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New Zealand Maori premier visitor experience

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Old July 31st, 2005, 11:57 PM
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Default New Zealand Maori premier visitor experience

Tourist Attractions at Te Puia (www.tepuia.com)

The New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute - For 38 years,
students from tribes across New Zealand have converged on the New
Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI) at Te Puia to learn
traditions in danger of being lost forever.

Like the pictures of a book, arts and crafts are the pages of the Maori
culture. It's how stories were told and passed down through
generations; how traditions and genealogy were preserved. History was
carved and woven.

Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley - For local Maori, the Whakarewarewa
Valley is more than a natural wonder. According to tribal history, this
was the place where the Goddesses of fire, Te Pupu and Te Hoata,
emerged from the earth's core, inhaling and exhaling, creating the
geysers, hot springs and mud pools.

It is within this valley where the fortress of Te Puia once stood, a
stronghold never taken in battle. And it is here where the descendants
of the ancients still live today, walking and guiding you through a
land more than 40,000 years old.

Kiwi House - The Kiwi House opened as a display centre in 1976 and
spent fledging years learning and understanding the needs of New
Zealand's national icon.

In 1986 Te Puia began receiving injured kiwi, often found in traps or
on roadsides. It became a haven and achieved the highest rate of
recovery and survival for the injured birds.

Because they are extremely sensitive, this is the only place where
photography is not permitted. Yet by coming to Te Puia, visitors
contribute to the kiwi's survival.

Maori Cultural Performances - Stories of old soar to life again through
song. Poi and stick games reveal how favourite past times were, in
fact, training for agility and co-ordination. For everything there was
a purpose, yet the learning was fun.

The spirit of Te Puia's daily Maori Cultural Performances, Kapa Haka,
is to learn, to enjoy and also to be uplifted. Maori performers will
sense the weary and focus their energy intently. It is irresistible!

As the birthplace of tourism in New Zealand, the Rotorua region and its
peoples are known as the tribe of hospitality. It is their trademark
and the performing arts are their speciality.

Guided Tours - At Te Puia, guiding is as natural as humour. It is in
our bones. Many guides are the sons and daughters, grandchildren and
great grandchildren of the guides of old. They tell stories that have
been told for generations and share their own.

The special connection guides have with the land and its' history
ensures tours at Te Puia are unlike any other in New Zealand.

Korero Tuku Iho - For the first time, Te Puia will begin to share
knowledge that has been carefully stored and, at times, fiercely
guarded for generations.

It is the story of creation, an account so ancient it reaches back into
the realms of nothingness - before all life, before all worlds,
before humankind.

"All tribes have their own histories. In Te Arawa, this is our belief
of where we came from, before life as we know it, through the heavens,
into the world of mankind to where we are today. It is the answer to Ko
Wai Ahau? Who Am I?"

History of Te Puia
Te Puia, Maori Culture Tours Rotorua, Rotorua Maori Tourist Attraction
Te Puia, Maori Culture Tours Rotorua, Rotorua Maori Tourist Attraction

Preserving Maori traditions was never just a dream. It was a
frightening and forced reality. For the Maori culture was once on the
brink of being wiped off the face of the earth.

In 1918, an influenza epidemic decimated Maori communities across New
Zealand. Masters of knowledge were lost. The skills of carvers and
weavers were buried with them - and fear stirred. For the traditional
arts and crafts were the chronicles of the culture, carving and weaving
centuries of history, recording families, language and every facet of
every tribe.

In 1926 a group of tauira (students) were chosen to revive the art of
whakairo (carving) at a time when Maori arts and crafts were at risk of
being lost.

In 1963 the Government recognised the real threat to the indigenous
race of New Zealand and passed an Act to encourage, foster, train
students, exhibit works and restore the Maori culture and Maori arts
and crafts.

In 1967, the first carving intake representing tribes throughout the
country entered the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute in
Rotorua. It was built in the reserve of Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal
Valley where tourism had been thriving for more than a century.

Tourism would be the lifeline for the Institute, under the Act it was
required to become self-supporting. To this day, it is visitor revenue
that allows the continued training of young Maori and more.

For further information about Te Puia please visit our Web site

General Enquiries

Hemo Road, Rotorua
PO Box 334, Hemo Road, Rotorua, New Zealand

+64 7 348 9047
Office hours

Summer: 8:00am - 6:00pm
Winter: 8:00am - 5:00pm


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