Manaki Whenua, Manaki Tangata, Haere Whakamua (Care for the
land, Care for people, Go forward)
call New Zealand
'Aotearoa,' the Land of the Long White Cloud. The Maori are
descended from people who originally populated the Pacific
Maori are closely linked in culture and language to the Maori of
the Cook Islands, the Maohi of Te Ao Maohi (French Polynesia), the
people of Rapanui (known as Easter Island) and the Kanaka Maoli
of Hawaii and the Western Polynesian region.
Maori first arrived via waka hourua (voyaging canoes)
in several waves between 800-1,300 AD. They settled throughout the
land, surviving by farming and hunting. By 1800 there were more
than 100,000 Maori in New Zealand.
Matariki is the name for the Pleiades
star cluster or the Seven Sisters. The Maori New Year is marked
by the rising of Matariki and coinciding with new moon in late May
TREATY OF WAITANGI
In 1840 Maori chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the
Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria
while retaining territorial rights. This treaty is considered New
Zealand's founding document and established British law in New Zealand,
while at the same time guaranteeing Maori authority over their land
and culture. The treaty is unique in the world as a founding document
that is not just about conquest.
Every year on February 6, New Zealand marks the signing of the
treaty with celebrations throughout the country and in Waitangi.
The day was first officially commemorated in 1934 and has been a
public holiday since 1974.
Maori Language Week has its origins with day that the Maori Language
petition was presented on the steps of Parliament in 1972 by Nga
Tamatoa and Te Reo Maori Society. On August 1, 1987, the Maori Language
Act was passed, establishing The Maori Language Commission, now
known as Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori.