Tiaki Promise - Air New Zealand’s new flying waka safety video

By Marena Mane

As the borders of Aotearoa reopen to the rest of the world, Araraurangi, Air New Zealand, launched an innovative new safety video telling the story of Tiaki and the Guardians.

The video encourages both New Zealanders and international visitors to care for "our place, our culture and our people" and it begins playing on all Air New Zealand flights today.

Tiaki Promise is a bicultural way to educate visitors about protecting and enhancing this country.

Māori advisor Joe Harawira (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Maniapoto, Tuhourangi) says the video is about “supporting visitors to understand the essence of our word tiaki, which means in Pākehā to nurture, to be a guardian to be responsible for what they do in the taiao, in the environment, and so tiaki the kaupapa. Tiaki Promise is what it's called.”

Air New Zealand cultural development consultant Jahmaine Cummings-Hodge (Ngāti Hīkairo, Ngāti Whakaue) says the video tells a story inspired by Te Ao Māori, which follows a traveller, Tiaki, and his passengers as they paddle a flying waka seeking guidance from four atua (gods), along the way.

“This is an opportunity for us to show te ao this beautiful story that we've managed to weave into our safety video. So this kaupapa of tiaki is an important kaupapa to launch as we start to open up our borders and bring people into Aotearoa New Zealand but I think there's also space for us here in Aotearoa to learn more about being a kaitiaki and looking after people, place and culture,” Cummings-Hodge says.

Proud to wear tohu

Cummings-Hodge says Araraurangi, Air New Zealand engaged with prominent Māori advisors to make sure it was Māori-led and authentic.

“At Araraurangi our journey in te ao Māori really started when we started flying the mangopare on the back of our aircraft and wearing that tohu so proudly. So we've been on a big learning journey ourselves but this specific kaupapa we've been working on for about nine months really, ensuring the whole process has been Māori-led, so working with whānau like Joe Harawira, the New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute and James Rickard.”

Renata Blair (Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei) says the inclusion of mana whenua is also important.

“We're the hau kāinga (local people) of Tāmaki central and so we have a lot of people coming in, arriving. It's te herehere o ngā waka, it's the place of all these many canoes and for us we're sitting there in Ōrākei and saying to people, manaaki i te whenua, take care of the land and take care of our ocean. Try to leave a light footprint as you travel.”

Cummings-Hodge says Araraurangi Air New Zealand also has something special planned for Matariki and Te Matatini.

Behind the scenes footage

Official video footage