• Tīkapa Moana / Hauraki Gulf Oceans Lab

    Restoring the Life Force of the Gulf

  • Tīkapa Moana / Hauraki Gulf is ailing

    The Gulf, a precious part of our country

    The Tīkapa Moana / Hauraki Gulf is a stunning coastal feature of the North Island of New Zealand. It has an area of 12,000km2 and lies between the Auckland Region, the Hauraki Plains, the Coromandel Peninsula and Great Barrier Island. The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is home to over 20 species of marine mammals including the bottlenose dolphin. It is of significant cultural, environmental, ecological, economic and spiritual significance.

    Environment in decline

    Over the last century our land use changes, fishing methods and industry have had a devastating impact on Tīkapa Moana / The Hauraki Gulf. Pollution is on the rise with heavy metals, sewage and many forms of waste entering the gulf, harmful fishing practices are leading to declining fish stocks, biodiversity is falling and there is marked decline in mauri (life force).

  • We're running a holistic innovation lab working with mind, body and spirit to improve the environment and restore the Life Force of the Gulf.

  • Applications closed on 6th September 2019

    Objectives of the Oceans Lab

    • Each individual who participates experiences personal transformation which may include: a deeper connection with environment, others or self, alternative paradigms to view and understand the world, greater self-awareness, personal healing, deepened self confidence.
    • Each individual develops their capability in understanding systems, and creating innovative and effective solutions that have lasting impact.
    • Teams create effective solution projects that can have lasting positive impact on the Tīkapa Moana / Hauraki Gulf along with clear pathway to execute these projects. Note: if you are already working in this space the project could be to improve the way you are working on what you are already doing - it may be a shift in the way you're approaching your current projects, partnerships, collaboration, or leadership.
    • Participants and teams develop relationships with organisations and individuals working to improve Tīkapa Moana / Hauraki Gulf including prospective partners and funders to support with execution of their project.
    • Greater awareness in our community and country about the need to protect and care for our environment and particularly our oceans.

    Do you have:

    • A deep connection and commitment to be working in the restoration of the life force of the environment / moana (ocean) and even more specifically Tīkapa Moana / Hauraki Gulf.

    • A desire to innovate to create a new world.

    • Self awareness with the desire to heal and grow yourself.

    • A longing to understand the whakapapa (history) and the depth of this system.

    • Eagerness to work in a team connected to this mission.

    You will get to:

    • Spend four days on the water and on islands in the Gulf developing yourself and your ideas to improve the Gulf.

    • Learn about environmental issues the Gulf faces, hearing from stakeholders across the ecosystem.

    • Learn indigenous based leadership and innovation methodologies with leading coaches and facilitators.

    • Connect and build a network with other passionate environmentalists.

    • Receive follow up support to develop and take forward a solution to improve the Gulf.

    Key Dates

    6 September - Application Deadline.

    15 September - Confirmation of participation.

    29 October - 1 November - Four day full-time immersive Lab experience on the Hauraki Gulf.

    29 November - 10th December Two in person workshops in Auckland.

    2 November - 30 January - Ongoing support to develop idea including support with refining and testing your idea as well as access to partnership and funding opportunities to bring solutions to life. One of which includes apply for funding through G.I.F.T. This will include two half day workshops (dates tbc).


    Additional Information

    Thanks to our great partners we are able to heavily subsidise the cost of the lab. We are offering a pay as you can model, below is what is recommended. Please be honest about your situation, as your payment may or may not subsidise another to attend. Costs include boat tour and travel to an Island in the Gulf where all food and accommodation is covered for the 4 days.


    Employees from for-profit organisation $800
    Employees from government ​$600
    Employees of non profits / social enterprises $400
    Scholarship / Unwaged individuals $200


    We want to ensure that the costs do not prevent the right people from participating, if money is a barrier, please contact us at kiaora@thespiritlab.co.



  • Applications have now closed. Join our mailing list and follow our social media to stay up to date and follow the journey.

  • Our Partners

    Thanks to the generous support of these partners we're able to run the Oceans Lab