From haka to the heavens


A long-running cultural tourist attraction will be replaced by indoor stargazing in a shake-up at Skyline Queenstown.

Maori cultural attraction Kiwi Haka’s on the hunt for a new home after boss Norman Ruru decided to shift it from Skyline, its home of 15 years.

The show touts itself as “an inspirational, cultural experience that will take you on a journey through the mythical legends and into the spiritual world of Maori”.

“With all of the upgrades and things going on, I’d sort of had enough,” Ruru says of the decision to move.

“We’re not actually closing.”

He’s now on the hunt for a new location, but that’s not proving easy.

Council red tape made possible sites on Gorge Road too problematic, he says.

“I’d like to keep it going, set up and do it again.

“The only place you can do it at is Frankton or in town. If you set up in Frankton you’d go broke.

It’ll wrap up most of its operations at Skyline on August 28, although conferences and school groups are still likely to run, he says. He’s hoping there won’t be too much of an impact on staff.

While Kiwi Haka is coming down the hill, Skyline is looking towards the stars.

Skyline Enterprises head Geoff McDonald says the space will, at least in the short-term, be used for a new indoor stargazing attraction.

“We have stargazing at the moment, but there are a number of nights where cloud or the weather interrupts it.”

Indoor stargazing using technology to mimic the outdoor experience would be the next best thing.

But in the longer term the team’s looking at the location becoming a “flexible” space with more local-orientated activities, for example, as comedy nights and film screenings, McDonald says.