Maori make up 14% of our 4.5 million people. As the ‘tangata whenua’ (indigenous people) of New Zealand, Maori customs and history are a core part of New Zealand culture today. Oral storytelling is an important part of Maori culture. Culture and Maori whakapapa (genealogy) wasn’t traditionally written down. Instead it was passed down from generation to generation through song and speaking. There are many tales and legends about New Zealand to learn about while you’re here.
When you visit New Zealand, you’ll get a first-hand experience of what Maori people call ‘manaakitanga’ (hospitality). You might also see some Maori rituals like a powhiri (official welcoming dance ceremony). And, if you like rugby you’ve probably seen the All Blacks perform the haka (war dance) before a game. The haka is an old Maori custom that used to be performed before going into battle as an intimidation technique.