An intro to Aotearoa

Aotearoa or New Zealand as many people like to call it is a country that is one of the three points residing in the Polynesian Triangle. It is famous for its striking sceneries; that also include of volcanoes and sandy beaches.

How was Aotearoa inhabited?

Maori legends tell us that the first explorer to land in Aotearoa was a man named Kupe. He used his waka hourua (voyaging canoe) to help him cross the Pacifc from his homeland Hawaiki, also using stars and ocean currents as guides. It is believed that Kupe arrived at Hokianga Harbour, Northland around 1000 years ago. It is also believed that Maori people come from many Polynesian islands in the South Pacific Ocean.

Te Pehi kupe

Aotearoa's Colonization

Though it was a Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman who was the first to look at Aotearoa, it was the British who colonized it. In 1769 the British explorer James Cook arrived on this island, completely controlling it during 19th and early 20th centuries, because of the diminishing numbers of Maori population and the large amount of British people.

What is the Waitangi treaty?

The Waitangi treaty is a important scroll of paper that needs to be signed by all Maori chiefs and representatives of the British Crown. The three aspects of the Waitangi treaty are:

  • That the Queen or King of Great Britain has the right to rule over New Zealand.
  • That Maori chiefs would keep their land and their chieftainships, and would agree to sell their land only to the British monarch.
  • That all Maori would have the same rights as British subjects.
The place the waitangi treaty was signed

What is the climate like in Aotearoa?

The far north of Aotearoa has subtropical weather throughout summer and in the mountainous zones of the south the temperature can hit as low as -10 C in the winter. As most of the country is quite close to the coast, there will be mild temperatures, moderate rainfall and plenty of sunshine.

What is the Maori tradition?

Maori people are known as the indigenous people of Aotearoa. Some of their traditions are:

  • Telling stories
  • Dancing (Haka)
  • Visiting Marae
Maori Greeting

The myth of Aotearoa

It is believed by the Maori people that the powerful demigod Maui fished up the North island of Aotearoa with a hook from a magical ancestral jawbone. If you can see from the map below the North island looks like a fish, and the South known as Maui's canoe.

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