Stay Native is a new start up business that connects local and international travelers to authentic indigenous people, places and experiences.
This exciting new business is the brainchild of Te Ara Armstrong, Chanelle Armstrong, Chala Chase, Eliza Leuluai and Pam Armstrong that gives travelers the opportunity to escape the normal cookie cutter tourist crowds and experiences and find something unique and personal.
The Stay Native experience encourages travelers to make real connections with locals and learn the history of the places they explore. Stay Native cater to the adventurous traveler ready to head off the beaten track.
Stay Native are building up their website with a number of “hosts” that come from all walks of life, and their experiences invite travelers to delve into their culture, food, places and history that make them unique.
Pam Armstrong (Ngātiwai ki Whananaki, Aotea and Takahiwai) says, “We all love travelling, and when we travel, we always love to learn about the land and the indigenous people. But increasingly we found that many traditional tourist attractions lacked real authenticity and meaningful interactions. So we started looking for tourist experiences that are off the beaten track. Something a bit different, but something that could give us a true representation of that particular culture.”
“In Northland it’s clear to see that we are incredibly blessed to live in a naturally beautiful area with authentic cultural experiences right here on our own doorstep. From pipi picking, horse riding through the bush, being taught how to weave harakeke(flax) to waking up before sunlight to dig the pit for a hangi – these are genuine, authentic native experiences, and they’re right here in our backyard.”
“So we came up with Stay Native, a website where locals (Hosts) can share these experiences, and meaningfully connect travelers to our land, to our culture, and to our people.”
Recently Stay Native entered the Pick 2017 – Northland Business Idea’s competition. Pick 2017 is a business ideas challenge for the local, everyday people of Northland where entrants are asked what simple new business idea they have, and explain why their business and idea are unique. Then throughout the steps of the competition Pick 2017 work with the business to create business plans and then ultimately launch their very own business. Stay Native were one of the supreme winners of the competition!
Pam Armstrong says, “One of our founding principles of Stay Native is whanaungatanga, or connectivity. In Maori culture we love to look after people, to welcome them into our homes and share with them our culture. To be able to offer these experiences which are authentic and meaningful, to build connections and relationships, and to share with tourists the beauty and the magic of Te Tai Tokerau, that is what we are looking forward to.”
Over the next few weeks Stay Native will begin to release details of their hosts and prepare to take Stay Native live. Watch this space – and Stay Native!!