Waikēne is a land steeped in rich history

Waikēne is a land steeped in rich history.
It is a place where Waitaha, our nation's first people, migrated through and left their mark with Aotearoa’s oldest art. Our role is to celebrate that past by preserving the land and sharing it with the world, creating a better future for generations to come.

Waikēne’s native bush and landscape provides historical, cultural, and biological significance. We celebrate and preserve the land through a holistic and sustainable approach, which is reflected throughout our operations. Waikēne's ancestral roots date back to the Waitaha people, and as descendants of this ancient iwi, we feel a deep responsibility to keep this rich history alive and flourishing.

Waikēne means “where two rivers meet” giving the landscape a sense of place and provenance. Sitting under the watchful eye of the Great Seaward Kaikōura ranges, this special property offers exploration and adventure.


Ocean voyaging is deeply entrenched in Greg’s DNA. Over a period of 3,000 years his ancestors skillfully sailed double-hulled canoes throughout Polynesia, spreading west throughout the islands, finally settling in New Zealand around 850AD. Greg’s Māori ancestry can be traced all the way back to these courageous ocean voyagers.

Whakapapa translates from the Māori language as “to whom I belong and where I belong”.
       Rākaihautū arrived in what is thought to be the first Māori canoe to land in New Zealand, and founded the Waitaha tribe. Hotumamoe founded the Ngāti Māmoe tribe. Paikea is said to have arrived on a whale. All three tribal strands combine to make up Ngai Tahu – the principal tribe in the South Island of New Zealand

  • Waikēne Whare
  • Jolly Hut
  • Rotating Pod
  • Rotating Pod
  • Razorback Track
  • Loop Track
  • Tuku Tuku Iwi Track

Our Values

A clear set of values have been defined by our family. These values are the principles that guide us in business. They are not rules and are not measured by KPIs or bottom lines. They are woven into the fabric of the Summerton family and our portfolio of businesses. These values keep us grounded and inspire us to do and be better everyday.


He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.
This Māori proverb accurately summarises our third value: People. We’re a proud family business and treating people like whānau is a core principle of ours. This comes from a belief that if we treat people and the land with the respect they deserve, nature will provide for us all.


Sustainability has always been a core guiding value in the way we approach business. We believe that the only way to ensure the precious resources of Aotearoa are there for the generations to come is to live and operate in a sustainable way.


Innovation is at the very essence of what Waikēne is: We recognise that the only way to evolve and progress is to be innovative in everything we do. Whether it be carbon sequestering, mānuka honey production, tourism or any venture we approach, we want to show the world that there is no limit to what can be achieved through operating with innovation as a guiding principle.


Creating a better future is achieved by drawing from the past. For us, that comes by restoring our land back to how it was before our arrival.

Over many years, the majority of Waikēne's 5500 acres have been transformed into a massive carbon farm where native trees are able to regenerate. These native forests act as nature's air filter, sequestering atmospheric carbon from our environment and storing it inside the forest itself.

The forests of Waikēne have been carrying out this process since long before we arrived. An estimated 470,000 tonnes of carbon is stored within these forests, with an additional 4500 tonnes being sequestered per year. This figure is projected to steadily increase to 7000 tonnes per annum over the next 3 years. 


We are taking active steps to speed up forest regeneration and increase carbon sequestration through native bush plantings. A 432 hectare planting project is currently being undertaken,  planting 518,400 native trees across the remaining bare land present on the property. With more plantings planned for the future, we will eventually repopulate this landscape entirely with the native forests that once filled this area.

Our Whānau

Waikēne is owned and proudly operated by my whānau, the Summertons, consisting of myself, Jackie, Libby, Georgia and Tom.

We have a strong desire to ensure our family legacy continues far into the future, and our family values guide our decisions as our business continues to grow and adapt.
As descendants of Waitaha people, we share a strong connection to Waikēne’s heritage. We see our role as guardians of this land and the cultural richness it contributes to Aotearoa. Sustainability and creating a better future underlies everything we do at Waikēne.