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Maori Culture


Maori Culture

Māori are the tangata whenua / the indigenous people of the land of New Zealand and this culture is an integral part of New Zealand life.


View more downloadable images of New Zealand's Māori culture and activities in Tourism New Zealand's Image Library.

Māori Culture in Aotearoa New Zealand

Māori are the tangata whenua - the indigenous people of the land - of New Zealand and their culture is an integral part of New Zealand life. About 15% of the population of 3.8 million is of Māori descent.

Visitors to New Zealand are presented with many opportunities to experience Māori culture first-hand in many parts of the country, including Rotorua where Māori first began introducing visitors to their culture in the early 19th century.

Introduction to Māori culture

Introduction to Māori culture

Traditional Māori customs still play a big part in the lives of many modern Māori in New Zealand and are an intrinsic part of Kiwi culture for New Zealanders.


The haka: New Zealand icon

The haka is a type of ancient Māori war dance traditionally used on the battlefield.

Photo credit: Tourism New Zealand

Māori creativity

Māori creativity spans past and present from the ancient arts of the traditional culture to the full spectrum of modern disciplines.

Modern Māori artists are internationally represented in some of New Zealand's top artistic endeavours including film, television, literature, art and music.

Māori and creative arts

Māori and creative arts

The talent of Māori is evident in many fields of creative endeavour, both in New Zealand and overseas.

Ta moko - traditional Maori tattoo art

In recent years New Zealand has seen a resurgence in the traditional practice of ta moko (body tattooing).

Photo credit: Adventure Films

Māori tourism in New Zealand

As the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, Māori have a special relationship stretching back centuries.

This relationship means Māori tourism is uniquely placed to offer visitors deeper experiences that weave culture and myth into New Zealand’s spectacular landscape.

Māori and tourism

Māori and tourism

Māori are increasingly utilising tourism in a bid to preserve and promote their culture and create a more prosperous future for their youth.

Maurice and Heather Manawatu established the family-owned and operated business Māori Tours in 2001

Photo credit: Tourism New Zealand