Aoraki Bound - an opportunity to be seized

Environment Canterbury Pollution Prevention Advisor Nick Moody was granted one of two Personal Development Awards in 2016 to attend Aoraki Bound. This award supports staff to undertake opportunities beyond those identified in their annual development plan that support organisational priorities.

Aoraki Bound not only offers once-in-a-lifetime adventure, it’s also a unique opportunity to learn about Ngāi Tahu history and culture. This enables Environment Canterbury’s staff to understand how they can consider the values of Ngāi Tahu and support our Tuia partnership in their work. Nick worked hard training for the physical challenges while fundraising $1500 over three months teaching some of his colleagues how to fly-fish.

After being back from Aoraki Bound for a few weeks, Nick tells us about his experience...

"20 days
16 hours a day
13 team members
Endless challenges and lots of time pressure

Take 13 adult New Zealanders from all around Aotearoa and throw them together 24/7 for weeks on end. Add sleep deprivation, irregular meals, and never knowing what's coming next.

You have a recipe for a challenging situation!

This is the Outward Bound formula for character building and growth by challenge. It fits their motto of, "Plus est en vous" - there is always more in you."

West Coast Wilderness trampingMore about Aoraki Bound

"Aoraki Bound is a collaboration between Outward Bound (established in 1967), and Ngāi Tahu. Our two Outward Bound instructors, Dave and Tui, provided the physical challenges, set strict deadlines for tasks, and provided the outdoor gear that we needed.

Our Ngāi Tahu instructor, Tiaki, taught us the Ngāi Tahu histories, waiata (songs), mōteatea (chants), whakatauki (proverbs), pūrākau (legends) and haka – all in Te Reo Māori.

It was interesting to learn about the Ngāi Tahu histories in the land, and a great opportunity to build connections with staff at Te Rūnanga O Ngāi Tahu Christchurch office, and also Rūnanga further afield.

I seized the opportunity at the Outward Bound Centre at Anakiwa to give a talk to the hundred or so young people about the things they can do at home and in their own communities to protect urban rivers.

Things like washing your car on the lawn rather than the driveway, and replacing your car's copper based brake pads with organic, heavy-metal free ones when they need replacing.

Some really inspiring people, and some really challenging experiences.

A great opportunity to set yourself a tough challenge, and immerse yourself in Ngāi Tahu culture for three weeks to be able to better relate to our treaty partners."

Photography by Nic Low -