New Zealand Broadcasting School
© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2024

Waka on Avon

Chino Barrett-Lovie
Helena Bowater
Nikki Carroll
Rhys Dunsmuire
Matt Hutchins
Tia McDougall
Fletcher Platt
Josh Robertson
Waka on Avon
WOA main pic
Waka on Avon caravan  NZBS

The theme of our multi-media campaign for this new business venture is to focus on Waka on Avon's three key principles: Education, Conservation and Entertainment

Our multi-media content package for our client is made up of the following:

1) Client story for promotional purposes

2) A 1 minute 30 second promotional video - aimed at both international and domestic audiences

3) Promotional brief to TVNZ Breakfast show - focusing on opportunity for Live Cross from Christchurch team

4) Promotional brief to TVNZ What Now show - focusing on an episode of the show being hosted by Waka on Avon

5) Three 20-25 second social media video clips (Waka Safety Video series) 

6) Press release to Maori Television/shows

7) A 7 minute visual documentary in three parts - looking at the history and future of Waka in Ōtautahi

8) A 4 minute audio story in two parts - aimed at 10 to 12 year olds - including Waka history and promotion of Waka on Avon

9) Six 30 second radio adverts - aimed at a More FM audience

10) Media Plan on how to utilise the content - period covering December 2020 to February 2021

11) A 5 minute 360 virtual tour (including three 30 second historical/informative audio clips)

Waka on Avon 1 1
Waka on Avon logo Ko Tāne


For 40 years Willowbank Wildlife Reserve has been one of New Zealand’s most comprehensive wildlife parks.  With a focus on conservation and education, Willowbank has been drawing crowds year after year for a uniqueinteractive animal experience.  To this day, the wildlife reserve is still owned and operated by members of the founding family from four decades ago. 

The Ko Tāne cultural experience has always been one of the major drawcards at WillowbankKo Tāne is an interactive Māori experience that provides a look into New Zealand’s history in a fun, informative and entertaining way. 

In 2020the founding families of both these organisations have come together to create Christchurch’s newest interactive cultural experience - Waka on Avon 

The goal of Waka on Avon is to educate passengers on the history of Māori in Christchurch as well as the coming together of settlers and Māori and all the positive things they achieved building the city together 

Through this education the company want to show people that we are not two separate cultures. As Cantabrians we are a community that has been through a lot in recent years and we have shown a great deal of resilience together.  

This is also true for Waka on Avon who have been battling against a global pandemic to get their business up and running. 


Waka on Avon are looking to use the platform of their business to promote the importance of our connection to the environment.  Kaitiakitanga is a way of managing the environment based on the Māori world view of humans being part of the natural world. 

Waka on Avon want to reinforce the idea that the environment around us is like a living being and needs to be taken care of.  This includes such things as the cleaning up of water ways and replanting of native bush in different areas around Christchurch.  

From friendly crew to entertaining tours and stories to Waka races with friends and family, Waka on Avon want every person who rides with them to have a fantastic and memorable experience.  

Waka on Avon prides itself on the principal of Manaakitanga - showing respect, generosity and care for others.   The company believes that people won’t necessarily remember what you say, or what you do, but they will remember how you make them feel.  

Every trip on the Waka will leave you happy, smiling and wishing you had more than 45 minutes to enjoy this amazing historical and cultural trip on Ōtākaro Avon River. 

WOA pic 1
Waka on Avon NZBS

Early Māori came to Aotearoa New Zealand by Waka. These Māori canoes represent the beginning of who these people were - the start of their whakapapa. 

This year is not the first time Waka have been seen on the Ōtākaro Avon River.  180 years ago, Waka were an important part of the early building of Christchurch, with Māori and early settlers transporting on, trading by and working along the Avon River together. 

Waka on Avon is built on the same three principles 
Willowbank was founded on forty years ago:  Education, Conservation and Entertainment 

Every passenger aboard will noonly experience the excitement of paddling a hand-crafted Waka down the Avon, they will be taught the importance of the Waka to Māori culture. They will also hear many of the earlstories of Canterbury's Ngāi Tahu iwi and the earliest European settlers such as the Deans Brothers.  

