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Richard Bangs’ Adventures With Purpose: New Zealand: Quest For Kaitiakitanga

Airs Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Richard Bangs at Mount Aspiring in New Zealand

Join Richard Bangs, the father of modern adventure travel, as he journeys across the planet in search of ecological challenges and ecological solutions. Leader of 35 first descents of rivers around the globe, a mountain climber and renowned author-Richard brings a lifetime of experience to "Adventures With Purpose." This multiple award-winning series combines adventure with travel that makes a difference, travel that positively impacts the world.

Richard Bangs hikes the Franz Joseph Glacier in southern New Zealand.
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Above: Richard Bangs hikes the Franz Joseph Glacier in southern New Zealand.

Richard Bangs travels to the southernmost reaches of civilization to uncover New Zealand's pristine natural beauty, alluring culture and enigmatic mythology. In "New Zealand: Quest For Kaitiakitanga," the father of modern adventure travel traverses the most physically and climatically diverse landmass in Polynesia in the pursuit of an age-old Mâori tradition.

Bangs seeks answers to questions rooted in indigenous wisdom, hoping to unearth the meaning and origins of "kaitiakitanga," the responsibility of human beings to protect the natural world. Today's Kiwis believe the knowledge of the ancients may hold a key to the planet's survival.

Bangs begins his 1,000-mile trek in Mt. Aspiring National Park, where he navigates north to the Franz Joseph Glacier and then to the east coast town of Kaikoura. From there, Bangs crosses the Cook Strait to the North Island and the capital city of Wellington. He next visits the Taupo region, heads to Hokianga Harbor, and finally makes his way to Cape Reinga on the upper tip of New Zealand, where he encounters the great tangled "spirit tree" of Mâori myth.

Video

Video Excerpt: New Zealand: Quest For Kaitiakitanga