Meet your guide

Storyteller, historian, ecologist

Seventh Generation Akaroa local

Marie Haley

Marie Haley, the seventh generation, Akaroa

"I am passionate about these tours, as I love telling stories, but also these stories inspire me with hope every time I tell them. When I finish a tour with a tingle up my spine and hugs all around I know that I have made that connection for the people on my tours. I love knowing that I have inspired people to see the future as positive and that we can participate in that change. It is my way of life."

the seventh generation in akaroa

"I love to imagine how Akaroa looked through my ancestors eyes, wild, remote, crammed with birds and birdsong... an absolutely beautiful South Pacific paradise."

Etienne Francois Lelievre arrived as a blacksmith in 1837 and returned to Akaroa as a crew member on the French settler ship the Comte de Paris in 1840.  Justine Rose de Malmanche was also an origional French settler coming out as an 8 year old, they married eleven years later.

How did Akaroa look in 1840 to a young girl from the other side of the world? What opportunities lay ahead for poor immigrants who at home had no right to vote and no schooling?

It’s these questions that have driven curiosity and history research.

Learn about Akaroa, New Zealand from the viewpoint of a seventh generation local Marie Haley an expert local guide, with a lifetime of research and generations of stories, a deep connection and love of place.

Akaroa Museum Comte de Paris Exhibition
Origional French Settler to Akaroa The Seventh Generation Marie Haley


“When my heart beats it is time for me to speak”, for Marie telling stories is a life purpose and a need, it is a way to connect people to place, and is a gift.

Manaakitanga is hospitality, and telling stories well, giving so that your guests leave better.

The stories that we share and believe create our world, often we take a short snippet of time and form all of our beliefs around that. Marie will challenge you to look seven generations into the past and future to understand our current situation and leave with hope.

During her time as a community conservationist Marie discovered her true passion was storytelling, and her absolutely favourite thing is to stand in front of a crowd with a microphone and be asked to speak – about anything!  


Well read and heavily researched, stories have been collected over a lifetime, tying in oral stories and myth with written and peer-reviewed research to create a narrative that you will not hear anywhere else.

Having never taken a class in history, Marie has dedicated her life to understanding how history fits together, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle until, with her own worldview complete, she was compelled to begin storytelling.

Surrounded by diverse childhood legends of intertribal warfare, the ‘race for Akaroa’ and how her ancestor was a huge fan of Napoleon, Marie was filled with wonder and curiosity that she would just love to share with you.

Knowing who you are, and where you belong gives you turangawaewae, connection to place, from that arises the need to protect that which you love.



Trained as a conservation ecologist with a BSc Environmental Studies from Victoria University of Wellington, and a trainee ranger with the Department of Conservation.

Marie Haley has two decades of experience, including living on the remote and wild sub-Antarctic Campbell Island for three summers undertaking royal albatross and sea lion research.

Most recently employed as the first Wildside co-coordinator for the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust for eight years, working with her passionate local community.  Taking out the national 2017 Green Ribbon Community Leadership Award and 2017 Community Bio-security Awards.

Marie is now kaitiaki (guardian) of “The Farm” dedicated to regenerating the beauty,  biodiversity, natural quiet and mauri (lifeforce) of her slice of paradise.

authentic local guide

To make the most of your experience in Akaroa take a private tour with the expert local guide. You will be supporting a family owned and operated local business. You are guaranteed to have a completely authentic experience.

What customers say

We had an incredible tour with Marie. She was very knowledgeable of Akaroa and Maori history and she provided unique insights to the land that you can't get on any other tour. I can't recommend this highly enough, this tour is a must-do in Akaroa!!!

Best Tour Ever. Marie Haley has extensive knowledge of the culture, history and geography of the area. She is personable, friendly, and makes terrific scones. Her appreciation of the culture of the area is easily translated into her story telling (true stories of course) which made a fascinating trip. You will be a better person after spending time with Marie. Thank you for sharing your world, your history and your knowledge with us."



regenerative tourism for future generations