News & Activity

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Māori storytelling helps international manuhiri embrace Māori culture

Tourism New Zealand has partnered with six Māori tourism operators to help international audiences form a deeper connection with Māori culture.

“Tourism New Zealand is committed to bringing diverse Māori perspectives and stories to the forefront of our storytelling, in an authentic and meaningful way,” says Karl Burrows, General Manager Pou Ārahi Māori at Tourism New Zealand. 

“Our insights show that Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique culture is a big draw card for potential manuhiri (visitors). Manuhiri want authentic stories and to explore Māori culture while they are here. 

“We want potential manuhiri to form an emotional connection with destination Aotearoa and an understanding of our customs. This not only encourages them to visit our home but supports them to be high-quality visitors while they are here, contributing positively to our culture, communities, environment and economy,” concludes Mr Burrows. 

The new social media content showcases six Māori tourism operators, through stories of whakapapa, manaakitanga, whanaunatanga and kaitiakitanga, encouraging people to visit and experience it for themselves. 

The operators include Manea Footprints of Kupe (Northland)​, Te Ahurei Māori Tourism (Waikato), ​Wairākei Terraces (Taupō​), Waka Abel Tasman (Nelson​), Āmiki (Christchurch​) and Te Ana Māori Rock Art (Timaru). 

Riwai Grace of Āmiki Tours says “Sharing stories in these six unique ways honours our tupuna (ancestors) and those who have been before us. It keeps our culture alive for many generations to come.”  
“Our stories are a taonga, this campaign invites manuhiri to experience our culture and tipuna stories from Northland to Timaru in unique and positive ways,” Cate Grace of Āmiki Tours adds. 

Speaking on the activity, Rachel Solomon of Te Ana Māori Rock Art says, “Rock art is a cherished part of Ngāi Tahu whānui identity, a taonga to be shared and celebrated for generations to come. It is important our visitors experience authentic narratives from tribal descendants, of the tīpuna (ancestors) that created the art. Any visit directly supports the ongoing mahi(work) to protect and preserve rock art taonga.  

The content will be published on Tourism New Zealand’s 100% Pure New Zealand social media channels. 

Tourism New Zealand worked with New Zealand Māori Tourism, Māori owned creative agency RUN, and Reel Factory on this mahi. 

Kylee Daniel, Director of Partnerships at New Zealand Māori Tourism concludes, “this is a wonderful opportunity for Māori Tourism to show who we are as people and as a culture today. We often sit under the perception that we only offer concerts and hangī, but we are much more than that. We are all different, with each region having its own culture, stories, and significant places. I believe this campaign will help shift those perceptions and hopefully encourage travellers to explore more of our beautiful country and Māori experiences when they visit. What I love most about this campaign is that these Māori tourism operators are talking about their experiences and what is meaningful to them, in their way and in their voice.”

Watch the first video here, Manea Footprints of Kupe(opens in new window)