We use cookies to ensure we give you the best experience of our website. By accepting, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our privacy policy.

COVID-19: What you need to know
Official information for international students

Matt Le stands outside the front gate of a marae in Auckland, preparing to visit and learn more about Maori culture

Visiting a Marae

Matt Le visited a marae (meeting house) in Auckland. He participated in a pōwhiri welcome, and learned about the Māori concepts of manaakitanga and kaitiakitanga.

What is a pōwhiri?

When you visit a marae in New Zealand, you will experience a pōwhiri. The pōwhiri is a traditional process of introduction and welcome that allows marae guests and hosts (tangata whenua) to get to know one another.

Before entering a marae for the first time, visitors wait outside the gate to be greeted with a karanga (formal welcome call) that invites them onto the marae grounds. 

Next, whaikōrero (formal speeches) can be held outside or inside the meetig house (wharenui). Representatives from the hosts and the visitors will speak to introduce themselves and the group. After each speech there is a waiata (song).

Following the speeches, visitors are invited to shake hands and hongi (press noses) with the hosts. 

The pōwhiri process finishes with a shared meal to lift the tāpu (sacredness) of the occasion. 

Watch the video above to see these traditions in action!

The visitors are called onto the marae with a karanga

The visitors are called onto the marae with a karanga

What is manaakitanga?

When Matt asked Tama Davis from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei about the Māori concept of manaakitanga, he described it like this:

"Manaakitanga is about great preparation - making sure you're aware of who's coming into your space; and making those people comfortable, and that place inviting and easy to interact in."

Manaakitanga can also be described as hospitality and showing respect and care for others. 

The hongi is a sign of manaakitanga - a shared understanding and respect

The hongi is a sign of manaakitanga - a shared understanding and respect

What is kaitiakitanga?

Kaitiakitanga means guardianship. In Māori culture there are very strong links between people and the land, and people are considered guardians of the land. 

Tama says: "Kaitiakitanga is really about being a responsible steward (caretaker) of the spaces and the places that you inhabit. So it's about your environment. Kaitiakitanga is not about the here and now. It's about making sure that the here and now is still here for your grandchildren's grandchildren." 

Group photo outside the front of the wharenui

Kaitiakitanga is about preserving the environment for future generations

Start your education journey today
Find your study match
matthew le study in new zealand blog

By Matthew Le"Get up, dress up, show up. Never give up! Urgh, scratch that. I'm just trying to GROW UP"

Updated 1 year ago

Hey, I’m Matthew. Born and raised in Vietnam. I spent the last 2 years in high school here in New Zealand. And now, I’m an international student at the University of Auckland.

I am turning 19 soon. And I don’t like that. So… I’ve decided to live the last few months of being 18 by the "Theory of YES". Saying YES to things that scare the heck out of me.

You can follow my journey here on the Study in New Zealand blog, or on Facebook @studyinnewzealand

*Views expressed are the blogger's own
Share this article

Keep in touch. Don't miss out on the latest posts.

Subscribe to Blog

Stay in touch

For personalised tips and tools for studying in New Zealand.

Please complete all of the fields below.

Please enter a valid email address.

Please enter a first name.

Please enter a last name.

Please select a country.

Please select a valid date (MM/YYYY).

this includes the existence, status and outcome of any visa application I submit, for use in accordance with, and for the purposes set out in, Education New Zealand’s Privacy Policy which I have read and understood. The results Education New Zealand receives may also include visa decisions pre/post the student visa application (such as a work visa post study). This will enable us to provide a more personalised digital experience and undertake research and analytical studies associated with our functions.

You can unsubscribe at any time By submitting this form I agree to Education New Zealand Privacy Policy, and to receive updates and marketing communications about their services, promotions, special offers, new and events.

Thanks for subscribing

Close
Tohu icon

Kia ora! Get answers to your questions about studying in New Zealand

Learn More