Auckland Sea Kayaks guide and manager Nic Mead successfully gained the New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association’s (NZOIA) highest sea kayak qualification, Sea Kayak 2. This was done in November last year in Dunedin utilizing the Otago Peninsula, Port Chalmers and Warrington. The forecast ranged from 15 – 45 knots which tested his on water leadership, instructional lessons and group dynamics.
In the past 14 years there has only been 9 current sea kayak instructors that have gained this award.
NZOIA level 2 assessments are set up for people instructing more advanced skills, developing and supervising programmes and training instructional or guiding staff. Holders of level 2’s have demonstrated knowledge and understanding of safety management plans and processes and are able to write, critique and approve these plans.
NZOIA’s motto is Excellence in Outdoor Leadership!
NZOIA is the qualification body for 10 outdoor disciplines. There are 3 levels to each qualification, which are recognised nationally as the industry standard.
NZOIA has developed outdoor instructing and guiding in New Zealand into a profession, through a commitment to training, standards, currency, and a code of ethical practice. Assessment, through formal peer review of instruction and guiding practices, has improved our way of working. We are responsible for promoting the highest standards of outdoor instruction and guiding, and striving to ensure that outdoor activity participants enjoy quality experiences.
Nic grew up on the shores of the Hauraki Gulf and spent the first 18 years of his life exploring, paddling, sailing, diving and fishing through out the Hauaki Gulf. University brought Nic to the south island and upon completion gained a job sea kayak guiding in Fiordland in the Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Site located in the south west corner of the South Island.
During a climbing trip to Pakistan, Nic landed a Sea Kayak Guide job in Western Norway which kept him there for 5 years before heading back home to start Auckland Sea Kayaks in 2010.
He is seen most days in a kayak and after spending many years overseas he loves showing off his backyard to locals and tourists. He is involved in many local conservation projects, is a sea kayak assessor for the New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association and believes the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is New Zealand’s most diverse sea kayak location.