New Outdoors Programme Manager - Kieran McKay

We are excited to welcome Kieran McKay to the Recreation Aotearoa team, as the new Outdoors Programme Manager. 

Kieran has been working in the outdoors industry for two decades, his wealth of knowledge comes from many years of working in and experiencing the great outdoors - from caving, mountaineering, instructing, to health and safety advisory. He was the 2018 Tall Totara award recipient and has been featured in the Red Bull Explorer of the Century series.  

We are thrilled to have Kieran on board and look forward to getting to know him and making the most of his incredible expertise.   

If you would like to introduce yourself and/or welcome him to Recreation Aotearoa, send him an email on

Words from Kieran

Ko Tongariro te Maunga
Ko Whanganui te Awa
No Scotland oku Tupuna
Ko Wave Queen toku Waka
Ko Ngati Pakeha toku Iwi
No te rohe o Ngati Hikairo me te rohe o Ngati Maniapoto ahau.
E noho ana te Tau Ihu o te waka a Maui inaianei
Ko Kieran Mckay toku ingoa
No reira, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa

I love the outdoors. I have been recreating and working in New Zealand’s outdoor sector in all the major disciplines for close to 40 years. Even though I am known for my caving exploits, I also like to explore the back country of Aotearoa. I know from first-hand experience that the physical connection to the natural outdoor environment creates healthier and happier people. However, there are so many barriers. Through my work for Recreation Aotearoa, I would like to help remove some of the barriers and inspire people to put a higher value on the natural world, outdoor recreation, and outdoor education. Even though I have so far learned only a little te reo Māori and about te ao Māori, I am beginning to understand that Aotearoa would be a better place if we followed Māori values, in particular Manaakitanga and Kaitiakitanga.

I have represented the caving sector in the development of Activity Specific Guidelines, Good Practice Guidelines and on qualification reviews for NZOIA and Skills Active. I have managed meetings between several different sector groups, used social media to publish stories both in written form and video, and I have inspired people with presentations. I bring all this experience together for Outdoor Recreation Aotearoa to help the organisation in its advocacy for the outdoors. I am in a position to assist organisations to navigate the requirements of the Adventure Activity Regulations and use my social media skills to tell stories to help increase the profile of the organisation and related issues. Even though I work alone most of the time I relish the opportunity to work collaboratively with others.
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