and every day is a new experience, because I get to witness a new variety of people in awe of our home. 

Guiding is a passion for me, it’s something I genuinely enjoy because I get to be the first point of contact. Being Māori it comes naturally to us to Manaaki (to take care) of our visitors which allows me to put my best foot forward, sharing stories, laughter and leaving a positive and everlasting impression of our culture, so that when our visitors leave, they feel that they have been part of my Whanau and they take that everlasting memory of their visit here at Te Puia.

Instagram: @te_puia



Bay of Plenty Operators



Mat Carlson, Activities Manager

Skyline is an awesome family friendly activity that really gets the adrenaline pumping.  I really enjoy working here as it means I get to meet interesting people from around the world and help them have an amazing time on their holiday!

Instagram: @skylinerotorua

Redwoods Treewalk

Karen Maher, Guide

Working at the Redwoods and in Rotorua is fantastic because of the outdoor lifestyle the Treewalk and forest offers! As a keen mountain biker, being on the doorstep to my outdoor playground everyday is awesome! 
Rotorua is ideal for those wanting to be in touch with nature, with hot pools, bush walks and the lakes, we have so much to see and do that it’s like being on holiday, but it’s your home - perfect!

Instagram: @treewalknz

Polynesian Spa

Richard Allen, Sales & Marketing Manager

Working at Polynesian Spa is a real connection to the whenua (land) and History of Rotorua and New Zealand, and something I am proud to be a part of. An iconic attraction that provides jobs to 100 locals, many of whom have worked here for decades, the welcome received is that of a real Kiwi flavour. Getting to work in an industry that embraces visitors with a real manaakitanga and looks after them as Kaitiaki (guardians) is amazing. The attractions, activities, culture, and accommodation in Rotorua combines to produce an offering second to none in the world.

Instagram:  @polynesianspa


Novotel Rotorua

Grayson Croasdale, Senior Assistant Manager

I love working at Novotel Rotorua because of its point of difference. Being in the heart of town, Novotel completely embraces the Māori culture, which Rotorua is so famous for. Guests are greeted in Te Reo Māori and we offer our own Hangi and Concert with performances by locals, which shows how rich the culture and community are here in Rotorua.
Rotorua is also famous for the many Geothermal experiences available. At Novotel Rotorua we harness this energy to heat and cool the hotel and the water flows through our geothermal spa facilities, available to all guests. 

Instagram: @novotel.rotorua.lakeside

Volcanic Air

Jonathon van Eyk, Line Pilot

At Volcanic Air we have the privilege of sharing some extremely special destinations with our guests. Each tour is a chance to share stories and connect with people from all over the world in places that few have been to. I enjoy being able to enhance the memories that they create in these places and having a part in making their trip to New Zealand unforgettable.  

Instagram: @volcanicairnz

Kaitiaki Adventures

Kane Nikora, Guide

I like working for Kaitiaki Adventures simply because of their respect for our culture and the ability to promote Māori on a commercial stage. There are many other adventure tourism products similar to ours but I am proud of how we involve the Māori culture here at Kaitiaki Adventures. The name speaks for itself, Kaitiaki (Guardian), of the land, people and culture.


Peter Kingi, Day Manager

My job is giving people from all the world the chance to relive their childhoods in the most hilarious way! Every single person is smiling from ear to ear by the time they leave OGO and they’ve had the best time of their lives - I get to share that with them and I love it!

Instagram: @ogorotorua

Tamaki Māori Village


Kia ora, I am passionate about the mahi (work) we do here at Tamaki Māori Village, because every night we are fortunate to host many esteemed manuhiri (visitors) from around the globe.
We educate them by sharing our customs, protocols, stories, songs, dance and traditional art forms.  By sharing who we are as Māori, our language and our beliefs, our culture survives.
We are New Zealand’s most awarded cultural experience and were recently recognized as the #7 best attraction in the world by the Trip Advisor travellers choice 2018 – making us a very proud people at Tamaki Māori Village.

Instagram: @tamakimaorivillage