Call (+64) 3 304 7654, or Email marie@theseventhgeneration.org
Marie Haley The Seventh Generation Guide Akaroa History and Nature Tour

Marie Haley Seventh Generation Local Guide

Marie Haley The Seventh Generation Guide Akaroa History and Nature Tour
Marie Haley at the Edge of the World

Marie stands here on the cliff tops of her Great Great Grandfathers farm. Knowing where she is from fills her with a deep sense of place or tūrangawaewae (knowing where she stands). Understanding her personal and national history informs her unique worldview. From this arises a deep love of this unique place in the world, Akaroa, a place of immense history, incredible beauty and natural quiet. From this love spills forth a profound guardianship or kaitiakitanga.

With seven generations behind her, she is in a unique position to tell the story of the incredible ecological history, the prehistoric abundance that was Te Pataka o Rakaihautū – The Storehouse of Rakaihautū. The destruction of the natural landscape and loss of 99% of the forest. And now to share a clear vision for the future, for the Next Seven Generations.

Marie is part of the Change Generation, part of the world that is on a tipping point between the old destruction and the new regeneration of natural systems. On her OWN land she is regenerating the soils, the forest, the streams and the natural quiet. But she sees herself as being only a small part of a much larger world movement that is to be celebrated – the first time in human history when Homo sapiens is looking past it’s own self interests to protect the natural world on a global scale. We are only just beginning, but every great movement starts with the smallest steps, and we have begun.

Let her share her inspirational story with you. She has a clear voice if you are ready to hear.

Be the change you wish you see in the world.

Guandi

Living into the Wild

For wilderness is not space, but the life force that inhibits that space.

Marie Haley

In 2007, I spent the first of three summers working on Campbell Island, amongst the royal albatross and New Zealand sea lions. They were to be some of the most formative episodes of my life. It was here with the vast expanses of ocean around me that I first felt the freedom experienced by wild animals, and it was like taking a deeper breath than I known was possible. A breath that still manages to fill my soul with a mix of joy and hope. For wilderness is not space, but the life force that inhibits that space.

To live in a place where no humans reside, where animals rule, turns what we know of the world on it’s head. Our daily experiences are defined by interactions with the world that are controlled and measured, we know the weather forecast, we hear the daily news, we can adjust the thermostat to make our environment more comfortable and all of our experiences with animals tend to be with ones that are either domesticated or have habituated to a human modified world.

All in all we control our world so we are safe, and that safety limits our depth of experience of nature. On Campbell Island, we were the odd ones out, there were no tracks, no roads and no vehicles, no internet, not even a weather forecast and whatever news came was weeks too late for it to be new anymore. We had one heated room and spent weeks on end camping right in a sea lion colony or in tiny huts on the exposed headlands surrounded by albatross.

Living in such simplicity gave the mind so much time to slow down, to notice the finest details of life and to expand into poetic daydreams. The abundance of nature was captivating, so that I never felt a moment of boredom (that feeling of reaching for updates on your phone). There were always interactions to watch, penguins coming ashore in their daily commute or albatross gliding in from ten long days at sea, sea lions defending their place in the world or even just little pipit birds working as camp cleaners hoping around our feet for crumbs.

After some time I felt these experiences of freedom and the beauty of nature working their way inside my brain and rewiring my neural pathways so that I know I think differently than I did before. For me it has left me with a lifelong yearning for more wildness, more freedom. For some time I sought it out by moving from place to place, but when I found that wherever I went in this human world, it was not there, I decided to stay home and recreate it for myself in the world around me. I started to plant trees and flowers to bring in the birds closer around me and to slow down and watch the wild species that are actually all around us, that go unnoticed in our speed.

Marie Haley in ESCAPE Magazine: Do it the local way with this epic New Zealand tour

Local connections don’t get more local than Marie Haley, a seventh-generation resident and experienced tour guide in Akaroa, one of New Zealand’s most idyllic ports. The town is so small that Majestic Princess has to tender passengers from ship to shore.

Haley’s fascinating three-hour tour of the coastal community and surrounding farmlands weaves in important Maori cultural sites and history, such as the infamous Te Rauparara massacre that led to the Treaty of Waitangi.

Combining a deep knowledge of Akaroa’s English, French and Maori heritage with her own engaging family history, Haley takes us far from the town’s well-trodden tourist trail.

After morning tea and scones at Heritage Park, with its panoramic views of the vast Akaroa Harbour, we head for Hinewai Reserve and Wildside Conservation Project on blustery Banks Peninsula, where Haley spent much of her childhood.

The soon-to-be mum now lives on a farm in nearby Goughs Bay which she wants to turn into New Zealand’s first designated “quiet farm” where peace and tranquillity reign supreme — a local hero indeed. Tip: Carry rain gear in Akaroa as the weather can turn in an instant.

Fools & Dreamers: Watch the full documentary here!

Fools & Dreamers is a 30-minute documentary telling the story of Hinewai Nature Reserve, on Canterbury’s Banks Peninsula, and its kaitiaki/manager of 30 years, botanist Hugh Wilson. We learn about the commitment of Hugh and the Maurice White Native Forest Trust to regenerate marginal, hilly farmland into native forest, using a minimal interference method that allows nature to do the work, giving life to over 1500 hectares of native forest, waterways, and the creatures that live within them. When, in 1987, Hugh let the local community know about his plans to allow gorse to grow as a nurse canopy for self-sown native trees, the response was sceptical at best and outright angry and disparaging for the most part – one farmer stating the plan was the sort to be expected only of “fools and dreamers”. Now considered a local hero by town and country folk alike, Hugh’s home at Hinewai overlooks a valley resplendent in native forest canopy, where birds and other wildlife are abundant and 47 known waterfalls are in permanent flow. An inspiring, charismatic personality, Hugh’s passion and enthusiasm for his life’s project come through in every sentence he speaks. A dreamer who has made his dream come true, Hugh has proven without doubt that nature knows best – and that he is no fool.

PELAGIC BIRDLIFE IN RELATION TO PREDATOR CONTROL AND TOURISM: A CASE STUDY OF PENGUINS IN BANKS PENINSULA NEW ZEALAND

The Wildside project aims to restore the range of species found within an ecosystem and to protect the unique and iconic species that already exist on Banks Peninsula. The project manages the largest penguin colony on mainland Australasia of white-flippered little blue penguins, in “Flea Bay with a yearly 5% increase in breeding pairs” (RFFBH, GSFBH, and PMLBH). The colony has grown from “717 pairs in 2000/2001 to 1304 pairs in 2012” (LSFBH) which is a proven success for the community initiated project. The “last remaining titi colony went down to two pairs and now because of predator excluder fencing 34 chicks fledged in 2013” (PFFBH). Tuis were also “released on the Wildside of Banks Peninsula in 2010 and can be seen all around Banks Peninsula” (IRLBB, LMLBH).