Life in New Zealand: A Closer Look at Maori Culture

Maori HouseNew Zealand is becoming a popular pick when it comes to countries where you could migrate. With quality living standards at costs that are not as pricey as the Australia and the United Kingdom, it is no wonder many people are looking for ways to relocate to NZ.

But before you apply for a visa and settle your immigration fees, you have to understand the place where you are going. Of course, each country has its own culture—and this is something you would want to learn and respect. In the case of New Zealand, it is the Maori culture. Let us take a closer look:

Who are the Maori?

The Maori are NZ’s indigenous people. They speak the language Te Reo, but do not worry, as English is likewise an official language of theirs. Over one in seven New Zealanders are Maori, and estimates show that their population is almost 700,000.

Over the course of their history, Europeans arrived in New Zealand. Eventually, the two parties signed a treaty that served as the basis of their constitution. Up until today, this document signed by the leaders of both the Maori and the British establish a strong relationship between those of Maori and European descent.

What are their Customs?

It is best to immerse in Maori culture firsthand, but it is not that difficult either to understand their customs or Tikanga. You have to be aware of two things: Manaakitanga and Kaitiakitanga.

The first is about kindness and hospitality. It is their belief that it is important to look after and welcome their guests. This is why New Zealanders are generous, hospitable and respectful. The second is Kaitiakitanga, which means guardianship and respect for the environment. These two principles are fundamental in not just the culture of the Maori, but of the entire New Zealand.

As they say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” True enough, regardless of the country you visit or move, it is important to appreciate and respect the customs they have. With New Zealand’s rich and colourful culture, that is definitely easy to do.