Ko Ōkere te awa tupua Ōkere our guardian
Ko Ōkere te mauri ora Ōkere our life force
Ko Ōkere te awa tūpuna Ōkere our ancestral river
Ko Ōkere te oranga whānui Ōkere our sustenance
Ko Ōkere te awa honohono i te tangata Kaituna a connector of people
Mai uta ki te tai From the lakes to the sea
Ecological Cultural Economic SOcial
For thousands of years water has been carving its way through papatūānuku to create the Ōkere Awa.
For hundreds of years the Ōkere Awa has been a life source, providing sustenance and nurturing lives around it’s catchment.
Like the water that has shaped its features, it has also shaped our lives and provided a pathway for us in a multitude of ways and experiences.
Rotorua Ziplines was born through an intimate connection with the Ōkere Awa.
It has been created to showcase its mauri (spirit) and importance through Aotearoa (New Zealand) best zipline experience.
It is our responsibility as kaitiaki (guardians) to enhance the natural wonder to ensure that it is protected and uplifted for our future generations.
In 150 years, through your touch we hope that the waters will once again be clean enough to drink and the forests will be deafening from bird song.
This is our purpose, this is our destiny and you are the catalyst of our journey.
To drive Ōkere Falls towards being self-sufficient, climate neutral community that thrives in all areas within its cultural, social, environmental and economic diversity.
The first step
Not only is it important for the immediate ecosystem of the Ōkere Awa, but for the global ecosystem to ensure our emissions are outweighed by our carbon. This suggests that Rotorua Ziplines immediate mission is to increase our indigenous forest by 6ha, which would sequester 26000 Tonnes of CO2 which is the equivalent of 3250 households worth of CO2.
Reforestation is more than offsetting CO2, it is protecting the waterways, before we arrived exotic weeds were dominating natural reforestation and leaking nitrogen into our awa.
Our first mission was to remove Gorse and other invasive weeds to reduce this nitrogen leaking and fast track our reforestation process.
As we journey deeper into our mission, the ecosystems reliance on all parts has become more clear. The fragile hinges on which Aotearoa's indigenous flora and fauna hangs require our immediate actions to ensure their place in our world.
As we established our infrastructure it became apparent that our forest was in dire need of help. 150 year old natives trees were falling down due to the impacts of introduced species like the possum.
Bird life had become sparse from introduced predators and our efforts had to be broadened to keep our towering trees standing tall and proud.
Rats, Mice, Stoats, Possums and Goats.
Rotorua Rafting have been looking after two traplines along the awa for over three years.
These efforts have intensified in the Ōkere Falls Reserve and Farmland with over 80 active traps.
Culling wild goats that were stripping the native flora, and newly planted trees has had surprising results with rapid rejuvenation.
Zipline clients and kaimahi get the chance to see these traps in action, checking these traps daily.
MYNOKE AND NO TRACE WASTE
All of our zipline clients get to sip a freshly brewed native kawakawa tea in a No Trace Waste Cup (no plastics here, its fully compostable in 6 weeks). Once finished, we put a native tree into the cup with a little help from Mynoke vermicast (to give our trees the best kick start) to then be put into the earth. This also means there is zero waste within the trip.
It is great to have partnered with companies who share the same ethics.
The Side X side
We stumbled upon some used farm 4x4 side by sides that no longer went. We also were caught up in the EV sustainability debate around the short life span of the battery. So, we found a Nissan Leaf crashed and ready to be scrapped. We stripped the motors and with some Okere Falls/ Mourea ingenuity we up-cycled the Nissan Leaf and Yamaha Viking into the world's first 6 seater electric off road machine.
Not just Ecological
Sustainability goes so much further then just Ecological.
We have developed our core values and 100 year kaupapa around Cultural, Social, Economic and Ecological.