Thursday, December 9, 2010


Background Information 

Country Name: New Zealand 
Location: Oceania, Islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia
Population: 4,252,277 (July 2010 est.)
Capital: Wellington
Ethnic Groups: European 56.8%, Asian 8%, Maori 7.4%, Pacific islander 4.6%, mixed 9.7%, other 13.5% (2006 est.)
Main Indigenous Tribe: Maori

Central Intelligence Agency USA

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Culture of the New Zealanders or Māoris

The cultures of the place
New Zealand has a unique and dynamic culture. The culture of its indigenous Māori people affects the language, the arts, and even the accents of all New Zealanders. Their place in the South Pacific and their love of the outdoors, sport, and the arts make New Zealanders and their culture unique in the world.
Māori culture is a rich and varied one, and includes traditional and contemporary arts. The Māori has traditional arts such as Carving, Weaving, Kappa Haka which is a group performance, Whaikorero which is also known as an oratory, and Moko, which is their art of tattoo. They are practised throughout the country.
Māori is an oral culture rich with stories and legends, the Māori creation story of how New Zealand came about, describes the world being formed by the violent separation of Ranginui, the Sky Father and Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother, by their children. Many Māori carvings and artworks graphically depict this struggle. 

Below are pictures of the cultures of Māori People:

Māori Carvings 
Carving Demonstration

Māori Weaving

Kappa Haka

A video of the Kappa Haka performance:



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Traditions of the Maoris

The traditions of the place
The Māori people still follow the footsteps of their Tipuna, which is the term for their ancestors. Being a tribal Polynesian people, Māori have a unique protocol. The best place to observe it is on a Marae which is a Māori meeting ground. This is where many tourist operators in New Zealand organise visits to Marae.
A Powhiri which signifies a formal welcome at a Marae, beings with a Wero. The Warrior from the Tangata Whenua which is the Hosts, will challenge the Manuhiri which is the guests. The Warrior may carry a spear (Taiaha) then lay down a token which is often represented by a Small Branch that the Manuhiri will pick up to show they come in peace. Some Kuia which are the women from the Tangata Whenua will perform a Karanga which is a chant or a call to the Manuhiri. The Women from the Manuhiri will then respond as they move onto the Marae in front of their men.

Below is a video of this formal welcome by the Maoris:

There are many Maoris still alive that keep their traditions alive, and not for monetary gains but for the pride of their culture.
Below is a video of a Maori lady also known as a Kuia, and her life as a Maori.

Indigenous People of New Zealand

Their indigenous groups
The Māori people are the indigenous people of Anotearoa the name that is now known as New Zealand. They are the first to arrive here in Waka Hourua, which are voyaging canoes from their ancestral homeland of Hawaiki over 1000 years ago. Today Māori people make up of over 14 percent of the New Zealand population. Their Language and culture has a major impact on all the facets of New Zealand life. 
The way the old Maoris looked like

Today, about 80 percent of the Maoris live in urban areas of New Zealand. However until the 1920s , they lived almost entirely in rural areas. Maori housing today therefore typically reflects that of an urban New Zealander.

The Modern Maori family

Traditionally, Maoris in coastal areas relied on travel by canoes. These included single-hulled canoes as well as large double hulled canoes. Waka Taua were large Maori War canoes that were powered  by both sail and paddles. as with other New  Zealanders, travel today is by modern road, rail water and air transport. 

The Traditional Maori War Canoe

Monday, December 6, 2010

How Do You Say Onehunga, Whangamomona, Kahikatea, and Nguru?

Te Reo Māori — the Māori Language
The visitor to New Zealand will become immediately aware of the Māori language as the vast majority of place names are of Māori origin. At first, visitors may be puzzled by the seemingly impossible- to-pronounce names. In fact, Māori has a logical structure, and, unlike English, has very consistent rules of pronunciation.
Māori consists of five vowel sounds: A E I O U
(‘a’ as in ‘car’)
(‘e’ as in ‘egg’)
(‘i’ like the ‘ee’ in ‘tee’)
(‘o’ as in ‘four’)
(‘u’ like an ‘o’ in ‘to’)
There are eight consonants in Māori similar to those in English – ‘h’, ‘k’, ‘m’, ‘n’, ‘p’, ‘r’, ‘t’, and ‘w’.
There are also 2 different consonants- ‘wh’ and ‘ng’.
Many Māori pronounce the ‘wh’ sound similar to our ‘f’. The ‘ng’ is similar to our own ‘ng’ sound in a word like ‘sing’, except that in Māori, words can start with ‘ng’

