Our Mission & Company Values

Manaaki Adventures aims to give students and teachers the most high value New Zealand experiences they could possibly have.

Our simple and effective core values help us achieve this. Manaaki Adventures is…

Easy

We take the hassle out of booking activities, accommodation, travel arrangements etc. Our prices are all-inclusive meaning it covers everything. With us there is no fuss and no hassle.

Safe

Manaaki literally means to show care for and respect to. We work with only the best adventure operators in the country and have strict processes in place to minimise the risk students who travel with us.

Experienced

All guides are qualified and knowledgeable. Unique to Manaaki Adventures we were founded by high school teachers who have specific skills and experience in managing teenage groups.

Fun

You will have the time of your life, experiencing activities you never even knew existed. New Zealand is the adventure playground of the world. Don’t miss out on this special opportunity.

Our Story

“I have grown up surrounded by tall buildings… I’ve never had the opportunity to do this sort of thing, that is why I’ve come to New Zealand”

Manaaki Adventures was founded by qualified and experienced secondary school Outdoor Education teachers.

The spark that ignited Manaaki Adventures was a German exchange student who wanted to be part of the Outdoor Education programme. The Outdoor Education programme is very popular at this particular School and up to 60 students a year miss out on taking the subject. Almost trying to put him off, he was asked “Do you have any experience in the outdoors?” He replied “No”.

Before he could be interrupted and told how this “may not be the course for you” he continued. “I have grown up in a city surrounded by tall concrete buildings, my country is very different to yours and I have never had the opportunity to do this sort of thing, that is why I’ve come to New Zealand”.

He entered the programme and made the most of every opportunity thrown at him. He is one student who definitely did not take anything for granted.

It was truly humbling to see such genuine awe, passion and enjoyment of the amazing, natural environment Aotearoa, New Zealand has to offer. This provided the spark which has now become Manaaki Adventures, New Zealand’s newest and most exciting adventure tour company.

The Manaaki Team

Hemi Coates
Hemi CoatesCompany Director
Hemi is a Company Director of Manaaki Adventures. He has six years experience as an Outdoor Education, Physical Education, Social Studies and Economics teacher.

He has organised and led many outdoor trips in and around NZ as well as an international student excursion to Nepal, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

He has strong connections to his Maori culture and ancestry and puts his love of the outdoors down to his upbringing on the East Coast.

He has an incredible natural ability in the outdoors, picking up new and challenging skills with ease. Hemi has a unique ability to relate to people of all walks of life and transfers his learning onto students and clients who respond to his passion and character. He is the lead marketing and accounts manager here at Manaaki Adventures NZ.

Dan Meade
Dan MeadeCompany Director
Dan is Manaaki Adventures’ second Company Director. He has eight years experience as an Outdoor Education and Physical Education teacher.

He is passionate and enthusiastic about the outdoors, but having spent five years as a Head of Department, he knows the importance of balancing safety and risk management with adrenalin-filled fun and the sense of achievement that can be attained by young people in the outdoors.

“The outdoors can be such a magical place for young people where they gain unique experiences that they will cherish for years to come,” he says.

Dan is meticulous in his planning and management of risk for outdoor activities. Dan firmly believes young people can learn many values and lifeskills from experiences in the outdoors, while exploring in a controlled and safe environment.

Juliet (Jules) Birch
Juliet (Jules) BirchGuide/Leader
Juliet has three years experience teaching Food Technology and Nutrition to high school students. She was involved in a volunteer youth expedition to Everest and the Himalayas, which included trekking and teaching at local primary schools. She has also volunteered as a remedial teacher at a primary school in Cape Town.

She loves anything to do with nature and is always willing to give outdoor activities a go. A few of her favourites include abseiling, white water rafting, and zip lining and has recently competed as part of a crew in a winter series sailing race on the Auckland harbour. Juliet is a keen snowboarder in the winter and can often be found tramping on the weekends around the Waitakere Ranges.

Rebecca Kingsford
Rebecca KingsfordGuide/Leader
Rebecca is from a small town in the centre North Island of New Zealand called Tirau, where she grew up on her parent’s dairy farm.

For the past 6 years she has been chasing summers around the world where she has been competing for NZ in the sport of triathlon. She would spend 4-5months in Europe racing in the World champ series, World cups and Europe cup races for the NZ elite triathlon team. She still competes in cycling events around NZ as she couldn’t give up competitive sport completely.

