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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.

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Christchurch Maori Concert and Kiwi Viewing

Christchurch Maori Concert and Kiwi Viewing

Treat yourself to a special evening at the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Christchurch. Experience a traditional Maori cultural performance and view the kiwi bird in its natural habitat. Visit the Ko Tane marae, a living Maori village, where you’re informed and entertained with Maori dance and song including the ‘haka' (war dance). Then observe endangered North Island brown kiwis and South Island kiwis— flightless birds native to New Zealand.
  • 2 hours 30 minutes