Meet Tuki Huck, Official Tracks Founder

Published: 18/11/2021

A fire for big ideas

Tuki was born in Tahiti, but Queenstown has always been his second home. Every year his family would travel to Central Otago, and he grew up exploring the region. In 2015 he moved to Queenstown to run the family tour business, bringing groups from Tahiti to experience the home of adventure.


Queenstown has always been a magnet for bold thinkers, so entrepreneurial Tuki was right at home. He swiftly saw new opportunities, opening a video production company and a photobooth for visitors to capture dramatic portraits in front of the panoramic views from Bob’s Peak. Business was blooming. Life was good.


Then along came Covid. Visitors dried up overnight, and Tuki placed his businesses in hibernation for an uncertain future. He was down but not daunted. Because one thing you need to know about Tuki is that he loves coming up with new ideas.


In March 2020, Tuki was sipping a wine and talking about the future with his wife. She showed him an article about marathons cancelled by Covid across the world and said, “Wouldn’t it be incredible if there was some way for people to run these great routes anytime and get their times recorded?” And in Tuki’s enterprising brain, a light went on.



Challenge accepted

A few weeks later Project Phoenix was launched, an initiative designed to stimulate regrowth in the Queenstown region. A panel of business experts and investors created a fund for new ideas with the power to rebuild the local community.


Tuki saw an ideal opportunity to evolve his baby business idea. His proposal for a network of self-timed running tracks around the region was shortlisted as a finalist but didn’t take the big prize. But no matter, because Project Phoenix Chair, investor and business advisor Jonathan Gurnsey, was very taken with the potential of Tuki’s plan and offered to be his mentor and first investor.


Tuki recalls what happened next. “Jonathan introduced me to sports law expert Andrew Orr. Andrew used to work for sports media giant IMG, so he knew his stuff, and he’d seen a lot. I pitched him over Zoom, and he said to me, ‘Tuki I’ve heard so many ideas and this is a great idea. I want to come in as your lawyer.’ So that was another validation for me that I was onto something good.”


The big breakthrough came when Tuki talked to MyLaps. They build the tech that times all major sporting events, from the Olympics to famous marathons around the world. They thought Tuki’s idea was a winner too, saying, “We’ve been doing this for 30 years and you’ve just blown the whole race model wide open,” and they sent him timing equipment to trial. Now all Tuki needed was a name for his new business.


The best tracks our planet has to offer

Tuki’s vision has always been bigger than New Zealand. He explains, “My vision is to build a network of incredible self-timed tracks around the world. I want these to be the best tracks a place has to offer. Tracks that take in the most iconic parts of a region. Tracks that are beautiful, safe, and have facilities for runners along the way. The name Official Tracks is a stamp of quality. Not only are you guaranteed an accurate time. You’re also guaranteed an incredible running experience.

This is just the beginning

Official Tracks launches in Queenstown on the 4th of December. For the first summer, runners will buy timing chips online and collect them from Frontrunner in Queenstown or Frankton, or the Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa.


“But the best thing is this is just the beginning. We’re starting with running because it’s the number one sport in the world, but we can use Official Tracks tech for so many sports from skiing to biking. It’s not just about racing, it’s about capturing the experience. And I’m enormously proud that even in the middle of a pandemic we can launch something with the potential to spark a new global sports movement.”