Nohoanga provide all Ngāi Tahu with an opportunity to experience the landscape as their tīpuna did, and to rekindle the traditional practices of gathering food and other natural resources.

The term ‘nohoanga’ (literally meaning a place to sit) traditionally refers to the seasonal occupation sites which were an integral part of the mobile lifestyle of Ngāi Tahu whānau as they moved around Te Waipounamu (the South Island) in pursuit of food and other natural resources.

This traditional concept has been given contemporary effect as a result of the Settlement of the Ngāi Tahu Claim, through the allocation of specific ‘camping’ sites to support mahinga kai activities.

Under the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998, nohoanga sites are specific areas of Crown-owned land adjacent to lakeshores or riverbanks, which can be used to facilitate the gathering of food and other natural resources by Ngāi Tahu whānui. They are usually one hectare in size.

Ngāi Tahu whānui (tribal members) have temporary but exclusive rights to occupy these sites between the middle of August and the end of April each year.

There are 72 allocated nohoanga sites within Te Waipounamu (the South Island). Not all of these sites are available for use. Please contact 0800 NOHOANGA (0800 664-62642), [email protected], or visit our website for more information.

Procedure for use of nohoanga
Nohoanga are for the exclusive use of Ngäi Tahu whänui. For fairness and environmental reasons, the use of nohoanga sites is by authorisation only and is administered by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. See below for procedure for authorisation.

  • Contact Sophie McGregor on 0800 nohoanga (0800 664-62642) or [email protected] at least 10 working days before you wish to use a nohoanga site.
  • Provide basic details (name, address, contact numbers, vehicle registration number, and number of people you wish to take etc).

NB – random checks will be done to ensure that those applying for the authorisation are entitled to do so and that any past use has been consistent with the conditions of the authorisation.

  • If the site is available you will be sent an authorisation (by post, fax or e-mail) before you leave for the nohoanga site.
  • Return the authorisation back to us within 10 days (signed and with the relevant sections completed) following your departure from the nohoanga site.

Available for use – Lake Pūkaki Nohoanga, South Canterbury Location
The Lake Pūkaki nohoanga is situated near the bottom of Lake Pūkaki, near Twizel in the McKenzie Country. Travelling from Twizel, cross the Pūkaki High Dam and take the first turn on the left. Drive down the gravel track until you can see the lake and wooden picnic bench. The site is not marked.

Physical description
Lake Pūkaki nohoanga is situated on the edge of Lake Pūkaki, near Twizel and has excellent views of Aoraki (Mount Cook). Much of the ground is uneven and sloping in places and is quite rocky. The site is generally bare, although a number of wilding pine trees are growing throughout the site.

Facilities and services
This site has no facilities.
Nohoanga site users are required to bring their own portable toilets, provide their own water supplies and must take all rubbish away with them.

Site restrictions

  • The site is subject to an existing operating easement.
  • Open fires may or may not be banned depending on the season. Please contact the McKenzie District Council, or the local Department of Conservation Area Office at Twizel to check whether a permit is required. If a fire permit is required, the authorisation holder is responsible for obtaining a permit prior to occupying the nohoanga.
  • Gas fires are permitted all year round.

Please contact 0800 NOHOANGA (0800 664-62642), [email protected], or visit our website for more information about Lake Pūkaki and Nohoanga.

Lake Pukaki nohoanga map.