Little Brown Kiwi | LBK Chat – September 2016
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LBK Chat September 2016 Cover picture

In this edition of LBK Chat:

  • A quick wrap of recent Summer School groups
  • OutdoorsMark and the Duke of Edinburgh Award
  • Safety information and overview
  • Updated website and introducing .kiwi

Kia Ora koutou! Many of you will be getting back into the new school year and hopefully that means that you’ll have had some time off and perhaps a few of your own recent adventures.

LBK SUMMER SCHOOL kicked off in late June as schools wrapped up for the school year. This is a brand new edition to the LBK calendar and we’re now welcoming enquiries for June and July 2017. Contact us if you are looking for NZ adventure opportunities for your students.

Throughout June and July, LBK designed and delivered different adventures for our good friends from CDNIS in Hong Kong, UWC in Singapore and we also welcomed an adventurous group of students from China who embraced the New Zealand way of life, which naturally included a back country adventure and getting to know the locals through engaging cultural exchange.

CDNIS Sports Adventure.

It was great to see our friends at CDNIS at the end of the Hong Kong school year.

For CDNIS students, it was a chance to compete in a sports tournament against seven other New Zealand schools as well as get involved in a range of Kiwi activities and adventures to kick off the summer holiday.

One of the highlights of this trip was the placing of the group in the top three at the close of the tournament. This also included the boys winning the rugby final, which certainly made the Kiwi teams stand up and take notice! Hats off to all of the CDNIS students for showing a show of strength, even in the new, strange but fun game of Wall Ball. Another highlight of this trip included the All Blacks V Wales test match in Auckland, which was a tightly contested match. The All Blacks finally won the game in the second half.

The crew met local students and stayed overnight at a marae to bring the group together prior to the sports tournament.
After the tournament, the group charged around the North Island, jumped on the Huka Jet boat, zipped through the trees at Tree Adventures, and generally got involved with everything that was on offer. It was obvious that the hot pools in Taupo were a highlight, after some intense and long days of sport.

After an invigorating 12 action-packed days in New Zealand, we wished the whole team well as they either flew back to Hong Kong, or otherwise made other arrangements to start their family holidays.


UWC Winter Skills Trip.

One week out from the arrival of the United World College Winter Skills Expedition and the LBK office was a buzz with weather forecasting and craning our necks to the heavens… where was this snow?

The mild as Winter prior to June had Paddy and H performing a daily ‘snow dance’ in the hope that the fluffy white stuff would fall from the sky… and it eventually did… just not in the quantities we would have liked!

26 Winter Warriors chose to brave the chilly climes of the Central Plateau of the North Island for an Alpine experience to remember. Plan A; Spend our first two days familiarising ourselves with all things ‘mountain’ (Ice axe, Crampons, helmets, packs, maps, cookers, poo tube?) then get up into the snow covered hills and learn about Alpine Adventure.

Not all plans go as planned and unfortunately the weather decided it was time to go ‘Full Winter’ – it got cold and wet!

The two-night expedition was reduced to one and the group braved the positively freezing conditions to camp at 2000m. HEAPS of learning went on as the group braved plummeting temperatures, wind, sleet and snow. Shovels were put to use in order to carve out sleeping platforms and before too long a basecamp had been established.

Meals were basic at best, and after a ‘Burrito in the Snow’ someone, somewhere flicked a switch. The wind stopped, the clouds disappeared everything seemed to stand still.
The southern night skies put on their best show – not that many of us saw it from the inside of a sleeping bag, inside a tent!
It was spectacular!

A summit bid was on the cards early the next morning, but again, another important lesson learned; When in the Mountains, Mother Nature is boss! The sleeting, cold stuff returned and the only option was down. The disappointment of a failed summit attempt soon soaked away as we soothed our bodies in the hot thermal pools of nearby Tokaanu. Rejuvenation at its best.

As if we hadn’t been cold and wet enough over the course of the week, the Rafting New Zealand crew took the group down the infamous Tongariro River on the final day of the adventure.
The Grade ¾ section pushed tired bodies and fatigued minds to the limit – and we all survived!

Big thanks to Ms Martin, Mr Barlow, Ms Giddins and the intrepid team of UWC Singapore Winter X students who gritted their teeth and walked headlong into the storm… legends!!!

Great to have the UWC Winter X here in 2016 – look forward to the 2017 crew – we are starting our Snow Dances now!!!


China Crew.

We were totally impressed with the students from this group.