Kia ora = Gidday!
An attempt by a visitor to use Māori greetings will almost certainly elicit a delighted response from both Māori and Pakeha (European) New Zealanders.
Kia ora – Hello
Kia ora tatou – Hello Everyone
Tena Koe – Greetings to you (said to one person)
Tena koutou – Greetings to you all
Haere mai – Welcome
Nau  mai – Welcome
Kei te pehea koe? – How’s it going?
Kei te pai – Good
Tino pai – Really good
Haere ra – Farewell
Ka kite ano – until I see you again (Bye)
Hei konei ra – See you later

Below is a simple and short video of how do you say goodbye in Maori

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Maori Education

Their Mode of Education
Public education has now become the normal practice for mist urban Maori. A number of pr-schools based on Maori New Zealand cultural education have also been established throughout New Zealand. In the Maori school, the child spends more time in Maori studies like: Language, history, arts and crafts.
An example of a Maori school is the Arowhenua Maori School
Education is state supported and required in New Zealand between the ages of 6 and 15. Students who are planning to attend one of the country’s seven universities continue their secondary education until the age of 17 or 18. At that time, they will take the university qualification test. 

The universities that are available in New Zealand are:
  • Lincoln University located in Canterbury New Zealand

  • Massey University Located in Palmerston North New Zealand

  • University of Auckland Located in Auckland New Zealand

  • University of Canterbury Located in Christchurch New Zealand

  • University of Otago Located in Dunedin New Zealand

  • University of Waikato Located in Hamilton New Zealand

  • Victoria University of Wellington Located in Wellington New Zealand

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Events and Festivals of New Zealand Part 1

The best way to experience the best Maori Cultural performance would be to go and watch the Te Matatini which is the National Kappa Haka Festival. This is a festival that is held every 2 years after regional competitions have identified their leading teams. The best of the best compete through cultural performance. The ancient rivalry between Marae which means villages and the Ivi which are the tribes involves the passion and ferocity of their cultural. The festival will be held from the 16 to 20 of February 2011 at the seaside city of Gisborne.

The New Zealand’s Food and Wine Festivals bring together a comprehensive selection of gourmet delicacies from different regions, served up in beautiful scenic settings, with a splash of world class wine and a sprinkling of New Zealand’s best live entertainment.

Toast Martinborough
Toast Martinborough celebrates the release of the new vintage of wines and is centred around the charming Martinborough Wine Village. From there it's just an easy stroll (or catch the free Shuttle bus) to any of the eleven boutique vineyards dotted around the picturesque countryside, each with its own distinctive style and entertainment. Move on at your leisure, sampling delights for all the senses! It was recently held on Sunday 21st of November 2010

Tauranga Moana Seafood Festival
This is your chance to savour some of New Zealand's finest seafood delicacies. And it's an event the whole family can enjoy.
Situated along the waterfront, the Tauranga Moana Seafood Festival is the perfect excuse to simply sit back, relax and let the musical entertainment wash over you. Or, get involved and cheer on the competitors in the fish filleting and mussel opening competitions. There's Kapa Haka, harbour cruises and cooking demonstrations, while the children (or simply young at heart!) are also spoilt for choice with a bouncy slide, treasure hunt and monster Sandcastle competition.
Then of course, there's the SEAFOOD! Crayfish, whitebait, paua fritters, seafood chowder and salmon kebabs... the mouth-watering list goes on and on. The festival was recently held on Saturday 27th of November 2010

Rhythm and Vines
Rather than treating your taste buds, Rhythm and Vines is an audio visual feast! And it's the perfect way to see in the New Year. Gisborne is, after-all, the first place in the world to see the sun rise on 2011. Set amongst the vines and rolling hills of Waiohika Estate, this is Party Central.
Now in its eighth year, Rhythm and Vines will thrill and amaze, as well as entertain you. With its themed stages, the latest world class audio systems, dazzling light shows, fireworks and a lavish programme of bands and musicians including N*E*R*D, Justice DJ, Shihad, Chromeo and Boys Noize, to name just a few. But the entertainment doesn't stop there.... add the famous R&V waterslide , the ever popular forest stage, costumed circus performers and a whole heap of wonderful surprises... and you have a New Year's Eve you'll never forget! It will be on Wednesday 29th to Friday 31st of December 2010

