The Native people of New Zealand are the Māori People. They are referred to as the tangata whenua. Māori were settlers originally from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand on a boat between 1320 and 1350.
The Māori settlers developed their own rich culture whose language, mythology, crafts and performing arts evolved independently of other Polynesian cultures.
New Zealand has a rich cultural heritage and is an integral part of life in this Island Nation and adds a unique, dynamic experience for visitors.
Today Māori make up 14% of our population and their history, language and traditions are central to New Zealand’s identity.
The Māori culture can be experienced by visiting many maraes throughout New Zealand. If you are visiting NZ, you should consider an organised cultural tour, watch a carving or weaving demonstration and learn about the myths and legends from passionate Māori guides.