Creating memorable experiences for our manuhiri, as they tread lightly across our land

At XLabs, Haka Tourism Group designed a low carbon and zero waste solution that would help to bring their manuhiri closer to Aotearoa’s values and actions through bespoke, on tour food experiences.

Their experience at XLabs was interrupted by COVID-19, affecting their entire industry. They see a significant opportunity to build in circular principles moving forward as they redesign what tourism looks like going forward. 

CBD methods:
Closed Loop Systems
Smart Materials
Travel and Tourism
Plastic waste and carbon reduction

The Team:

Mike Burton, Shannon Clement, Fiona Love,
Naomi Render, Wiestke Olthuis, Annika Kliewer

The Challenge ­–

It’s in our nature to explore the world and seek out new places, but one of the biggest challenges facing our tourism industry is the impact of carbon emissions – with three of the biggest factors behind this being transport, energy and single-use plastics.

Knowing plastics is projected to be responsible for up to 15% of the total carbon budget by 2050, and currently 36% of all plastic produced is packaging and single-use. HTG identified this as a good place for them to start creating immediate impact.

The challenge HTG brought to XLabs was to design out single-use plastics in the food experiences of their Haka tour guests. The first step of a greater journey to radically reduce their carbon emissions.

Group of 5 Haka Tours team members standing in front of XLabse photowall
Haka Tours team member showing Haka tours brainstorm to bring a circular economy approach to tourism

The Journey ­–

“What attracted us to XLabs was the opportunity to learn about the circular economy and how we can apply it to all of our brands, becoming a genuinely sustainable company, living our company values and those of our clients through our entire portfolio.”
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The Solution ­–

Their circular idea was to begin collecting all single use plastic on tour from their manuhiri, and measure and recycle it into reusable products with the support of local recyclers.

The Kaitiaki Breakfast Box could be their first prototype - a reusable container made in New Zealand from our own recycled plastic and designed to hold a selection of locally produced and sustainably packaged snacks.

Starting small, they saw this as the start of something much bigger. The process of collecting and measuring our waste will begin the process for HTG to reassess every aspect of their business, and provide them with the  ability to educate their manuhiri in more sustainable living. They believe Haka Tourism can lead lasting change for their industry, their manuhiri and for Aotearoa.

Haka Tourism drawing their vision to being carbin negative as pictured on Vogue

The Ambition ­–

Our ambition is to operate entirely without fossil fuels, and become truly carbon negative by 2040.

Obviously the challenge facing HTG dramatically changed since they started our journey with XLabs -

“Our biggest issue facing our entire industry is navigating and recovering from Covid. Part of the recovery effort is going to include a greater focus on sustainability and particularly carbon emissions. We have come to realise that whilst we rebuild from Ground Zero, we have a great opportunity to see circular principles being built into all our new ideas.”