Ancestral names unveiled on Ngāti Tahu Tourism Jet boats

By D'Angelo Martin

Ngāi Tahu Tourism has worked hard to instil more culture and meaning into some of the attractions based in Queenstown and Glenorchy.

This week the fleet of the Shotover and Dart Adventure Jet boats were named after the rivers and places of the South Island.

Ngāi Tahu Tourism purchased the two experiences in 1999, they are part of the 14 businesses in the iwi-owned tourism operator’s portfolio.

For many years, the jet boats have been nameless. 

But that's all changed, and now the Shotover Jet Boats are named after the different rivers of the South Island.  The Dart Adventure jet boats were named after the different places of this region. 

Justin Tipa (Ngāi Tahu) who led the formal naming ceremony says this is a first for the iwi.

Paulette Tamati Elliffe (Ngāi Tahu) explains that it's more than just having Māori words, that it's about re-introducing the names of their ancestors.

A cultural initiative that was long in the making in Queenstown.

Tipa says it's a stepping stone to revitalise the stories of Ngāi Tahu, South Island.

Ngāi Tahu Tourism CEO Quintin Hall says it will give Queenstown tourists a unique insight into Māori culture.

Tumai Cassidy, a rangatahi from the South Island, says it's a blessing to have this initiative in place for his generation.

Ngāi Tahu Tourism looks to continue including more cultural aspects into their attractions moving forward.