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Ways to Experience Maori Culture in Christchurch

Ways to Experience Maori Culture in Christchurch

Maori, indigenous people of New Zealand, have had a deep-rooted and enduring influence on the country. From visits to Maori meeting grounds (marae) to performances of traditional songs and dances, here are just a few of the Maori experiences in Christchurch that can offer visitors insight into the Maori people and culture.

  • Witness a Maori traditional welcome ceremony (powhiri) that usually takes place in front of a Maori meeting ground.

  • Practice a Maori greeting that involves touching noses and foreheads (hongi).

  • Observe song and dance performances, such as war dance (haka) and a dance in which performers rhythmically swing a ball that is attached to a short rope (poi).

  • Combine a visit to a traditional Maori village with a guided tour of a nature reserve, where you can spot kiwis—a native New Zealand bird that holds a special place in Maori culture—in their natural habitat.

  • Dine on a traditional Maori feast (hangi), made with food cooked over hot stones in a hole in the ground, which is covered to create a natural oven.

  • Sail aboard a traditional double-hulled canoe (waka) in the company of Maori crew and learn about Maori maritime customs and boat-building techniques.