The construction of a new Māori cultural centre, Puari Village, based at 794 Colombo Street, is expected to be completed by October 2021 

For more information check out Waka on Avon online at: 

call us on 0800 9252 2866 

or stop by our kiosk on Manchester Street,  

right by the Margaret Mahy Playground 


We approached the producers of Breakfast via email with the following information: 

We are doing a promotional project for a new local business - Waka on Avon - and as part of that we are contacting organisations whose audiences are part of the demographic our client is targeting. 
We have a few ideas that we think you would be interested in from both a news perspective and an entertainment perspective. 
At this stage, all we are looking for is an indication from yourselves that you would be interested in helping us promote this new business, in a way that would fit with the Breakfast show concept. 

The response from Jonathan Williams (Executive Producer) was as follows: 

“Thanks for getting in touch, this could be a reporter live cross for Isaac Gunson.  

When would any such content be going to air on Breakfast? 

Our reply to Jonathan’s email: 
We would recommend to our client they talk to you about placement being closer to the end of December - to interest those in Canterbury who will be on their Christmas break as well as those from further afield who are coming to the area for their Summer holidays. 
We will pass your details on to our client when we hand over the project so they can contact you to discuss this further. 



There are a few options for the Breakfast team to report on the company Waka on Avon as part of their show. 

These options would help the company to get more people interested and Christchurch locals to fall in love with the Wakas. 

Waka on Avon’s target audience is families/parents in their 30’s and 40’s, which also makes up a significant part of the Breakfast show’s viewers. 

The aim of utilising Breakfast as a promotional tool would be to promote Waka on Avon to a national audience as a fun Summer activity for both those who live locally and those who will be visiting the Christchurch area over the holiday period. 

A) From a news perspective: 
The parent company of Waka on Avon (Ko Tāne) was one of approximately 50 tourism ventures New Zealand wide who benefitted from the government’s first round of funding through the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme. 
The funding of $300k in August this year allowed Ko Tāne to continue to prepare the Waka’s for use by the public from Spring/Summer 2020, despite plans for building of a Maori cultural centre on the banks of Ōtākaro Avon River having to be put on hold because of the Covid lockdown.  
Waka on Avon also have support from Christchurch City council, who have allowed them to launch their Waka from the jetty beside the Margaret Mahy playground until such time as the $3.5 million Puari Village is able to be completed, which will hopefully be October 2021.  

B) From an entertainment perspective: 

1)  Isaac Gunson is a local reporter who is always willing to give pretty much anything a go - let’s have him do a Live while helping paddle the Waka.  
His focus could be on the sharing of historical/cultural stories from the area of Ōtākaro Avon River, and how the early settlers and local Maori worked together to start building Christchurch, which is an important aspect of the 45-minute Waka tour. 
We also have contact details for Charles Deans – a descendant of the original settler family – who could be approached to be part of a filmed Waka paddle. 

2)  Breakfast could host a Waka race between various well-known Christchurch  
personalities/celebritieseg the Mayor, MP’s, sports stars, musicians, actors, etc  
Isaac could be the ‘racing commentator’ as the two Waka’s paddled down the Ōtākaro Avon River, encouraging families, schools and local businesses to contact Waka on Avon for a chance at this unique competition. 


Breakfast contact details: 

Greg Pearson (Executive Producer) 
(Jonathan is moving on and has passed our emails on to Greg) 

Naomi Tan                               

Isaac Gunson                           


WOA pic 2
Waka under Manchester Street bridge NZBS


We approached the producers of What Now via email with the following information: 

We are doing a promotional project for a new local business - Waka on Avon - and as part of that we are contacting organisations whose audiences are part of the demographic our client is targeting. 
We have a few ideas that we think you would be interested in for your new season of What Now, providing options to work with local Christchurch schools and kapa haka groups as well as our client. 
At this stage, all we are looking for is an indication from yourselves that you would be interested in helping us promote this new business, in a way that would fit with What Now's brand. 
The response from Adam Percival (Creative Producer) was as follows: 

Thanks for getting in touch. 

Unfortunately, we won't be able to commit to anything at this stage as we're undergoing a big format change. This is currently our focus for the time being. 

Wishing you all the best and happy to assist in projects you have in the future. 

Our reply to Adam’s email: 
We are happy to recommend to our client that they reconnect with What Now early 2021, to see if arrangements could be made for promotional activity as outlined in our original email. 
They will have a more comprehensive brief for you to consider at that time. 

