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New Zealand Travel Tips & Questions

How much Maori culture is left?

Maori culture is still very much alive in New Zealand particularly in certain areas such as the Eastland (North Island) and the Northland (North Island). Although you will very rarely hear Maori spoken there have been huge drives to ensure the language doesn't get lost and many initiatives, including a large growth in language schools, are being implemented accordingly.

Maori place names are everywhere, there are Maori TV stations and you will regularly come across 'maraes' big and small which are the meeting house epicentres of all things social and religious in the Maori communities.

Places such as Rotorua are known as centres for discovering Maori culture but many of the shows are for the benefit of tourists. If you really want to immerse yourself in Maori cultural environments then wander around the towns of the Eastland where in places like Ruatoria you will hear Maori spoken and see older locals with the traditional 'moko' (facial tattoo used to denote status). This tradition is being revived by many younger Maoris too.

Thriving Maori communities are typically found on the North Island and only a small proportion of New Zealand Maoris live on the South Island.