Glaciers in New Zealand
Maori children
Northland, New Zealand
Queen Charlotte Sound
Routeburn Track
Boating in Taupo
Tongariro, New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand

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New Zealand Coach Tours

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Ski New Zealand

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Bluebridge Ferry

Bluebridge Ferry

Cross Cook Strait and enjoy Kiwi hospitality.

Maori Stories and Legends

Kupe and Te Wheke | He Ika A Maui | Maui and Tieke New Zealand Maori Culture, Maori Culture in New Zealand, Maori Stories and Legends

New Zealand's indigenous people came from tropical Polynesia more than 1000 years ago. Learning to live in New Zealand shaped their thinking and their beliefs until they became Te Maori, a race clearly distinct from other Polynesian cultures.

Maori oral history names Kupe as the first explorer to discover New Zealand. He and his companion, Ngahue, captained two sea-going waka (canoes), Matahorua and Tawiri-rangi, and sailed south from Hawaiki to see what lay beyond the horizon.

The first sign of a major land mass was a build up of white cloud in the distance. Kupe's wife, Hine-te-aparangi, called out "He ao he ao! He aotea! He aotearoa" ("A cloud, a cloud! A white cloud! A long white cloud!"), and so the land was named Aotearoa—'Land of the long white cloud'.

After circumnavigating the North and South Islands of Aotearoa, Kupe and his crew returned to Hawaiki with treasures such as preserved moa flesh and pounamu (greenstone).

The story of Kupe's remarkable voyage, and other such endeavours, were passed on from one generation to the next through storytelling and song.

The tradition of oral history—the telling of ancient stories, myths and legends—continues today. On many marae, elders teach tribal lore, etiquette and genealogy. They also retell the stories that form the basis of Maori beliefs, including the story of how Maui fished up the North Island and how the saddleback got it's name.

Kupe and Te Wheke - A long time ago in far away Hawaikii, a Tohunga (a magic man) named Muturangi, sat brooding, thinking of his revenge upon the villagers who had banished him to the far and lonely side of the island...(more)

He Ika A Maui - Maui was determined to go fishing with his brothers, but they did not want to take maui with them, and so he stowed away on their fishing boat until they were well out to sea...(more)

Maui and Tieke - Maui had a pet blackbird (Tieke) that always kept him company, sitting on his shoulder while he made the ropes from flax and the ti tree to make a net...(more)

Featured

Introducing the Kiwi VIP Discount Card

Kiwi Holiday Parks

Tour NZ with a Kiwi VIP Discount Card.

ASB Foreign Exchange

ASB Bank

Check out what your money is worth.

New Zealand Coach Tours

NZ Coach Tours

Choose from over 200 great value itineraries.

New Zealand Self Drive Tours

NZ Self Drive Tours

Self drive tours provide freedom at your pace.

Ski New Zealand

Ski New Zealand

Ski & board packages with the personal touch.

Bluebridge Ferry

Bluebridge Ferry

Cross Cook Strait and enjoy Kiwi hospitality.

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