Adam Percival has since stated that he is very keen for Waka on Avon to make contact after New Year to further this opportunity for collaboration. 




There are two options for What Now to use the Waka on Avon as part of their show.   

Both options will help the company to get more people interested and Christchurch locals to fall in love with the Wakas.   

What Now is a children's show made by Whitebait Media and is broadcast around New Zealand every Sunday at 8am on TVNZ 2.   

The show has a large following and is embraced by all Kiwi kids - everyone has watched it or knows of it.  

What Now’s target audience is 6-to-12-year oldsWaka on Avon’s target audience is families/parents in their 30’s and 40’s.  

The show would help attract the company’s target audience by getting children interested in having a go on the Waka’s, which in turn would get their parents interested 
The aim of utilising What Now as a promotional tool would be to help increase sales for trips with Waka on Avon and to help build the company’s brand as a family-oriented organisation 


Waka on Avon could host a whole episode of the What Now show.  

When an episode of What Now is planned to be based in the Christchurch area, Waka on Avon could offer to host the presenters at their site.   

What Now could also arrange with the client to offer a few “Family Passes” for Waka rides as prizes during the show. 

The presenters could learn how to ride in a Waka and the traditions of the Waka’s.  

Also, local school Kapa Haka groups could get involved for performance elements.  

The episode could build up to two teams racing down the Avon on both Waka’s at the end of the show.  

This could be done for any episode, or it could be aimed at a particular time such as Waitangi Day or Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori. 



What Now could run a Waka race competition for families and/or schools.  

For the competition there would be two teams racing in the Waka’s - this could be filmed in one shoot but then have the various races/heats shown over a few weeks' episodes through VT’s.   

This could be families vs familiesschools vs schools, pupils vs teachers.  Or you could even get Christchurch personalities/celebrities competing against each other as well – eg Mayor, MP’s, sports stars, musicians, actors 

It would be a time trial race with the team having the best time at the end of competition winning a prize.   


What Now contact details: 
Adam Percival (Creative Producer) 

Emma Martini                          

Potential Contacts For Press Release: 

The Hui: Mihingarangi Forbes - 
Marae: Whatitiri Te Wake - 
Maori TV:  



After 180 years, Maori Waka have returned to Christchurch. 
Waka on Avon has recently launched in the city centre, and allows friends and whānau to hop on board, paddle a traditional Waka and experience Christchurch like never before 

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve has been one of New Zealand's most comprehensive wildlife parks for over 40 years.  The Ko Tāne cultural experience has always been one of the major drawcards at Willowbank 

Together, these long-standing Christchurch family-owned businesses have launched Waka on Avon, despite the difficulties of COVID. 
Because Ko Tāne are a small, locally owned tourism business, all income was lost when COVID hit hard.  

Despite the Ministry of Social Developmentfigures revealing Māori were only half as likely as Pākehā to get any form of COVID funding support from the Government, the new venture of Waka on Avon received $300k through its parent company 

Ko Tāne are the only Maori tourism company in the South Island to be part of the initial funding of the Government’s Strategic Asset Tourism Protection Program (just over 50 tourism companies were chosen to receive help in August 2020).  

With that help, and the support of Christchurch City Council, they are one of the few Maori tourism companies in the South Island to be operating at present.  

Those who take part in this new activity will get to paddle on the Avon river and learn stories of how the early European settlers and local Māori used the river and Waka together to create the landscape for Christchurch 

Co-Director Dave Brennan says, when the Ko Tāne cultural centre reopens, it will be focusing on encouraging more environmental work: 

“The Waka is going to be the vehicle we..use to connect...into the environment, connect into our wildlife and connect into our history. 
The education Ko Tāne provides is key and something Brennan is extremely proud of:   

It's great because the Government has introduced New Zealand history into schools and that's what we are about...the early settler's history and Māori history. 


Dave Brennan (Co-Director, Ko Tāne) 

021 374 943    

WOA caravan pic
Waka on Avon caravan NZBS
WOA pic 3
Paddling Waka on Ōtākaro Avon River NZBS



The main objective of this campaign runs within the phase system. This goes through different phases targeting different audiences.  

We have created this due to the business being a start-up and not really having established itself. As the business progresses, we can target the appropriate audience. 

