The Tiaki Promise cares for people and place


Anyone living in Waikato and New Zealand over the past couple of years would have noticed the increase in visitor numbers and the significant growth in tourism. 

For Waikato, it’s not just international visitors contributing to the growth, with more Kiwis than ever exploring their own backyard and injecting $1.192 billion annually into our regional economy.

To support this growth, the tourism industry and local government have joined forces to launch Tiaki – Care for New Zealand, to encourage international and domestic travellers to act as guardians of this place we call home.

Tiaki is a powerful and diverse word in te reo Māori, meaning to care, protect and nurture, and to look after people and place.

The Tiaki Promise is a commitment to care for Aotearoa, for now and for future generations, by inspiring Kiwis to protect their land and sea, and for visitors to become guardians of the place they visit. It instils a sense of responsibility within individuals to commit to good behaviour. 

Tiaki has three guiding principles about how to care for Aotearoa including:
1. Care for land, sea and nature – treading lightly and leaving no trace (ie no litter)

2. Travelling safely – be prepared, drive carefully and show consideration for all

3. Respect culture – travel with an open heart and mind

The Tiaki Promise will be promoted through our i-SITE visitor information centres, Air New Zealand’s international services, DOC, transport operators such as THL and our tourism websites like as well as

People have been quick to judge international visitors to our country about what they perceive as bad behaviour. However, we are more likely to see our fellow New Zealanders littering or displaying bad driver behaviour. It is hoped that more Kiwis when we travel domestically will also embrace the Tiaki Promise by practising what we preach.

To ensure the message is spread as far and wide as possible a range of Tiaki Promise materials are available free of charge for New Zealand businesses to use including a brochure, supporting video and images. The materials are currently available in English, te reo Māori, German and Chinese, with more languages to follow. Individuals can also show their support for the Promise by creating an ‘I support Tiaki’ logo and sharing through their social media channels and using the #tiakipromise hashtag.

If you would like to find out more about the Tiaki Promise or download any of the free collateral, please check out

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism is the regional tourism organisation charged with increasing international and domestic leisure and business travellers, expenditure and stay. The organisation is funded through a public/private partnership and covers the heartland Waikato areas of Hamilton City, Matamata-Piako, Otorohanga, South Waikato, Waikato, Waipa and Waitomo Districts. Find out more: 


About Author

Jason Dawson

Chief Executive, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism