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Learning Intention:


To understand how navigation has changed over time including an understanding of how to use the stars to find directions and how this knowledge is used in the traditional Māori star compasses 



There are four videos to watch in this learning experience to help you get a feel for how navigation has changed over time. Use the focus questions to help you unpack your learning.   

Why did Kupe say about New Zealand.

Why do you think Sir Hector Busby thought that what Kupe said 'was the reason Māori people lost that knowledge', and what knowledge do you think he was talking about?


What did Sir James Henare say when the Hawaiian double hulled canoe Hōkūlea arrived in Aotearoa in 1985?

Why did Sir Hector Busby set out to build  waka and sail to Rarotonga?

What did the minister of Rarotonga say when when Sir Hector Busby's waka arrived in Rarotonga?

Thanks to NZ Onscreen for the video

Thanks to The Curious Engineer for the video

Thanks to Atlas Pro for the video

Do you think the Vikings actually discovered Iceland, Greenland and America or were they already discovered by the indigenous people that were living there?

How does the comment abut Vikings discovering America compare to comments such as 'Abel Tasman discovered Aotearoa New Zealand'?

How does the way in which Vikings used Ravens compare to how Māori used the sightings of birds to help find land?





Is it correct to say that the stories about the stars from different cultures and different times are wrong? What would be a better word to describe these stories? What stories do Māori have about whetu or stars?

Is Polaris (the North Star) visible from New Zealand? What is our equivalent and what does it point to? How can you find it in the night sky?

How accurate is it to use the setting and rising of the sun as indicators of where East and West are? How could you use the movement of stars at night to help find East and West.




What is the English word for Tokerau? What is the English word for Tonga? What is the English word for Rāwhiti? What is the English word for Uru? 

What are the four main points of the star compass? How many star whare are there in the star compass? What are their names? Where are they positioned on the compass?

Use Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand to find more information about how to use the star compass.

Thanks to Land of Voyagers for the video

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