Topic: Environment

Tenzing family expedition ends in Taranaki

By Tema Hemi
  • North Island: West Coast

The family of esteemed Sherpa Tenzing Norgay will visit Ngāti Ruanui sites of significance, share knowledge with Ngā Uri o Ngāti Ruanui and explore the South Taranaki region.  The visit is part of an Aotearoa-wide tour focused on sharing knowledge between indigenous cultures mutually interested in ethical tourism.

Future expeditions on Mt Taranaki will include a more ethical approach and Ngāti Ruanui don't want a repeat of another nude tourist pic on their mountain. 

Ngāti Ruanui is the only iwi to have a Department of Conservation (DOC) walking concession on Mt Taranaki.

The knowledge on offer today is of great value in terms of the preservation of the mountain. 

The Tenzing family are wrapping up their nationwide tour after visiting some of the country's historical sites and mountains.  They have provided practical solutions to the issues that come with growth. 

Ngāti Ruanui descendant Debbie Ngarewa Packer says, "By sharing and showing what our value base is and why this respect is critical to the preservation of our tupuna, not just for us as Māori but for us as Aotearoa.  Respecting of our tāonga and understanding what can be offensive is not much different to what our Sherpa whānau have had to endure as well. 

"I think, first of all, understanding will come about by sharing.  What we're hoping to gain from this is an understanding of the challenges and the opportunities that come [to] us as future-focused kaitiaki."

Son of the famous mountaineer Tenzing Norgay, Norbu Tenzing had this to say about the model who took a nude photo of herself on Mt Taranaki, "It's absolutely disrespectful, unfortunately these are things that you can't control but when something like this is to happen the local authorities should take immediate action."