The Māori Culture of New Zealand

Sponsored by Tourism New Zealand

There are so many reasons to love the Māori culture of New Zealand. The Māori are the indigenous people who have thrived on the verdant island nation for over a thousand years. Today, they continue to flourish and celebrate holidays, practice traditional arts and more. Now is your chance to be welcomed with ceremony, rituals and manaakitanga.

What is Manaakitanga?

In the Māori language, manaakitanga is directly translated as the hospitality, generosity or care that one shows another. In other words, manaakitanga encompasses the best qualities of hospitality and guides on how to treat other people in the world. You’ll experience it for yourself when you travel to the densely forested and mountainous country of New Zealand. Travel through beautiful, unspoiled forests to a Māori village. Hear the women of the tribe sing out a karanga, also known as a welcome call, to gather the rest of the tribe. Go to the marae, or tribal meeting house. Stop for a moment to run your eyes over the ornately carved, red exterior before venturing inside.

Your Experience

The level of empathy for one another, especially for visitors, found in manaakitanga is a characteristic unique to the Māori culture of New Zealand. You’ll appreciate the chance to sit down with tribe members and enjoy a slice of freshly-baked Rewena parāoa, a sourdough bread, as you discuss their customs and your travels. Take part in their traditions during your time with them — learn the intricate art of weaving, try your hand at traditional games and watch a carefully-practiced group performance or kapa haka. Ask about the tribe’s history and be riveted by rich tales shared.

As a part of their global outreach and tourism efforts, Tourism New Zealand aims to spread awareness of manaakitanga and the Māori culture of New Zealand. Learn about this unique culture on your next visit — you’ll meaningfully connect with the people when you hear their fascinating stories about the land and history.

Travel agents are educated on the concept of manaakitanga and the Māori culture of New Zealand, as well. They can connect travelers to the emotional benefits of their experiences, from the start of booking to every step along their journey. You can look forward to a vacation in this Polynesian gem — reach out to a well-versed travel agent today to learn more about this rich culture and opportunities to travel in New Zealand.