Some of the students had reasonable English skills at the start of the trip, while some students only knew a few words.
This was the very first time that any of these students had been to New Zealand and there was an inconceivable amount of new information to take on board. To fully embrace all of the new challenges and take a giant leapt out of their comfort zones, meant that this group of keen adventurers were on a journey of tremendous personal growth during their time in New Zealand.

They have effectively written a new story and created their own pathway, which now opens up opportunities for those who follow behind them.

The idea behind this new venture is that students will be able to experience New Zealand’s great opportunities for adventure education, while also studying in Hawkes Bay schools.

We’d like to acknowledge June and Sherry from J&S 247, and also Learning Hawkes Bay, who have created study opportunities in Hawkes Bay for these Chinese students.
The students have the best of both worlds. Not only have they experienced a great taste of New Zealand schooling in Hawkes Bay, but they have also accessed carefully managed adventures in other parts of New Zealand with Little Brown Kiwi.

It is always exciting to work alongside people who are prepared to try new things. While creating opportunities for students to enjoy new experiences and extend their comfort zones, the team at Learning Hawkes Bay (and associated schools) and J&S 247 are also willing to get out of their comfort zones at the same time.

Spending a week with the China Crew allowed us to get to know each personality within the group. Even with some language difficulties and cultural differences that occurred from time to time, the overwhelming result was a sense of fun and the warmth of genuine cultural exchange.

We hope that the students will take away an insight into the Kiwi way of life and ‘Kiwi Style’ and there’s no doubt that we are all learning more about Chinese culture at the same time!




What does Little Brown Kiwi do to promote safety throughout each New Zealand adventure?

Safety is and has always a priority for Little Brown Kiwi. Since 2006, LBK has devised plans and used current best practice and industry standards to influence our safety management system (SMS). There is a sense that many wheels may have been reinvented throughout this time! However, the aim has always been to create a model to best fit a typical LBK adventure. We are always mindful of working to individual schools’ SMS requirements. LBK is able to communicate to the school the relevant material in the LBK SMS document, alongside the specific information pertaining to your New Zealand adventure.

Although there have always been many excellent examples of managing risk in adventure activities in New Zealand, there was a major overhaul of legislation for Adventure Activity Operators in 2014. There is now a much stronger sense of standardisation across the whole sector. This is excellent news for both overseas visitors and also locals in terms of safety and quality of experience.

There is now a really useful organisation called Support Adventure.

Their website provides a really good insight into what New Zealand adventure operators are doing with regard to safety:

In 2011, Little Brown Kiwi took the step of seeking a Qualmark audit and achieved Qualmark status as a service provider. LBK remains a current member of Qualmark and is subject to regular audits.

In addition, earlier in 2016, LBK also sought an external SMS audit from OutdoorsMark. We are proud to be recognised by OutdoorsMark, as industry leaders in outdoor safety.

Little Brown Kiwi has also recently become an accredited award provider for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award. Other names for the award include HKAYP, DEAS, IYA as well as the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.


Little Brown Kiwi has also recently become an accredited award provider for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award.

Other names for the award include HKAYP, DEAS, IYA as well as the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

Here is a brief snapshot from Wikipedia about the award:

“The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (commonly abbreviated DofE), is the generic name for a youth awards programme founded in the United Kingdom in 1956 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, that has since expanded to 144 nations. The awards recognise adolescents and young adults for completing a series of self-improvement exercises modelled on Kurt Hahn’s solution to the “Six Declines of Modern Youth.”

At LBK, we love to support schools in their quest to promote Modern Youth and our philosophy has a natural alignment with the objectives of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. There are other personal links to the Award within the LBK team and many associations with the Award over the years with LBK past and present school groups.

Specifically, Little Brown Kiwi is an accredited award provider for the adventurous journey/expedition AND/OR exploration aspects of the award.

New website and .kiwi.

We hope you enjoy the new Little Brown Kiwi website.

As a proudly Kiwi company, it sort of made sense to us to make the small adjustment from to

If you have any question or comment, please do no hesitate to talk to us.

Sweet as!

We’re excited about looking after the students who will be visiting New Zealand with Little Brown Kiwi over the next few months.

Yours in adventure,

Henry and Paddy
Little Brown Kiwi

Find us on WhatsApp!

Henry: +64 274 525 494

Paddy: +64 278 525 494

Spread the word!

The team at Little Brown Kiwi loves to look after the awesome teachers that arrive as strangers and leave as good mates.

The 2017 year is filling up fast, so contact us soon to ensure that your school doesn’t miss out on an epic New Zealand adventure. If you have friends in other schools who would like to get down under with LBK, Please share LBK Chat and refer us – we’re always keen to make new mates!