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What is Ōtaki Summer Camp?

Ōtaki Summer Camp is a political summer camp aimed at young people aged 17 – 30 (but a wider age range is welcome: see May I come if I am under 17 or over 30?, below).  It is a chance to hear and discuss interesting ideas; meet and get to know others who care; and explore local mountains, forests and rivers with experienced guides.

The camp will be welcoming, fun, and safe – and we have deliberately kept the price as low as possible.

What if I cannot afford the ticket price?

While we have attempted to keep the ticket price as low as possible, we realise that some potential attendees may not be able to afford the cost.  For that reason, we have created a scholarship programme for those who require financial assistance.  Each granted scholarship provides for the cost of a single ticket. Funds have been provided by a number of generous donors.

You can apply for a scholarship here: The application asks you to tell us a bit about yourself and why you would like to come to the summer camp. The number of people we can give scholarships to will depend on the availability of scholarship funds.

For more information, and to apply, please visit:

May I come if I am under 17 or over 30?

While the camp is aimed at 17 – 30 year olds, the age limit is flexible.  Anyone 17 – 35 years of age is welcome to register and come along, and if you are a bit outside this age range you can make a special application to attend.  We are more likely to approve these special applications for people under the age of 17 if they will be attending with a guardian or parent.

For more details, and to make a special application, please visit:

Where is Ōtaki Summer Camp being held?
Ōtaki Summer Camp is being held on the grounds of Ōtaki College, 233 Mill Road, Ōtaki.
What are the travel options for getting to the camp?


Join our Ōtaki Summer Camp Carpool/Rideshare Facebook group to link up with people who have spare seats in their car and to let others know if you have a spot in your vehicle.

Bus from/to Wellington

Intercity buses leave Wellington Central (from the railway station) stopping at Ōtaki throughout the day on Friday (and back on the Monday and Tuesday).

Tickets start at $10

Find the timetable and book a ticket here:

Ōtaki College is a short walk (less than 10 mins) across flat ground from the bus stop.

Bus from/to other parts of the North Island

Likewise, Intercity runs services from other towns/cities in the North Island. Full details on their website:

Ōtaki College is a short walk (less than 10 mins) across flat ground from the bus stop.

Train to/from Wellington

We do not recommend taking the train as it only goes as far as Waikanae (south of Ōtaki) and then requires changing to a bus service from Waikanae to Ōtaki. It is more complicated.

However, if you would like to take the train, you can find information (for both the train service and bus from Waikanae) here:

Note: There is also a train service called “Capital Connection” that goes between Wellington and Ōtaki but the timetable is not convenient for those travelling to camp.

What time does the camp start?

Registration for Ōtaki Summer Camp begins at 4pm on Friday 19 January, meeting at the school gates to await the welcome. There will be a pōwhiri (formal welcome ceremony) starting at 5pm.  We ask that attendees arrive in time to register and take part in the pōwhiri. You can see the whole weekend programme here:

When does the camp end?
The camp formally finishes on Monday 22 January, with the closing event from 4.15 pm to 5.30pm.  Attendees are welcome to stay the night of the 22 January, when there will be music and more time to meet others, and leave on the morning of Tuesday 23 January.  Dinner will be served the night of 22 January, and breakfast on the morning of 23 January. If you are staying on Monday night, you are welcome to volunteer for a cleaning group the next morning.
What do I need to bring?

In order for your time at Ōtaki Summer Camp to be comfortable, fun, and safe, we ask that you come prepared.

A full list of things to bring can be found here:

The accommodation at the camp is either your own tent (on the school playing fields) or “marae-style” in marquees (women’s, men’s, mixed and gender neutral). If you can bring a tent, that is best (marquee space is limited) and you will need a sleeping bag and, if you want, pillow and bed roll. In the marquees, you’ll need a sleeping bag and, if you want, a pillow.  Please come prepared for hot and cold weather (e.g. hat, sunscreen, water bottle, and togs and towel; and raincoat and warm clothes)!

It is essential that you bring your own utensils, a plate, a bowl, and a cup and/or a mug.

You are welcome to contact us if you have any problems about things you need to bring:

Please remember that you will need a suitable form of photo identification, such as a driver’s license or student ID, when you register at the beginning of the camp.

What will I need for the outdoors trips?

There will be outdoors trips for several hours on the Sunday, including tramping, bush walking and exploring streams and rivers. It will be a great time for getting to know other people and  is a major part of the camp. Being in the bush and around rivers is safer and more enjoyable when you are well prepared. Please bring the following: outdoor shoes or boots that you don’t mind getting wet (it is important that shoes and boots are comfortable), a spare set of clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and wet, raincoat, an extra warm top, togs, sunscreen, snacks, a water bottle and (if you have one) a small backpack (lined inside with a large plastic bag) to carry these things. Picnic lunches will be provided.

Again, you are welcome to contact us if you have any problems about things you need to bring:

What safety measures are in place for the camp?
The most important thing at the camp is that everyone feels welcome and safe. There will be organisers in bright teeshirts around at all hours, so please feel welcome to ask for help at any time you have a question, concern or feel unsafe. There will also be a mobile number you can call 24 hours a day. There will also be people looking after the camping/sleeping areas. As always, hanging out with people you trust and not consuming too much alcohol will help ensure you stay safe.
What kind of food is provided?

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided during the camp as part of the ticket price.  Tea and water will be made available throughout.  Coffee will be available for a koha.

We are able to provide vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free meals.  If you have these or any other dietary requirements or preferences, please note those when you purchase your ticket, or by contacting the team on, to assist us with planning and to ensure we can accommodate your needs.

What is accessibility like?
The venue, Ōtaki College, is flat and access is good. Please contact the organisers directly if you would like to discuss accessibility, including about the outdoor activities. We will do everything we can to make sure the camp works for everyone who wants to come.
May I smoke on site?
Ōtaki College, where the camp is based, does not allow smoking on the school grounds. If you need to smoke you’ll need to go off the school grounds.
May I consume alcohol on site?
Ōtaki College, where the camp is based, does not allow alcohol on the school grounds.  Please respect the school by not bringing or consuming alcohol.
May I consume illegal drugs on site?
Absolutely not. Anyone using them will be asked to leave.
May I bring my dog?
In general, dogs are not allowed at the camp.  You may bring a trained guide dog, but we ask that you mention this when you purchase your ticket, or by contacting the team on

Otaki Summer Camp
+64 21 049 1436

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