Ben Yates


YOB: 1974
Experience: Kayaking Guide
Regions: Canterbury, Marlborough, Fiordland, Tasman
Interview Location: Milford Sound, NZ
Interview Date: 06 February 2016
Post Date: 01 December 2017; Copyright © 2017 Ben Yates and Steve Crawford


CRAWFORD: With regards to Māori culture and Māori knowledge, how much that has that influenced your understanding of the marine environment?

YATES: Could be Medium. I spent a week in Kaikoura when I was at polytech. And there was a cultural base week of ...

CRAWFORD: Immersion?

YATES: Yeah, a cultural immersion week, exactly. And there was a lot of talk about harvesting. 

CRAWFORD: Would you have had Māori mates through the years? People you’ve worked with maybe, or hung out with?

YATES: Yeah, my best mate, a Māori chap. Been one of my best mates for the last 20 years. 

CRAWFORD: With regards to Science, how much has it affected your understanding of marine environments?

YATES: In my personal interest in it, and through my career and guiding. I have also sought it out through media, through my interests, and through the people that I’ve worked with, and asked questions through the fishermen.

CRAWFORD: Would you say the influence was High or Very High?

YATES: I would go High. I’ve certainly had thoughts where I could have asked more, I could have learned more, I could have done more, with just the resources that were around, without being pushed. I used to say to them in the fiord "If anyone’s got a question, I’ve got a radio here that goes to people which have cell phones and internet. There is no question we can’t try."

Copyright © 2017 Ben Yates and Steve Crawford