THE DREAM TEAM
We have a team of dedicated, passionate individuals ready to give you the trip of a lifetime. From head office to front line we all share one common core value which is people. We promise to deliver excellence, provide full support and be right beside you on this journey, every step of the ways.
Here are a few members of our Haka (whanau) family…..
Founder & Director - Haka Tourism Group. Ryan left his corporate job behind to start the award winning Haka Tours and has never looked back since! His passion for tourism extends beyond his business, as a board member of BYATA and numerous industry groups he presents on business, entrepreneurship and tourism. In 2010 Ryan was named the NZ Tourism Industry Young Entrepreneur, and more recently the Emerging Tourism Leader Award in the 2015 awards.
Co-Founder & General Manager - Hailing from the green pastures of Wales, she is an avid adventurer, outdoor enthusiast and a travel expert. From tour guiding to operations and management of international student tours, she has a wealth of experience specific to educational travel. Eleri is a visionary who strives to create unique tours, pushing the boundary of experiential learning, along with a meticulous planning method which leaves no stone unturned.
Programme & Operations Manager - Having grown-up and worked in London, Lucy left the UK to travel and experience a different lifestyle. She is passionate about education having previously managed a leadership development programme for school leaders in England and taught English in Thailand. Lucy loves travelling and learning about different cultures and has explored many countries around the world with one of her favourite experiences being volunteering on a farm in Fiji.
Sports Travel and Partnerships Manager – Born and bred in West Auckland, David’s love of all things sports proved to be a real dinger when he got to travel extensively through the USA – most notably in California and Louisiana – playing professional softball. David’s 23-year career teaching Physical Education & Sport in secondary schools (including organising 18 overseas sports trips) gives him the perfect background for this role. David is happiest outdoors, surfing, or on his farm with his two beautiful black labradors and his wife and son.
Tour Account Manager – From the time she was 18 and left the UK to embark upon her first solo adventure, Helen has been a huge advocate of the learning opportunities that travel allows. She’s spent five years living across South East Asia teaching Scuba Diving, has worked as a travel agent in London and now, based in Auckland, Helen gets to put together fantastic itineraries that allow students from all over the world to broaden their horizons and learn outside the classroom!
Sales & Operations Coordinator – our resident American who ensures all our reservations are up to speed and the person who plans our bespoke itineraries. Kelly’s role combines many of her passions: travel, education, and student engagement. She loves living in New Zealand where there’s always something new to discover and the people are friendly and welcoming. In her spare time, she likes to go kayaking or hiking, and our Kelly is bilingual – elle parle Français!
Accounts Manager - Based in Christchurch, our resident wonder-woman Robyn does a bit of everything to ensure the wheels keep turning behind the scenes, taking care of payments and all the business’ accounting needs. Having travelled the globe, Robyn is still just as passionate about her home-turf New Zealand as ever, and isn’t afraid to get stuck in to help out with running the school groups, proving she’s worth more than her weight in gold!
Sales Manager - After nearly 15 years at Flight Center Group with his last role as an Area Manager, Chris is tasked with developing our global agency agreements with Flight Center and STA Travel as well as our other 3rd party partners. Chris is also developing our global sales strategy across our core international markets.
Tour Guide - A Rocky Horror Picture Show enthusiast with years of experience in all aspects of the tourism industry, Annie is an all-round legend here at Haka! From riding a Harley Davidson through some of NZ’s most stunning scenery to ski seasons in Canada, she’s done it all. A parent herself, Annie brings a maternal touch and eternally positive attitude to our tours, along with her infectious sense of adventure which she’ll share with anyone who crosses her path!
Tour Guide - Mikey, is one of our expert guides who’s obsessed with travel and adventure. He’s worked with a number of schools, sports groups and institutions. He is also the star of ͞Oskayak Downunder͟ as the tour guide who took Oskayak High School around New Zealand introducing them to the Maori culture. Mikey chases winter and can often be found charging down the mountain in France and New Zealand every year!
Tour Guide - Si is another guru guide who’s passions are outdoor education and adventure. He has a talent which brings students together by encouraging team spirit and a positive attitude. His travel knowledge combined with a thirst for adventure and exploration makes him a favorite of tour groups. Si can also often be found with his camera attached to him as a budding photographer and also used to be a professional chef - a man of many talents!
Tour Guide – Lizzie’s wealth of experience in the tourism, snow, and education sectors makes her a tour guide extraordinaire. She’s passionate about all things New Zealand; especially tikanga Māori, our natural environment, and the feathered taonga (beautiful birds) who live here. An enthusiastic snowboarder and mountain biker, she balances out those endorphines with relaxing forest hikes or chilling on our stunning beaches. An artist as well as a Tour Manager, Lizzie has a great eye for capturing the best photos, too.
Website Developer - Smey is a total legend who spends his days elbow deep in some terrifying-looking pages of code, all in the name of keeping our websites and systems running smoothly. His ambition is to make the world a better place and make peoples’ lives easier, which he has certainly done for us! He also cooks incredible Cambodian treats for us to feast on, which we are eternally grateful for.
Office Mascot - Our very own welcome committee, Louis greets all visitors with a friendly shake of his booty and always offers his head or back for a scratch. He has a special, if puzzling, fondness for tour guides’ shins. He has a 100% attendance record and enjoys contributing to office meetings, which he signals to us by pawing at the meeting room door and whining.