Maori Culture
‘Kanohi ki te kanohi’ ‘one on one’.

Poronui offers a unique opportunity for guests to spend time with members of the Ngati Tuwharetoa tribe, ‘Ka nohi ki te kanohi’ a one on one personal manner

Ka nohi ki te ka nohi, a real opportunity for interested guests to learn how the Maori existed, how they kept their culture and traditions alive for centuries and how they gathered, stored and cooked food.

Tom Loughlin owner operator of ‘Kai Waho’ shares an experience that is a well respected cultural experience in the neighbouring valley. Tom shares his culture in a very relaxed way, during a guided bush walk or a traditional cooking demonstration.

Guests have the opportunity to find out more about what guided and sustained an indigenous lifestyle.

Kai Waho translates as ‘Outdoor Foods’ and put simply is a ‘foody’ experience but enhanced with layers of traditional cooking demonstrations, traditional fishing demonstrations and a contemporary view on traditional foods. Kai Waho has been nominated as ‘No 35’ in the top 100 global experiences and described the food as a fusion of traditional and contemporary, and the depth of the cultural existence as ‘Total learning’

About the Ngati Tuwharetoa

The Ngati Tuwharetoa people name themselves as descendants of the people who came to Aotearoa in the great Arawa canoe. The navigator of Te Arawa was a powerful tohunga or high priest by the name of Ngatiroirangi. After landfall in the Bay of Plenty, Ngatiroirangi led a group of his people inland looking for a place they could call their own. He claimed the mountains of Tongariro for his people, now known as Ngati Tuwharetoa.

Present day Ngāti Tūwharetoa take their name from a powerful chief who lived near present-day Kawerau during the 16th century. Tūwharetoa was renowned as a warrior and a very wise man. He was tall and handsome and also became an expert carver, carving many ornate buildings for his people.

Sir Tumu te Heuheu (Te Heuheu Tukino VIII), a descendant of Tūwharetoa and Paramount Chief of Ngati Tuwharetoa, was named the Chair of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in 2006.

Sir Tumu’s ancestor, Horonuku Patatai (Te Heuheu Tukino IV) gifted the mountains to the south of Lake Taupo to the New Zealand government in 1887 for a national park. Those mountains - Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu, were transferred to the Crown on 23 September 1887. Due to the foresight of Horonuku

and his people, Tongariro National Park was the first park to be established in New Zealand and the fourth in the world. Today, the original 2,640 hectares is now approximately 79,598 hectares and known throughout New Zealand and the world as ‘Tongariro National Park’.

Tongariro was the first national park formed in New Zealand, the fourth in the world, and the first national park in the world to be gifted by a country's indigenous people.

It was Sir Hepi Te Heuheu, Tumu’s father, who advocated that Māori control their own issues. As one of the more prominent Māori leaders in New Zealand today, Sir Tumu Te Heuheu continues the work of his father with his people and at a national level, and has been active in the field of world heritage.

Poronui is truly honored to be able to work with the forward-thinking Ngāti Tūwharetoa and offer this cultural experience to visitors.

Kai Waho Activities on Poronui

The ‘Hikoi’ is a popular guided bush walk which includes a stone grilled lunch demonstrating one of the cooking methods of the Maori people.

The ‘Hangi’ experience a Maori feast for groups of up to 20 guests and is the most popular cooking method used by the Polynesian people throughout the pacific. The feast and the conversation around the table is an ideal way to finish the day on Poronui.

The ‘Wananga’ personalised day trips available for guests wanting a more in-depth view of the Maori people, discussions and possible visits with local Maori artists and marae in the Taupo region.


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