Hawke’s Bay Wine and Food Festival
The beautiful Hawke's Bay region is famous for its world-class wine and food making it a natural choice as a location to celebrate everything gourmet.
Hawke's Bay Wine and Food Festival showcases some of the best this region has to offer, with more than 40 top wineries and boutique food producers gathered at the new Roy's Hill venue. Unlike other Festivals, Hawke's Bay Wine and Food Festival brings its exhibitors together in one purpose-built facility, over-looking the renowned Gimblett Gravels wine growing area, and surrounded by stunning vineyard and mountain views.
As well as enlightening your palate, Hawke's Bay Wine and Food Festival can enlighten your mind. Workshops run throughout the day offering classes from matching wine and food, to the art of cooking seafood.
And of course it wouldn't be a kiwi Wine and Food Festival without superb live entertainment from some of New Zealand's top performers. It will be held on Saturday 29th January 2011

Auckland Seafood Festival
Auckland also has a piece of the Festival pie with a focus on fun at the vibrant 3 day Auckland Seafood Festival. On offer are a range of delicious gourmet New Zealand seafood, wine sampling from some of Auckland's finest vineyards and great family entertainment throughout the weekend, including surfcasting competitions and cooking demonstrations.
From noon to 7pm, Auckland's Viaduct Harbour comes alive with the vibrant Festival atmosphere. The Auckland Seafood Festival is for seafood lovers, wine and beer connoisseurs alike! It will be held from Saturday 29th to Monday 31st of January 2011

Marlborough Wine Festival
Set in the heart of one of Marlborough's oldest and most beautiful vineyards, Montana Brancott Estate, the Marlborough Wine Festival is New Zealand's longest running wine festival.
Marlborough's proud reputation for producing world class wines will be showcased with around 60 wineries and 30 local producers offering their most delicious gourmet delights.
With all the talented winemakers about you're sure to learn a thing or two at the 'Wine Tutorials' or put your best foot forward and enter the 'Fashion in the Vines' competition for the best dressed man and woman.
But if that sounds far too strenuous, simply sit back and enjoy the sumptuous wine and food, great entertainment and glorious setting! It will be held on Saturday 12th February 2011.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Events and Festivals of New Zealand Part 2

Concerts for Conservation
‘Live at the Islands’ is a series of concerts that will celebrate two of New Zealand’s popular island conservation projects. You can choose to visit Urupukapuka in the Bay of Islands or Motutapu in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf. Led by dedicated conservationists, thousands of volunteers have worked on these islands over recent years. They’ve begun the restoration of natural vegetation, removed introduced predators and released rare native birds back into the wild. Now you can salute their hard work with great music and nature rambles against a backdrop of South Pacific marine scenery. Bliss! 

Urupukapuka Island -28 December to 22 January
Rich in Maori and European history, Urupukapuka is the largest island in the Bay of Islands. With sheltered white sand beaches along its western coast and towering ocean cliffs to the east, it’s everything a getaway island should be. Hire a kayak for a guided tour of the bays or follow trails over rolling hills to discover secluded beaches, archaeological sites and 360-degree cliff-top views.
The ‘Live at the Islands’ events on Urupukapuka Island will benefit Project Island Song, a major local conservation effort to restore native wildlife to the Bay of Islands.

Live at the Islands, Urupukapuka Island 
  • 28 and 31 December 2010. Plus 3, 5, 7 and 22 January 2011
  • Ferries will shuttle from Paihia and Russell to the island and back
  • Family groups will be given priority for the earlier returning ferries
  • Bookings are essential

Motutapu Island -12 February 2011
Motutapu Island is a short ferry ride from Auckland city. Believed to have been settled by Maori tribes from the early 1300s, Motutapu lost its ancient forests to numerous volcanic eruptions that created Rangitoto Island on its western shore.

For the special one-off Motutapu ‘Live at the Islands’ concert, an amazing line-up of New Zealand’s leading musicians will provide continuous entertainment until evening. If you’d like to linger longer, after sunset the ‘ZM DJ Afterparty on the Beach’ will keep you rocking through to 10pm. Ferries will depart regularly, giving concert goers the opportunity to return to the city when it suits. 

