8 Amazing ways to explore Akaroa: Explore the rich and diverse history of Akaroa with The Seventh Generation Tours
Original article by Meghan Maloney Photography
I was thrilled to take ChristchurchNZ out for a promotional ‘Akaroa Nature and History Tour’ to rebuild my tour company that has been flattened by Covid-19. And when Meghan Maloney wrote this lovely piece on my humble tours I was excited that she had really built an emotional connection to Akaroa within the short time frame that we had. That is what I am trying to do, to tell stories that make you stop and think, that build your understanding of Aotearoa New Zealand in a different way, and that hit you in the heart, because that is where change happens.
So for Meghan to open her article with “I felt incredibly emotional after spending a short couple of hours with Marie Haley of Seventh Generation Tours on her insightful tour of Akaroa”, I knew I had done my job well.
“I felt incredibly emotional after spending a short couple of hours with Marie Haley”Meghan Maloney
Akaroa has an oversized role to play in New Zealand’s history for such a small town. What happened influenced the culture and politics of all of New Zealand. And my family played a central role in it’s unfoldment. The Takapuneke massacre brought British Government to our shores, and the French ‘threat’ influenced the Treaty of Waitangi, Akaroa was the only place in the South Island that the Treaty was signed and the French arrival forced the demonstration of sovereignty at the Brittomart Reserve, finally Canterbury and the West Coast was ‘sold’ from Akaroa.
You won’t find this story on interpretation panels though. What I love to do is use my years of research and generations of oral history to weave together a story that is both complete and complex, and yet make it accessible and engaging in a way that history often isn’t.
And then there is the future. And the future of Akaroa is amazing. We have decimated the forests, down to 1% of the original cover, but that is regenerating rapidly and now we have more than 17% native forest cover, in less than a century. The leading example of this is Hinewai Reserve, the largest private reserve in New Zealand, protecting a range of ecosystems from sub-alpine summit to sea.
“Those that do not learn from History are doomed to repeat it”George Satanaya
It is the conservation mind-set that is so prevalent now in Akaroa, I am convinced that the future of Akaroa is a rich and diverse environment, the type of which we can only imagine from the stories of natural history. On my tours I try to make them real again, at least in our imagination. Because I believe strongly that if we can see it, it will come.
“Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”Napoleon Hill
Read the full article here: