The benefits of Māori tourism are numerous, including giving us an increased sense of pride and privilege. For us at Whakarewarewa - The Living Māori Village, Māori tourism is special as it brings huge cultural gain to both us and our manuhiri (visitors). Sustainability also benefits us: Through our tourism aspirations we achieve retention of our rich history, whakapapa, the pepeha of arts and crafts, marae concepts – and more. All of these elements identify who we are. Further, our whenua is an important aspect of our history and everyday life; Our people have lived on this fragile geothermal plateau for centuries and we want to ensure this environment is here for future generations. Tourism allows us to achieve that.
Whakarewarewa - The Living Māori Village
General manager operations and marketing
When visiting another country, it's important to fully immerse yourself in the culture so you understand the place and its people. Māori culture is ultimately the one thing that differentiates New Zealand as a destination, especially in Rotorua. Māori tourism stretches far wider than kapa haka and our native kiwi bird. It is the culture within our landscapes and the deep and rich legacies that makes New Zealand the ultimate place to visit. Māori-inspired experiences will continue to distinguish our country well into the future. It's our aim as a tourism operator to see visitors leave with an in-depth understanding of Māori culture and a story to take home to share with family and friends.
Chief executive officer
Rotorua was established on Māori tourism, the natural environment and culture were a drawcard to many international visitors. Māori shared their values of manaakitanga by sharing the natural wonders of their home, later by gifting land (Ngati Whakaue) to the visitors to settle. The foundation of Māori tourism has now grown into a key economic driver of Rotorua. Tamaki Māori Village employ up to 100 locals in peak season. Tourism is the platform that allows both international and local visitors a glimpse of the past – where we come from, and see us in the light of who we are today, Māori tourism helps keep our culture and history alive for future generations.
Tamaki Māori Village
Performing arts manager