We have decided to split the content we create to target different ‘phases’: 

  • 70% of the content we make will target your phase 1: making Christchurch and local families fall in love with the idea of riding on a waka down the Avon; 
  • 20% of the content we make will target your phase 2: encouraging schools and corporates to give it a go: 
  • 10% of the content we make will target your phase 3: content that would appeal to international tourists.  

As you can see our goal is primarily to make Canterbrians aware of the business, as due to current COVID conditions this is the main audience that could be potential customers.   



Promotional Video 

  • The promotional video will be placed on the Waka on Avon website and social medias. The video is the most outward facing visual content of the campaign and focuses on showing the fun of the company. This should be the first thing people see on the website, and hopefully, through social media, will reach people journeying to Christchurch for Christmas holidays. The social media coverage may require a financial push to spread further. 


  • Ask people who use Waka on Avon to tag the company in personal Instagram and Facebook stories to get organic spread of company name. This will also show the fun of the activity, with our psychograph more likely to share things they enjoy, instead of generic daily things. 
  • A post should be made on the Waka on Avon Instagram account 1-2 times a week, highlighting the Waka, and the Avon River location.  


  • The first public relations event should be targeted for December. Using the TVNZ Breakfast show as a platform to do a live cross featuring a local Christchurch reporter, or even the travelling weather presenter.  
    By being showcased on TVNZ Breakfast, we are reaching a national audience in our target demographic, just before Christmas.  
    This is also a good chance to highlight the product, along with a news-worthy story about Waka on Avon e.g. the struggle to get up and running during COVID. 


  • As with most of December’s content, it is about pushing Waka on Avon as a fun new school holiday activity. We have made a range of adverts for December which focus on kids needing something to do this summer with Waka on Avon filling this hole. Targeting a brand such as MoreFM would be ideal for our audience as this is the radio station we know they listen to. 




  • The visual focus for January should be the episodes of the documentary. While the previous month's content will still be running, the documentary is a good time to push the education and storytelling side of the company.  


  • The social media campaign through January will focus on the aesthetic of Waka on Avon. This month should focus on still images and small slow-mo videos highlighting the Waka carvings, and hopefully the great Summer weather in Christchurch. 


  • January would be a good time to contact What Now/Whitebait media. This PR event is designed to engage the children of our target audience by getting Waka on Avon on the What Now show. This is also an attempt to engage a national TV audience.  
    The goal is to draw the young viewers in by making the Wakas the centre of a competitive event between schools, teachers, sports teams etc. This event can be filmed in one weekend and rolled out over a period of weeks or just filmed over different episodes 
    With a location right next to Margaret Mahy Playground, Waka on Avon is perfectly positioned for What Now to be interested in collaborating early next year. 


  • January would see the radio adverts from last month continue, as well as beginning to roll out some of the generic ones. These adverts sell the fun activity of Waka on Avon, and some mention the importance of the Avon River to Christchurch in a historical setting. January is a good time to roll out more advertising, as we hope Waka on Avon has already begun to establish some brand recognition around Christchurch by this time. 



  • By February much of the content should be out and live for audiences. This means the company can have their choice of what they choose to focus on. They may push for more of Decembers content, or try to target the end of the school holidays. Approaching schools with the Waka documentaries would work here as schools will be looking for educational activities to start the year off strong. 


  • As February includes Waitangi Day the imagery of social media will focus on the Waka and the carvings. Shorter edits of the documentary and promo video would work well when paired with informative captions. Pushing the cultural and education side during February on social media means it will target many eyes and be easy to take in. 


  • The PR for February also has a heavier focus on the cultural aspects of Waka on Avon. The February press release is targeting television shows such as “The Hui” “Marae” and the channel Maori TV. This press release is a focus on a business offering a great cultural experience in Christchurch. As well as Waka on Avon being one of the few Maori companies aided by the Government to be kept open during COVID. This provides a very positive article about Maori business and culture. 


  • This month is when the two audio stories targeted towards ten- to twelve-year-old school children can be used. As school is returning for the year at this time, these stories would be an easy way to give a brief background on Waka and the whole company. This works even better if the schools are sharing the stories, and then proceeding to use Waka on Avon. The goal here is to focus on the educational building block of Waka on Avon and Ko Tāne.