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Matauranga Maori - Adaptations from our ancestors

Updated: Jun 3

Just like our endemic and native animals and plants have adapted to suit NZ’s unique environment, so have we -humans!

All humans, who now live in Aotearoa, will have come from families who migrated here. Some arrived hundreds of years ago, including Maori, who sailed from Polynesia.


Maori were fantastic seafarers. One of their most important tools was rope. When they arrived in New Zealand, they quickly discovered that the plants they would usually use to make rope from, did not grow in their new found home. They had to adapt to utilise the resources that were on offer to them in the new land and soon found that harakeke was a great substitute!


Maori have a deep relationship to the land. Maramataka (Maori Lunar Calendar) taught Maori what to do and when, such as; when the best time was to fish, harvest food and other activities in the natural world. This enabled Maori to live WITH the land so neither the environment nor Maori would be disadvantaged by the other.



Challenge! Can you make your own flax rope and use it instead of store brought rope? Give it a go and show us how you put it to good use.




Thank you Riki Bennett for sharing your expertise and time with us for the Eye on Nature 2020 School Days Matauranga Maori lesson plan!