Although New Zealand is a relatively young country, it has a rich and fascinating History which reflects it’s European and Maori roots. Maori archeological sites and taonga (treasures), some dating back one thousand years ago, contrast with beautiful colonial buildings.
The Maori were the first inhabitants of New Zealand, or Aotearoa, which means “Land of the Big White Cloud”. They formed a prosperous society based on iwi (tribes) that flourished for many centuries.
According to the Maori, the first explorer to reach New Zealand was Kupe. Coming from Polynesian homeland Hawaiki he ventured across the Pacific Ocean on his waka hourua (trip canoe) using only the stars and the ocean currents to position himself.
Although the British have been the first Europeans to sight the country, it was the Dutchmen who colonized it. Captain James Cook who was sent to Tahiti to observe the trajectory of Venus, also felt the task of searching for great continent, which all believed to exist in the South. Nick Young, Cook’s cabin attendant, was the first to spot a piece of land near Gisborne (now called Young Nick’s Head) in 1769.
Before the year of 1840, only missionaries and whalers and seal hunters went to New Zealand. These colonizers had a considerable contact with the Maori people, especially in the coast region. The Pakena (European) maintained a very active exchange network with the local people and some of them even lived among the Maori.
In 1840, when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, New Zealand became a British colony. This caused a large increase in the number of migrants arriving from the English land, many of whom had their tickets paid by colonizing companies. The colonization system was based on the ideas of Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who believed that the colony should be shaped according to the rules and structure of the British society.
The increasing number of British migrants, together with the shrinking of the Maori population, mostly landless, resulted the British culture to be predominant in New Zealand’s life throughout the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. However, New Zealand struggles to find its own national identity and its unique place in world society since the Second World War.
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Fishing an island
The creation of New Zealand is described in the myth of god Maui. He liked to play tricks and overcome the sun so that the day lasted more. But his greatest achievement was to fish the North Island, which is known as Te Ika a Maui (the Fish of Maui). Aerial photos of the island show that it suggests clearly a fish form. The Maori believe that the north end is the tail of the fish, and the Bay of Wellington, the mouth. They describe the South Island as being the canoe (waka) of Maui, and Stewart Island (Rakiura), its anchor.

What is a kiwi
To understand Kiwiana it’s important to know first what is a Kiwi. The Kiwi, a night bird that doesn’t fly is also considered the national bird of New Zealand. He has a long beak with nostrils on it’s end and spends the night in search of small insects to feed himself. New Zealanders themselves turned to be known as Kiwis also throughout time. There is the “kiwi sense of humor”, the kiwi “do it yourself” way of being, and Kiwiana is the set of factors that contribute to our kiwi way of being. And to make it a little bit more confusing, the kiwi fruit has the same name in Europe and America, and the worldwide known shoe polish”Kiwi” is an Australian invention and not New Zealander.

L&P – National Soda
L & P (Lemon and Paeroa) is the most famous soda of New Zelândia. It was invented in 1904, when it’s creator mixed a bit of mineral water proceeding from the region called Paeroa with lemon. The result was an extremely refreshing soda. Originally the drink was called Paeroa and Lemon, but later was changed to L&P.

It’s impossible to explain what is Haka. See with your own eyes: – Click HAKA
KIA ORA = Gidday! = Hello
If a tourist wants to test this Maori compliment, he will certainly receive a nice response from both the Maori people and the pakeha New Zealanders (Europeans).




Maori vocabulary:
Kia Ora – Hello
Kia ora tatou – Hello everyone
Tena koe – Congratulations
Tena Koutou – Welcome
Nau mai – Welcome
Kei te pehea koe? – How are you?
Kei te pai – Well
Tino pai – Alright
Haere ra – Goodbye
Ka kite ano – See you soon (bye)
Hey konei ra – See you later