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Learning Intention:


To understand how tangata whenua purposefully migrated over thousands of years from Asia through the Pacific and onto Aotearoa New Zealand. 

To know who is tangata whenua and mana whenua in our rohe and how they came to settle in our place. 



1. Provocation:


The famous painting by Goldie entitled 'The Arrival of Māori in New Zealand' depicts exploration, navigation, and discovery of pacific pathways and new lands, including Aotearoa New Zealand, as haphazard and largely accidental.

Do you agree or disagree? Debate as a class your view points

2. Getting the real oil


There are two videos to watch which help you get the 'real oil' on the thousands of years of purposeful pacific exploration that culminated in Māori migration to New Zealand.

The first of these is a short video by Sir Ian Taylor that summarises the process of exploration that led to the first people settling in Aotearoa New Zealand (and eventually going onto win the America's Cup!)


The second longer video from NZ Onscreen Iwi Whitiāhua is made by Oscar Knightley and Nathan Rawere. In the documentary they use DNA technology to trace their ancestry back from Aotearoa New Zealand, through Rarotonga, Samoa and Vanuatu to Taiwan.


Thanks to Land of Voyagers for the video 

Click to watch at NZ Onscreen

3. Who is tangata whenua and mana whenua in our place?  

Now we have the BIG picture let's look at the specifics of the original settlement of our place.

Te Ara - The New Zealand Encyclopedia states "It was once believed that the ancestors of Māori came to New Zealand in a single ‘great fleet’ of seven canoes. We now know that many canoes made the perilous voyage from Polynesia. Through stories passed down the generations, tribal groups trace their origins to the captains and crew of over 40 legendary vessels, from the Kurahaupō at North Cape to the Uruao in the South Island."

  • Who is tangata whenua and mana whenua in our place?

  • What waka do they whakapapa back to?

  • How did they come to settle in our place? 

(You might like to explore the Wellington City Council digital archive to help answer these questions from a Wellington perspective) 

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