WanaHaka® Māori Whakatau / Welcome

The Māori Whakatau / Welcome to Wanaka and Queenstown is to connect you with the indigenous Māori culture of New Zealand. You will connect with the culture of New Zealand and learn more about Māori tikanga / protocol.

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Greeted with a welcoming challenge by a Māori Warrior with Taiaha. You are welcomed by the Tangata Whenua (people of the land) being a Manuhiri (visitor). 

Then the verbal connection to the land with Whaikōrero is formal speech making and is normally performed acknowledging the:

  • Land
  • Wharenui (ancestral meeting house)
  • The dead (our ancestors) 
  • The people present
  • The reason for gathering

Māori take great pride in hosting Manuhiri (Visitors) and this is delivered through Manaakitanga / Hospitality. 

The Māori are guardians and stewards of the land, holding it in sacred trust for our mokopuna (grandchildren) to inherit in years to come. It is important that we at WanaHaka® empower you on your travels through New Zealand to also be guardians and protectors of our land through Kaitiakitanga/protectors of the land. 

The Hongi (press noses) is the traditional Māori greeting and is a sign of peace, life and well being and represents a connection between people and the Tangata Whenua (people of the land). The Hongi is a gentle pressing of noses which creates a connection and the "Ha"- the breath of life, between two people. WanaHaka embraces this Māori custom because we want you to experience the authenticity of Māori culture in New Zealand and Wanaka and to embrace the physical connection to the land. 

The Haka is a traditional Māori dance. Māori haka are performed for various reasons, such as celebrating an achievement, welcoming distinguished guests, or as a pre-battle challenge. Contrary to popular belief, a haka is not always a war dance, and may be performed by both men and women.

The cultural haka performed at WanaHaka is a specifically designed haka that pays respect to the Whenua (land) and Whanau (family/people) of the Wanaka and Central Otago region and is unique to this area so is very Tapu (sacred) and limited in its presentation. 

The two Haka delivered like everything else will be broken down into English and all the actions and what they represent so you leave educated and empowered. 

 Finally, A brief history of Southern Māori is then discussed and the integration of Europeans into the Wanaka and surrounding areas leading into the advent of the Gold Rush in Central Otago from the 1860’s to modern society.


Usually for Weddings or Conference events. It is also an education and not just an experience as each Tikanga I break down so ALL guests get a better understanding of the importance of each.

Physical Address

103 Ardmore street, Wanaka, New Zealand


$15.00 to $275.00

The Māori Whakatau/Welcome starts at $15.00 for children and is $30 for adults. The Wedding or conference Māori Whakatau is $275.00.

Mon-Fri 9:00AM – 5:00PM
Saturday 9:00AM – 5:00PM
Sunday Closed
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