The trust was set up in 1972 by Lou Fisher. Lou’s heart was invested in community, especially working closely with young New Zealanders. The idea of a tall ship for young people combined his ultimate passions – his love for sailing and the ocean with his desire to better the lives of others. It started with voyages on the Spirit of Adventure tall ship (and now continues on the Spirit of New Zealand).
Heading out on up to 25 voyages a year, over 1,000 14 – 18 year old’s each year have the opportunity to take part in this unique and highly rewarding experience. The 10-day youth development voyages and trophy voyages that take place on this magnificent tall ship, empower these young people, preparing them for adulthood and setting them up to be better global citizens.
There is a focus on team-work, developing skills of communication, self-reliance, self-discipline, resilience, confidence and leadership. Independent research highlights that self-esteem, self-efficacy and self-confidence increase exponentially amongst those who take part.
It is a well-researched fact that our youth are facing increasing adversity and challenges, with a heavy impact on their mental wellbeing. With one of the highest youth suicide rates in the developed world our young people need support, guidance, role models and intervention. The Spirit of New Zealand provides exactly that to any young person wanting or needing to attend. It is open to all and we will remove any barrier that exists preventing someone to attend.
Now more than ever, after almost 50 years, the work of Spirit of Adventure has become even more valuable and transformative.