She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new places. Rebecca especially loves exploring her homeland New Zealand as she believes there’s nothing that beats exploring home.

Helen Arjomandi
Helen ArjomandiGuide/Leader
Helen is in her 5th year teaching Physical Education to intermediate and high school students. She has also recently begun teaching Outdoor Education to senior students. Through this work she has experienced white water kayaking, rock climbing, bush survival, mountain expeditions, mountain biking, and scuba diving.

Outdoor activities are an awesome way to see nature and truly appreciate it. This is why in her own time she looks to explore new hiking trails, visit mountain biking areas, and find new places to kayak and fish.

Jayden Hodgson
Jayden HodgsonGuide/Leader
Jayden is our resident outdoor expert. He studied Outdoor Education at High School with Dan as his teacher and then went on to Aoraki Polytechnic where he spent three years studying to become an outdoor instructor.

Jayden excelled in kayak, rock and bush instruction and quickly established himself as an assertive and strong outdoor leader.

Jayden loves spending time in the outdoors participating in his own adventures but gets a real kick out of working with people with limited outdoor experience, seeing the benefit they get from the experience.

Brendon Ritchie
Brendon Ritchie中国代表
Brendon 是Manaaki 在中国的新西兰籍代表。可以说一口流利中文的他在中国已经有5年的执教经验,非常了解中国文化和中国孩子是他的特长。他更是一个优秀的橄榄球运动员,现为上海多个国际学校的橄榄球教练。

Brendon is our New Zealand (Kiwi) sales Representative in Shanghai. With his five years experience working with children in China and New Zealand, He has great knowledge about Chinese people and culture and the needs of families. He speaks fluent Chinese and English and has a very good sporting background including Touch Rugby national player and now coaching outdoor activities and rugby in international schools in Shanghai.

Richard Zhu 朱恺
Richard Zhu 朱恺中国代表
Richard 是Manaaki的中国代表之一。他也是一个狂热的户外运动爱好者,曾经有过令人难以置信的户外经历。他可能是唯一探险过亚马逊丛林深处的中国人。
良好的教育背景和开朗的性格极具亲和力。国际化的理念和优秀的协调组织能力成为Manaaki 与中国的桥梁
Richard is one of our representatives in China for Manaaki Adventures NZ. He is an outdoor sports enthusiasts and has incredible adventure experience, including an Amazon Jungle expedition. Richard’s education, background and outgoing personality make him extremely approachable and a pleasure to deal with.

Richard’s organisational skills and world knowledge makes him the perfect ‘bridge’ between Manaaki Adventures NZ and China.

Josh Purcell
Josh PurcellGuide
Josh has just started with us this summer but comes with a lot of experience and a great attitude. At 25, he has explored the world, travelling to more than 50 countries. He is a qualified and experienced outdoor leader, being involved with multiple educative and developmental programmes. Josh is making the most of his time, choosing a great career and using his spare time on adventures of his own. Whether climbing, kayaking, hiking or biking he is exploring and enjoying life.

Manaaki Safety Assurance

The outdoors is a magical place but it also comes with an element of risk. Managing, minimising and eliminating the risks without sacrificing any of the client experience is what we do best.
How do we ensure safety?
1. Detailed Safe Operational Plan: All Manaaki Adventures employees are well versed and follow the safety document that covers all aspects of all tours. This can be viewed upon request by teachers and parents
2. All companies we work with are, in our opinion, the best in the country. All organisations providing adventure activities are thoroughly screened to ensure they meet our high standards, signing an agreement on the standard of service they promise to deliver
3. ‘Duty of care’ is of the utmost importance for us and we ensure students are always provided with the best possible care and not left alone in airports or terminals as some other companies do
4. Manaaki Adventures is familiar with and abides by the Code of Practice for the Care of International Students
5. All students and caregivers know exactly what is in store on each tour and nothing that a student does not want to do is compulsory
6. All guides are first aid trained
7. All guides are police vetted and are the best in the business when it comes to providing a quality experience for our clients
8. Manaaki Adventures student to guide/adult ratio is 1:10 ensuring every student gets the best possible care
9. All drivers have appropriate licenses
10. Company directors have a combined 15 years experience in the outdoor industry as high school Outdoor Education teachers and Head of Department
11. Thorough medical forms are to be filled out by the student and/or caregiver prior to tours to ensure staff are fully aware of any concerns
12. Detailed gear lists are available to ensure students have all correct equipment and clothing for the conditions