Te Manahuna Ki Uta - shaping our tourism values for the future.

Te Manahuna/Mackenzie Basin is an incredibly special place. It’s a World Heritage Area and offers some of the best stargazing on earth. It’s been recognised as an Outstanding Natural Landscape due to its expansive basins with open grassland and valleys created by braided rivers.

For manawhenua, it is a significant cultural landscape, the home to Aoraki, a place where traditional trails meet, activities such as mahika kai have sustained whānau for generations, and tīpuna live and provide an unbreakable connection to the past.

It’s not just local people who love living and working here either, this region has a unique and fragile ecosystem that’s home to hundreds of threatened, at risk or endangered species of indigenous animals and plants, some of which are not found anywhere else in Aotearoa.


Protecting our future

This year, Mackenzie District Council, Manawhenua, Government and the community will work together to curate a 100-year vision for Te Manahuna/Mackenzie District. We will map a more sustainable future for our taoka (treasure) through developing a Destination Management Plan.

The long‐term goal is to achieve a vibrant, dynamic, and sustainable future: one that speaks to visitors and our community - manawhenua, locals, farmers, adventure seekers, artists and conservationists.

The process so far

The project team has been working hard in the background to bring together a huge amount of material that will help us develop a draft scenario. This will inform what the future looks like in Te Manahuna and how Tourism can be managed in a way that improved the experience for locals, visitors, manawhenua and businesses.

Community Engagement Feedback

We have analysed the results of the first round of Te Manahuna Ki Uta engagement and summarised the online survey, comparators survey and drop-in sessions using an interactive online tool.

This analysis is available here - https://bit.ly/3H6LVuq

This allows the data to be investigated using a range of demographic markers, meaning we can see how certain segments of the audience answered in comparison to the overall results. To use the tool, simply click on a demographic and the results will alter to show you how that particular segment answered.

What has been interesting about the results of this round of engagement is that the themes we are seeing match up closely to previous engagement work MDC has undertaken in the past 18 months (links to these results are provided below). This means the results are consistent and we can be assured that the things people are saying in this survey can be relied on. Key themes include:

  • Environmental preservation and protection
  • The importance of the outdoors
  • Community
  • Guardianship of Te Manhuna
  • Heritage and spiritual significance
  • Better management of tourism and related infrastructure
  • Heritage and history
  • Limiting / managing the impact of intensive farming

Manawhenua hui

We have also recently held a number of hui with to ensure the work underway matches up with mana whenua aims and aspirations for Te Manahuna. Key themes that came through these meetings included:

  • Mana whenua desire to be closely involved in tourism
  • Aspiration to see our communities educated on the stories of Te Manahuna so they are known by our people and then shared with visitors
  • A focus on delivering projects which protect the environment, instill pride in mana whenua and allow them to participate
  • An desire to see specific projects that mana whenua can partner with other stakeholders on

Next steps

The next steps include firming up the future vision for Te Manahuna Ki Uta, integrating all the feedback and selecting the future tourism scenario, key principles and components to be fleshed out in the Destination Management Plan.

Once we’ve landed on a preferred scenario we’ll be going our for another round of community engagement to understand what the community thinks and what tweaks and changes we need to make before developing the final Destination Management Plan. We're expecting this to happen in April this year.

The results of this engagement will then be used to fine tune the plan and ensure it meets the needs of our communities, businesses, government agency partners, manawhenua and visitors.

The first six months of 2022 promises to be focused on developing the draft destination management plan – we anticipate this will be completed by mid-2022. We look forward to sharing this journey with you - please check this page for further updates.


Te Manahuna/Mackenzie Basin is an incredibly special place. It’s a World Heritage Area and offers some of the best stargazing on earth. It’s been recognised as an Outstanding Natural Landscape due to its expansive basins with open grassland and valleys created by braided rivers.

For manawhenua, it is a significant cultural landscape, the home to Aoraki, a place where traditional trails meet, activities such as mahika kai have sustained whānau for generations, and tīpuna live and provide an unbreakable connection to the past.

It’s not just local people who love living and working here either, this region has a unique and fragile ecosystem that’s home to hundreds of threatened, at risk or endangered species of indigenous animals and plants, some of which are not found anywhere else in Aotearoa.


Protecting our future

This year, Mackenzie District Council, Manawhenua, Government and the community will work together to curate a 100-year vision for Te Manahuna/Mackenzie District. We will map a more sustainable future for our taoka (treasure) through developing a Destination Management Plan.

The long‐term goal is to achieve a vibrant, dynamic, and sustainable future: one that speaks to visitors and our community - manawhenua, locals, farmers, adventure seekers, artists and conservationists.

The process so far

The project team has been working hard in the background to bring together a huge amount of material that will help us develop a draft scenario. This will inform what the future looks like in Te Manahuna and how Tourism can be managed in a way that improved the experience for locals, visitors, manawhenua and businesses.

Community Engagement Feedback

We have analysed the results of the first round of Te Manahuna Ki Uta engagement and summarised the online survey, comparators survey and drop-in sessions using an interactive online tool.

This analysis is available here - https://bit.ly/3H6LVuq

This allows the data to be investigated using a range of demographic markers, meaning we can see how certain segments of the audience answered in comparison to the overall results. To use the tool, simply click on a demographic and the results will alter to show you how that particular segment answered.

What has been interesting about the results of this round of engagement is that the themes we are seeing match up closely to previous engagement work MDC has undertaken in the past 18 months (links to these results are provided below). This means the results are consistent and we can be assured that the things people are saying in this survey can be relied on. Key themes include:

  • Environmental preservation and protection
  • The importance of the outdoors
  • Community
  • Guardianship of Te Manhuna
  • Heritage and spiritual significance
  • Better management of tourism and related infrastructure
  • Heritage and history
  • Limiting / managing the impact of intensive farming

Manawhenua hui

We have also recently held a number of hui with to ensure the work underway matches up with mana whenua aims and aspirations for Te Manahuna. Key themes that came through these meetings included:

  • Mana whenua desire to be closely involved in tourism
  • Aspiration to see our communities educated on the stories of Te Manahuna so they are known by our people and then shared with visitors
  • A focus on delivering projects which protect the environment, instill pride in mana whenua and allow them to participate
  • An desire to see specific projects that mana whenua can partner with other stakeholders on

Next steps

The next steps include firming up the future vision for Te Manahuna Ki Uta, integrating all the feedback and selecting the future tourism scenario, key principles and components to be fleshed out in the Destination Management Plan.

Once we’ve landed on a preferred scenario we’ll be going our for another round of community engagement to understand what the community thinks and what tweaks and changes we need to make before developing the final Destination Management Plan. We're expecting this to happen in April this year.

The results of this engagement will then be used to fine tune the plan and ensure it meets the needs of our communities, businesses, government agency partners, manawhenua and visitors.

The first six months of 2022 promises to be focused on developing the draft destination management plan – we anticipate this will be completed by mid-2022. We look forward to sharing this journey with you - please check this page for further updates.


  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Please help us understand what's important to you about Te Manahuna/the Mackenzie Basin by answering a few questions. 

    Take Survey
Page last updated: 19 January 2022, 17:03