Ngāi Tahu duo Cate Grace and Lou McLeod’s venture AMIKI (from the universal Esperanto language meaning “to make friends”) was inspired by their lead guide, Riwai, who after the Canterbury earthquakes discovered people wanted to create memories and experience through sharing and manaakitanga.
Locally owned and operated, AMIKI hosts unique inner-city walking tours that share the local culture with international and local manuhiri (visitors). The tours weave through laneways, gardens and squares, past historic buildings and landmarks, revealing gems hidden in plain sight. AMIKI share an often-forgotten Māori and European whakapapa (history) and perspective of Ōtautahi (Christchurch). But it doesn’t stop there – as keen foodies they also offer culinary-based tours designed around the preferences of the people they are hosting. “We combined our passions for storytelling with the region’s rich kai (food) and inu (drink) offerings, connecting our guests to unique people and places,” Cate says. “Our guests arrive as strangers, and by connecting to genuine local people and places we hope everyone leaves as friends, with wonderful memories of our home town.”