About Us

Tauranga Moana - Tauranga Tangata

Tauranga body of water - Tauranga people

Mauao Adventure's vision, alongside all tangata whenua of Tauranga and our iwi, is for our whenua/land and our moana/ocean to be so well looked after, from the mountains to the seas, that we humans will also reap the benefits of health and wellness through our actions.

We achieve this by facilitating and nurturing your journey and connection with the whenua and moana by providing a safe, interactive and educational platform using ocean activities.  Those activities are stand up paddling, waka ama (outrigger canoe) and land-based walks and workshops.  We infuse awareness of the environment that surrounds us and cultural values that guide our quest.

We've been operating since 2008, and are a locally and Māori owned business.

What we value is simple:

  1. Haumarutanga: Safety first! Checklist - Safety (tick), Necessities (tick), Comfort (tick), Enjoyment (tick).
  2. Kaitiakitanga: Taking care of our environment and everything in it.
  3. Manaakitanga: Taking care of our guests and each other to the best of our abilities.
  4. Whānaungatanga: Ensuring everyone feels part of the family.
  5. Kōtahitanga: Promoting unity and oneness.
  6. Rangatiratanga: Preserving our Maori culture by weaving it through our business practices.

These values permeate everything we do.

What makes us different?

Our whakapapa/lineage to the area give us a depth of awareness, kinship and guardianship which directs us in practice.  Our clients will sense this, and this is what sets us apart from the rest.

Meet the team

Porina McLeod - Owner/Managing Director

He uri ahau nō ngā iwi e toru ō Tauranga Moana, ko Ngaiterangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Pūkenga hoki.

I’m really passionate about our taiāo and promoting kaitiakitanga.  I love the beauty of our rohe, however it is us as a community who has fought for, created and maintained that beauty.  I love seeing visitors come from afar, having travelled many lands, still stunned by the beauty of our area.  I love to influence them in taking care of and reigniting the beauty in their own lands and moana.

I have been stand up paddling for approx. 8 years and doing waka ama for about 6 years, all through working with East Coast Paddler as the business was previously known.  It was owned and operated by my cousins, and I took over in 2016 and formed Mauao Adventures.

What drew me in was the layers of benefits experienced from being on and in the moana, and the taiāo in general.  Physical, emotional, spiritual and social benefits, which I now get to enjoy and share with others.  It is a platform to practice and promote kaitiakitanga, health and wellbeing, confidence and competence. 

The transformations I see in others when engaged in our services are rewarding.  From young to old, those layers of goodness are transferred to our participants, and this is why people should consider experiencing our services.



Oceanna Skudder Preston - Administrator and Marketing Manager

(Waitaha, Tapuika)

In my personal life I am a mother, a manager and the secretary for a kōhanga. What I am most passionate about is connecting with different communities, connecting with my culture and engaging in work that makes a difference.

This role has been the entry point into my career and the amount of doors that have opened for me has been remarkable. I truely recognise the positive impact it’s had in both my personal and professional life. It’s incredible that this is my career and I get to work with amazing people every single day.




Ange - Lead Instructor 

He uri tenei o Tauranga Moana. No Ngati Ranginui / Ngai Tamarawaho. Ko Tākitimu te waka!

I’ve been doing waka ama and stand-up paddle for a large part of my life. It’s a key part of my lifestyle that my kids also take part in, competitively and recreationally.

The Moana is an integral part of my hauora (wellbeing) space and bringing that through my mahi and sharing it with others is a great feeling.

What I enjoy about this mahi is helping individuals overcome challenges, physical and mental. To get out with their friends and experience fun and connectedness to their full potential. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing people with smiles beaming while out on the water.



Boof - Lead Instructor 

Boof started paddling in 2002 and he hasn’t looked back since. Having lived in Tauranga for 14 years, he has acquired many qualifications pertaining to Waka Ama and is currently the Gear & Equipment Stewart for Hoe Aroha . Boof has been with us since 2022 and brings to our team high spirits, a ton of knowledge and never-ending dad jokes. Boof is involved in many things and above all, his favourite thing to do is spending quality time with his moko (grandchild).



Jordene Stockman - Lead Instructor 

(Ngai te Rangi, Ngati Whakaue)

Jordene started working with us in 2018 and was raised in Waka Ama. As one of the founding members of Hoe Aroha, she holds a lifetime worth of experience and passes this knowledge on through coaching and instructing. While maintaining and active lifestyle, she takes care of her whānau, relieves at kōhanga and cares for less fortunate kids. Naturally, Jordene takes joy in working with tamariki (children) that come through. 


Ani Elder – Hīkoi Instructor

(Ngai te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui)

Ani started at the beginning of the year as our hīkoi guide, and she has flourished in every aspect of her role. Her kete (basket) of knowledge is diverse and she expand she is always eager to learn more. In her downtime she goes on adventures with her whānau and plays sports. Keep an eye out for Ani on the water!


Theo Vale - Waka Ama Instructor

Theo was born in Europe and is now retired in New Zealand. He lives an active lifestyle and swims a minimum of 500m daily, all year round (even in the frost). To keep his brain active he spends his downtime using CNC machining. He has an outgoing nature and enjoys meeting new people. Some quality attributes he brings to the team are his expertise in water safety, his knowledge of Waka Ama and his life experience. Theo is honourably our oldest instructor and has been with us since 2018.