Air New Zealand has revealed a revamped safety video rich with Maori culture in following the legend of Tiaki and the Guardians.

The five-minute video uses protagonist Tiaki, a Māori word meaning to care for people and place, to take passengers on a journey through Aotearoa’s remarkable landscapes while an Air New Zealand crew provides the safety message.

It begins at Te Mānuka tūtahi in Whakatāne, with Pou Tikanga, Pou Pūrākau (cultural leader, storyteller) Joe Harawira telling the story of Tiaki to a group of children.

“Tiaki connects us to care for our people, our place and our culture, and it is also where the hero of out story gets his name,” he said.

“Tiaki knew that we don’t inherit the world from our ancestors, we only borrow it from our children.

“So to show us how important it is to care for our beautiful country, Tiaki set out to visit the Guardians of the world.”

The video then does away with a plane in favour of a waka rererangi (canoe in the sky) as it launches into its safety message.

“Tiaki also knew that caring for Aotearoa isn’t something you can do alone

As Tiaki and the Air New Zealand crew begin to paddle, the waka rererangi floats into the sky.

From there, passengers are introduced to the Guardians, starting with Tāne Mahuta.

“Tāne Mahuta is the Guardian who breathed life into the world and gave us the wonders of the forest, including the very air we breathe” the voiceover says.

“Tangaroa is the Guardian that gives us our oceans, lakes and rivers.


“Papatūānuku is our Mother Earth – she is the sand and ice, the fields and mountains.

“At night, Ranginui shows us the way home. His stars guide us and connect us to those who came before us and those who will come after us.”

The safety message wraps up with a message to look after land and sea for people to thrive.

It then crosses back to Whakatāne, where Mr Harawira tells the group of children Tiaki still cares for the Guardians to this day before finishing by joking modern jets were just “a bit more flash” waka rererangi.

The video has received wide praise since being released on social media on Thursday.