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Witi Ihimaera. Whale Rider is his first novel to be made into a movie. 1973- 1989 worked as a diplomat in New Zealand. 1990 began teaching at University of Auckland. Works focus on problems within modern Maori society. New Zealand. 1250 miles southeast of Australia.

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Witi Ihimaera

  • Whale Rider is his first novel to be made into a movie.
  • 1973- 1989 worked as a diplomat in New Zealand.
  • 1990 began teaching at University of Auckland
  • Works focus on problems within modern Maori society
new zealand
New Zealand

1250 miles southeast of Australia

Population est. 4,076,140

Capital- Wellington

About the size of Colorado

new zealand history
New Zealand History
  • Maoris inhabited around 1000
  • Britain annexed in 1840
    • Treaty of Waitangi
  • 1841- Declared Sovereignty
  • 1904- Became part of the British Common Wealth
fun facts
Fun Facts
  • New Zealanders are also called Kiwis
  • First place in the world to allow women to vote
  • Longest Place Name still in use:


  • Aotearoa- Maori name means “long white cloud”
whare runanga
Whare Runanga

“Counsel house”

Sacred buildings

Focal point of tribal customs

Named after important ancestor

Speak to buildings as a person

maori art
Maori Art


Practiced among high ranking people

Marked rites of passage

Carved skin with chisels not punctured

Women tattooed on chin and lips


Maori Art


Told legends

Represent unrealistic human forms

Symbolic of family status and genealogy


Maori Art


Woven with New Zealand flax

Looms not used

Still important cultural significance

  • Traditional Song and Dance
  • Originally performed by warriors before a battle, proclaiming their strength and prowess in order to intimidate the opposition
  • Thought of as war dances; have different purposes
  • Part of formal or official welcome ceremonies for distinguished visitors or foreign dignitaries, serving to impart a sense of the importance of the occasion.
  • All Black ruby team performs at beginning of every game

Click here to view Haka demonstration