Mike entered the Tourism Industry in 1985 as a tour coach driver with Road Services NZ and became the permanent tour guide/driver for Intercity Travel 1987. He started Tamaki Tours Ltd in 1989 with money made from the sale of his brother's Harley Davidson motorcycle - and has just kept on developing tourism projects. The latest project: Storytellers, has taken him through the Pacific Islands, Australia, Canada, North America and Scotland developing global storytellers throughout the world.
Tamaki Heritage Group is owned by the family and now employs over 120 staff across its two major attractions in Rotorua and Christchurch, The company is regularly used and recognised throughout New Zealand, Australasia and the South Pacific as a role model for indigenous tourism business development through the consultancy arm of the company. They are the most awarded Maori tourism company winning several awards including the Most Prestigious Overall Supreme Tourism Award (1998), the same year Mike won the category as Ernst & Young International Entrepreneur of the Year, the NZTB Maori Tourism Award (1999) and an Award of Distinction for Contribution to New Zealand Tourism (also in 1999).
Mike is also a recipient of the Sir Paul Harris Award, a global award acknowledgement of appreciation for his contribution to humanitarian issues and for his great understanding of cultures.
Mike has stepped back from the operational side of the business but is still a Director on the Board. He also drives several marketing strategy committees and sits on various Tourism boards including:
• New Zealand Tourism Board
• Maori Subcommittee
• Tourism Industry Association of NZ
• Aotearoa Maori Tourism Board
• Tourism Advisory Board
• U.N.E.S.C.O. sub committee
• Chair for B.O.P. Tourism
• Judge for Tourism NZ awards over three consecutive years
His current interests include:
• Project scoping and opportunity identification
• Start up, development of new tourism businesses
• Negotiation and networking
• Indigenous business development
• Government Advisory
His specialities include coaching, business development, tourism and marketing strategies.
Sadly, Doug Tamaki passed away in February 2017, aged just 56 and today Mike lives in Brisbane, Australia.
He delivers marketing presentations and keynote speeches both nationally and internationally. Mike's presentations have been described as inspirational, motivational, entertaining and thought provoking.