Wherever you will travel in NZ the indigenous Māori people will always identify themselves by a mountain, a river and their people. This is known as a pepeha and ultimately helps us connect with each other.
Ko Titirangi te maunga
Ko Uawa te awa
Ko Te Aitanga a Hauiti te iwi
Titirangi is the mountain
Uawa is the river
Te Aitanga a Hauiti is the iwi
My name is Hana Sky Walker and I am the creative director of Tipuna Tours. I come from a family that values our culture, language and identity very much. Tipuna translated in Māori means ancestor. Growing up in Uawa – Tolaga Bay, my siblings and I were exposed to so many rich and magical learning experiences throughout the East Coast.
We rose with the first the rays of the sun in the world and spent our days between the marae, the ebbing tides and rolling hillsides. At night our dad would tuck us in with the stories of our tribal ancestors. Stories of love, laughter, drama and mystery. The stories that continue to inspire us at Tipuna Tours today, to share with all the special guests that come to us.
Tipuna Tours was established in 2007 by local iwi member, sociologist (and my aunty) Anne Iranui McGuire. Tipuna Tours won a Westpac Māori tourism award in 2008. The venture was started as an opportunity to tell the ancestral oral histories from my iwi (tribe) Te Aitanga Hauiti and the wider Uawa /Tairāwhiti area.
In 2018 I was very fortunate that Aunty Anne in her retirement offered me the opportunity to take over the tours as the new Director. Tipuna Tours is now an iwi owned tourism operator with a focus on sustainability and eco-tourism. Throughout the years I watched Aunty Anne, my parents, uncles and aunties share our tribal stories about our place with visitors from near and far. I’d like to think that the enthusiasm and passion that we have at Tipuna Tours comes from them and will remain for years to come.
In our spare time, you will catch me up the hill or in the rockpools down at the beach with my husband Liam and two little ones or out with friends wining and dining at some of our fine local hot spots. We look forward to welcoming you here!
One of the best tours we did in New Zealand! Such a personal experience, we feel to privileged to have learnt so much about Hana and her family.
Kathrine - Arizona, United States
Our family had an incredible time. Hana is so welcoming, and we loved hearing all about the history of the area. Definitely a must do if you are travelling to Gisborne.
Debbie - Sydney, Australia
Thank you, Hana! We loved every minute of our tour with you.
Anon - United Kingdom