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Maori in Tourism Rotorua

About Us

Kia Ora! – Nau mai, haere mai.

Welcome to Maori In Tourism Rotorua a collaboration of Maori businesses spread across a range of sectors and industries, we invite you to discover our special splice of Aotearoa NZ.

We invite you to share our Culture, our History, our People and our Land. So explore and discover the myriad of Maori businesses, events and activities operating in Rotorua and surrounding regions.

Maori Tourism in Rotorua offers visitors a unique experience that provides a truly fascinating insight into the rich history of the indigenous people of New Zealand. This includes Maori culture, traditions and activities.

Maori Migration to Aotearoa New Zealand

Our ancestors were Polynesian – great voyagers, explorers, warriors and navigators. They journeyed from our ancestral homeland of Hawaiki, traversed Te Moana Nui a Kiwa (the great ocean of Kiwa) the Pacific Ocean to Aotearoa with deliberate and careful navigation.

Over hundreds, if not thousands of years, the children of Hawaiki (our ancient land of origin) were raised on the stories of the great God, Maui; how he had hauled a beautiful land from the ocean depths in far off seas. When eventually the ancestor Kupe led the first expedition in search of Maui’s land of legend, his feats became legend also. Kupe named the land, Aotearoa (A Long White Cloud).

Your encounter with Maori will be with a dynamic and proud culture. Maori make up over 14 percent of the population. Our language and culture and ways affect and define what makes New Zealand unique.
Some tribes recount their ancestors’ migration being by whale. Most remember the ancestral journey by waka hourua (voyaging canoes) sometime between 900 and 1350AD. Aotea, Arawa, Tainui, Kurahaupo, Takitimu, Horouata, Tokomaru and Mataatua were the names of our preeminent waka hourua.

However, they travelled, our ancients wrapped themselves in their stories, spiritual beliefs and their ancient teachings, and set out in search of Aotearoa. The currents, the winds and the stars were their map; the feats of Kupe, and Maui were their inspiration.

They brought much of what they needed with them – food, seeds, small animals, garments, and implements. Not everything survived – the environment in Aotearoa was vastly different to that of the Pacific Islands. They adapted themselves to the new land and spread across Aotearoa, ultimately establishing tribal groups and tribal lands.

It is from these earliest and most intrepid of voyagers that all Maori descend. The way each of us can whakapapa (connect via genealogy) to them, determines our tribal belonging.

Your Encounter

Your encounter with Maori will be with a dynamic and proud culture. Maori make up over 14 percent of the population. Our language and culture and ways affect and define what makes New Zealand unique.

Just as our ancestors did, we adapt and evolve and move with the times. But within this change, we are ever conscious that we are Kaitiaki (guardians) of a precious legacy – it is our role to protect the ancient ways and traditions, our language, our connection and belonging to the land, our mountains and waterways and ensure they remain for the generations to come.