‘Live at the Islands - Motutapu’ will benefit the Motutapu Restoration Trust, which leads the public volunteers who are breathing new life into this historic island.

Live at the Islands, Motutapu Island 
  • Saturday, 12 February 2011 from 12:30 to 10:00pm
  • Ferries depart from downtown Auckland and Gulf Harbour, Whangaparaoa
  • Family groups will be given priority for the earlier returning ferries
  • Ferry capacity is limited so book early or bring your own boat

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Activities in New Zealand

New Zealand is divided into 2 islands, the North Island and the South Island. With each island, the activities have been segregated with accordance to their area or specific activities for the visitors to experience

North Island

Auckland:  There is the Auckland Bridge climb, the Auckland Bridge Bungy and the Auckland Explorer Bus

Bay of Islands: There is the Dolphin Adventures, The Cream Trip Supercruise including ‘Hole in the Rock’, Kerikeri and Crafts Tour

Hauraki Gulf: Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf is a unique setting for luxury cruises.

Lake Taupo:  There is the Huka Jet Boat Ride, get a Taste of Taupo Helicopter flights

Waitomo: There is a tour of the Glowworm Caves, the Aranui Caves and the Black Abyss

Wellington:  A tour of Wellington City Sights, the Seal Coast Safari and the Middle Earth Lord of the Rings Filming location tours.

Waiheke Island: Sightseeing Tours, Wine tasting beaches, arts and crafts.

South Island
Akaroa: Swim with the rare Hector’s or New Zealand Dolphins

Blenheim:  There is the Wine tours, wine tasting, Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

Chirstchurch:  Hot Air Ballooning, Rangitata River White-Water Rafting, Akaora and Banks Peninsula which is a Nature Cruise or Dolphin Swim

Dunedin: Otago wine Tours

Fox Glacier:  Fox Glacier Guided Walk

Kaikoura:  Which is Whale Watching and Dolphin encounter

Queenstown:  Bungy Jumping, Shotover Jet Boat Ride, Walter Peak Sheep Station.

Wanaka: Native bush trek, Scenic Helicopter ride, flying over forest, scenic aircraft flight, journey the Scenic countryside.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What New Zealand is known for!!

The first thing that the country is known for is their very unique greeting. The Maoris have a very distinct greeting that involves the 2 parties to rub their noses with each other. There is a word for this, and it is called Hongi. This means the Sharing of breath. 

The second thing New Zealand is known for is their Rugby team. The All Blacks are New Zealand’s number one national rugby side and have rated amongst the best in the world for well over 100 years. Their name and distinctive all-black playing strip have become well known to rugby and non-rugby fans worldwide.
The first New Zealand team was selected in 1884, for a tour to New South Wales. The team played its first match at home, against a Wellington XV, before recording eight wins in eight matches in Australia. Otago prop James Allan, who played eight matches for the 1884 team, has been immortalised as All Black No 1.
However what is more familiar to the whole world would be the All Black’s Haka. Their traditional Maori war dance is performed before every game in front of the opponents. 

The words of the Haka goes as follows: 
The words in Orange are the Direct translation of the Haka, however the words in Grey is the story behind the haka

KA MATE!                  KA MATE!
It is death!                     It is death!
We were at war              
KA ORA!                   KA ORA!
It is life!                      It is life!
But now there is peace.                
KA MATE!                  KA MATE!
We're going to die!              We're going to die!
We thought we were all going to die
KA ORA!                   KA ORA!
We're going to live!             We're going to live!
but now we are safe
This is the  man,                so hairy
because our leader, so strong and masculine,
who               fetched,  and  made shine     the  sun! 
has unified us and brought back the sunny days of peace!
UPANE!                    KA UPANE!
Together!                       Keep together!
We are all working in harmony, side by side, 
HUPANE!                  KAUPANE! 
Up the step!                    A second step!
making steady progress
WHITI   TE    RA!         HI!
Out comes the    sun!           Ahh!
to prolong these sunny days of peace.

Here is a Video of why the Haka is so intimidating to the opponents:

However over the years, different variations of the Haka has surfaced. Below is the Haka known as the Cut-Throat Haka. This is due to the last action, at which they pull their finger across their neck in a silting action. this is not to be mistaken as a sign of killing their enemy, but as a sign that if they were to go back home anything else by a victor, their throats will be slit by their Chief.