Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi o te rā ki a koutou.

Greetings from Aotearoa New Zealand!

Two decades ago, the founders of EcoQuest Te Rarangahau Taiao imagined a learning community where, through education and research, young, motivated people would become catalysts for sustainability. In close collaboration with colleagues at the University of New Hampshire, they created programs around the theme of Ecology in Action, based on New Zealand's unique natural, political and cultural landscapes; and, as the saying goes, 'the rest is history'.

At heart, we believe well-grounded, well-rounded scientists and policy makers have a critical role in the kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of our planet; our programs are designed for this purpose. Good hearts, good minds, good science.

Te taenga ki te Ao hou- Arrival in a new world…

Your flight across Te Moananui-a-Kiwa - the great Pacific, will take you through the night, leaping forward a day into a bright Aotearoa dawn. The shift begins, everything is different: night is day, right is left, the sun goes backwards. You are seeing with fresh eyes. Capture that feeling and let yourself be immersed in our place, our culture. Our papa kāinga (field centre) by the sea will become your home.

Ngā hīkoi - Journeys

Teammates and staff will become whānau (family), and companions on a series of place-based learning adventures throughout our land, from the mountains to the sea. We combine rigorous academic pursuit with hands-on learning, taking you on a quest that extends your horizons and challenges you. As we travel, you will learn how two world views - te Ao Māori and te Ao Pākehā – inform our responses to the issues we face in managing the impacts we have on our land.

Hōnonga - Connections

Te Rarangahau Taiao has layered meanings. It speaks of the questing for the natural world. It also conjures up the idea of weaving relationships to form webs of knowledge for sustainability. Throughout your time with us, you will experience how EcoQuest works closely with local iwi (tribes) Ngāti Pāoa and Ngāti Whanaunga, government and non-government entities, research institutes, etc. Together with our experienced faculty and staff, you will engage in practical, field studies and scientific research with real community and conservation outcomes.


When you leave New Zealand, you will have left something of yourself behind—our place and our people will by enriched by your efforts. Whatever your pathway, if we can widen your vision, earth your understandings, and encourage an abiding fascination for the natural world, we can feel assured that you will work towards sustainability wherever you belong. Every place needs its guardians.

Arohanui ki a tātou katoa.

Jono Clark, Director