Story of some Brits living in New Zealand for the Southern Hemisphere Winter in 2004
(Recent Entries Here)

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Maori New Year - Matariki

We went along to the Maori New Year celebrations in the middle of Christchurch this weekend but were a little surprised by the lack of people there.

Ann-Marie struggles through the crowd!

The NZ Herald reports,
Just a few years ago Matariki was an event that most New Zealanders and even Maori had never heard of. NZ Herald Article - 17th June 2004

Well in Christchurch it seems this is still quite an unheard of celebration! Very little going on. Some poor guy on stage had to just wing it, making up the words as he went, because the Maori cultural band were off playing sport somewhere. "That is good", he graciously said, "as Maori like playing sport".

Still not sure of the state of Maori/European integration here. When we arrived in New Zealand we expected to see a model integration, full of mutual respect and understanding. The reality is respectful of culture but not without certain undercurrents, which would be nice to understand a bit better.


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