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Unique Maori culture experience East Cape or Cook Islands?

Vancouver
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Unique Maori culture experience East Cape or Cook Islands?

Hi,

We`re looking into travelling to New Zealand to get a glimpse of the unique and non-touristy setup of the Maori culture and its people.

I wonder if anyone from the forum can give some insights if East Cape is the place to experience this? Or should we venture as far as the Cook Islands?

Regards

Dunedin, New Zealand
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1. Re: Unique Maori culture experience East Cape or Cook Islands?

This is a bit like asking "should I go to Mexico to see Canadians", you realise? The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand, and nowhere else (although a heck of a lot have moved to Australia) and whereever you go in New Zealand, Maori people will be living there. Admittedly, they probably make up a higher percentage in Eastland and parts of Northland - I dont actually know how much would be gained by going to those areas, what your objective is in seeking Maori out. If you want to see them out of curiosity, you might well find many will take exception to that.

Vancouver
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2. Re: Unique Maori culture experience East Cape or Cook Islands?

Not really sure what you meant by the Canadian comment and would probably not spend the calories arguing about it.

I have limited info of New Zealand; especially of its indigenous inhabitants. What I was looking for was a chance to travel in local villages and get a glimpse of their way of living (not tourist developed one's).

But like you said; it seems you don`t have much insight in that area.

Feilding, New...
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3. Re: Unique Maori culture experience East Cape or Cook Islands?

The Maori people no longer wear grass skirts, live off the land or practise cannibalism. They buy food at the local supermarket,Mcdonalds or KFC; watch television and use computers just as do other New Zealanders.

You ARE a tourist so the best way to learn about Maori is to attend a Maori Culture Show and Rotorua has some of the best shows. www.mitai.co.nz; www.maoriculture.com and www.tepuia.com

There are Marae where overnight guests are welcomed. Google Marae visits for more information. Even at these you will be a tourist among tourists but you will learn something of the culture.

New Zealand
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4. Re: Unique Maori culture experience East Cape or Cook Islands?

What NZBarry meant was you won't find Maori in the Cook Islands(unless they have emigrated there) you'll find plenty of Cook Islanders though and while they may have some similar customs they are not Maori. Hence NZBarry's comment you wouldn't go to Mexico to look for Canadians, you'd go to Canada.

There are no "villages" where Maori live exclusively, we are an intergrated society, we all live together and we inter-marry, I have nearly as many Pakeha(European) relatives as I do Maori.

You could visit Whakarewarewa Village(the one exception) in Rotorua. While it is still lived in by mostly Maori elders the tours are still done for the tourist although it is more authentic than many of the others.

The East Coast does have many small isolated communities but it's highly unlikely you'll be made welcome visiting any of their marae unless you've had a personal invite.

Edited: 05 December 2010, 19:48
Christchurch, New...
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5. Re: Unique Maori culture experience East Cape or Cook Islands?

What they are trying to say is that Maori and Cook Island language, culture etc are quite different and unique. They are elebrated seperately, along with the other unique cultures and languages of the Pacific Island. While there may appear similar to an outsider, the seperateness is important to those the culture belongs to.

Vancouver
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6. Re: Unique Maori culture experience East Cape or Cook Islands?

Thanks Zappers...

Your insights was definitely helpful and gave me a better idea on what to opt and prepare for...

Palmerston North
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7. Re: Unique Maori culture experience East Cape or Cook Islands?

Experiencing authentic Maori culture in New Zealand isn't too difficult. Perhaps a good organisation to contact is http://www.maoritourism.co.nz/

In the case of Palmerston North City, when you visit the local museum, which has Maori displays, there are local Maori employed there who can guide you through. So, in that sense you're seeing their tribe's artefacts and history. This is very interesting.

I know that in the case of the nearby city of Wanganui, there is a river journey experience available in waka (Maori boats) that is guided by Maori from the area. So, they're telling you about local history and scenic highlights whilst weaving in their own family information. You're able to ask questions and have a one on one experience.

What you're wanting to avoid is going to a hotel with a Maori show. You don't get a personal experience this way. So see how you go with the Maori tourism authority (link above), or contact the visitor information centres (i-sites) at the places you're thinking about visiting. This is free. See newzealand.com/travel/…i-sites_home.cfm

Good luck!

8. Re: Unique Maori culture experience East Cape or Cook Islands?

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