• Guardianship and Hospitality

    & Hospitality


Kaitiakitanga in its essence means to care for our land. Tiaki means to care for nature, people and culture. A ‘kaitiaki’ is a guardian, keeper, preserver, conservator, and protector. The addition of ‘tanga’ denotes preservation, conservation, and protection. If we do our job as Kaitiaki of our land then our land in return will look after us. We only have one land. Our well-being and identity as the human race depend on our land and environment.

Rotorua Duck Tours consults with Iwi to ensure that we are providing the best representation of the land (whenua) and the people (Iwi) through our storytelling.

Everyone who rides on our tours, our drivers, and our staff have a responsibility as Kaitiaki (guardians) of our land. Our drivers practice this by ensuring we leave no litter behind and also by ensuring our vehicles have little to no environmental impact on our lakes. Through rigorous maintenance that is undertaken every single morning, we strive to ensure that our land remains in the same pure state as when we found it. We also check our vehicles for aquatic weeds and pests after we come off our lakes. This is to ensure that we do not spread these pests from lake to lake and again ensures and preserves the quality of our lakes. We also monitor the lakes on every tour and consult with Environment Bay of Plenty if there is any infestation of weeds that may compromise the lake and its quality.

The Tiaki Promise is something that anyone who visits New Zealand should follow. The short video below explains the Tiaki promise and what it means to New Zealand.

Tiaki Promise: For travelers to New Zealand

While you, the tourist, travel through New Zealand please make a commitment to care for New Zealand for now and future generations. By taking on the Tiaki Promise you are committed to ensuring you are acting as a guardian and protecting and preserving our home.

You can also learn more about the Tiaki Promise here:



Manaakitanga is all about being hospitable and showing respect, generosity, and kindness towards others.

Our unique kiwi style of hospitality has a direct connection to the values of manaakitanga and helps to ensure people have a memorable visit to New Zealand.

As is the case with many Māori words – the meaning of manaakitanga is much broader than a one-word or direct translation.

Broken down into three parts: mana-ā-ki which loosely translates as ‘the power of the word’ and reminds hosts to be expressive and fluent in welcoming visitors. Another explanation has the words ‘mana’ meaning ‘prestige’ and ‘ki te tangata’ meaning ‘to the people.’ This points out the importance of enhancing the mana or power of our guests and their importance to us when they visit our country.

From a tourism perspective, it is about ensuring that we want our guests, both domestic and international to feel welcome and valued when they visit New Zealand.

Rotorua Duck Tours likes to adhere to the values as set out under Manaakitanga. Everybody is treated with respect and care. Our guides and front office staff love to go above and beyond to ensure guests leave having thoroughly enjoyed our kiwi hospitality. Our guides take a genuine interest in our clients and love to engage with them to find out where they are from what they do. Our guides are passionate about NZ and Rotorua and are extremely knowledgeable about the history of the area. Our guests are encouraged to ask questions from our guides so that we can better tailor our tours to their needs.

  • “Highly recommend this tour for families, Shaun was our guide, had so much fun, laughter music and learnt alot about Rotorua Lake District. If you are thinking of doing it - do it you will not regret it.”

    A quacking great tour!

  • “The entire experience of booking on iSite, boarding the tour, very friendly and child attentive tour operator Sean, my children ages 12 & 9 loved the entire 2 hours and so did my wife and me. Even the safety drill was conducted so well, the children and adults had a short stint at the wheel in the lakes, made them feel really special. The tour operators choice of music was excellent too. Not a moment was wasted on this lovely journey!”

    Family, Fun & Stunning Views of the Lakes of Roturua

  • “My sister and I took my two kids on a 90 minute tour which included going onto the Blue and Green Lakes. It was so much fun. We had a driver and tour guide that were a lot of laughs. The kids found it so entertaining and there were plenty of facts and info for adults too. Would highly recommend for anyone looking for something different to do.”

    Had an absolute blast

  • “We had an awesome time on our duck boat tour today - with a very entertaining tour guide (Shelly) who kept us laughing... the rain didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves either! Definitely recommend it! Thanks guys :)”

    Duck Boat tour

  • “What a great day we had. Our tour guide Marcus was very knowledgeable on the history of Rotorua. Had a great sense of humour with plenty of laughs, from start to finish, especially with our complimentary duck whistle. If your ever in Rotorua this is definitely a must do tour.”

    lots of laughs

  • “The Duck Tour is a very great opportunity to discover beautiful Rotorua and its surroundings. On a really funny tour we learned a lot and saw amazing landscape and lakes. Very unique because of this really cool vehicle, where else can you drive a duck on your own?! I would highly recommend the Duck to everybody who wants to have a special experience in Rotorua!”

    Rotorua from another nice perspective


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