For Wanaka Host Joe Waide, his Wine Tour & Māori Culture Experience is about more than the experience itself – it’s about education and empowerment. Growing up in Dunedin, but later spending 18 years in Brisbane – his Experiences are the result of his own personal journey in rediscovering his culture.
Joe first became a host on Airbnb five years ago, listing a room at his home just 200m from the Wanaka lakefront.
“As I continued to settle back into life in Wanaka, I become more interested in my Māori culture, and in particular the Maori footprint in our local Central Otago region. I started my research through a friend from primary school in Dunedin who is very involved in Ngāi Tahu history, and as I learnt more through Te Wānanga – I started to share more with visiting manuhiri (guests) – incorporating elements of Tikanga/Protocol into their stay with us. I really enjoyed sharing elements of my culture, and the direct feedback I was getting was that they really appreciated it too.” Joe said.
It was from here his idea of combining the two things he loved to share with his guests – great Central Otago wine and Māori culture – grew, and he created his Wine Tours & Māori Culture, listing them on Airbnb when Experiences launched.
Talking about what he hopes his manuhiri gain from his tours, he says it’s all about fostering that deeper understanding, appreciation and respect for Māori footprint prior to the Gold Rush and future settlement.
“As I started learning more about Central Otago’s Māori history, it just really inspired me to share more and help people understand more about our tangata whenua(people of the land). I try really hard to not only share the ‘what’ of our culture, but also break down the ‘why’ for our manuhiri – explaining or showing them something in Te Reo, then breaking it down for them in English, and telling them the story behind it.”
“It’s all about empowering and educating people – that’s the bottom line. It all started with me empowering and educating myself, and now I want to pass what I have learnt onto those visiting the region. Now when they leave – whether they are going back to Paris or Palmerston North – I hope they can continue to educate and empower people about the Māori culture.”
So where to from here? Joe’s enthusiasm for his Wine Tours & Māori Culture continues to grow. He says given domestic demand he’s currently working on developing another popular experience that allows him to further showcase his passions to guests, simply adding “It’s very exciting times.”