Aotearoa (New Zealand) was first discovered by the legendary Kupe around the year AD 950. Kupe is said to have sailed out of a mythical place called Hawaiki. Aotearoa was later to be inhabited by the Maori around AD 1350, when seven great migratory canoes (whaka) sailed from Hawaiki to New Zealand.
The first European explorer to sight New Zealand was Dutch navigator Abel Tasman on 13 December 1642.
Aotearoa today is going through a revolutionary cultural rebirth. This has been so significant that many indigenous cultures around the world have converged here to get an idea of how this has happened with a view to bringing the ‘recipe’ home.
Before being colonised by the British empire only 150 years ago, Maori lived uninterrupted, isolated from the world for hundreds of years developing and nurturing their art and culture until disease and the first of many land wars with the British would plummet this proud and noble race almost into extinction.
Remarkably Maori have survived and live on with a resilience and persistence that has attracted other indigenous cultures to our shores. Recent events in New Zealand has seen the emergence or a renaissance in the Maori arts, culture and language.
We must acknowledge the supreme being and our ancestors. They are the true authors who paved the way for people to continue the well-trodden pathway towards spiritual enlightenment. As the well-known saying in Maori goes: “He aha te mea nui ki te Ao nei? Maku e ki atu. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. What is most precious in all the world? It is man, it is man, it is mankind. That is you.”