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Māori Welcomes


Māori Whakataū - lndividuals / Families 

See the Central Otago land first travelled by the Māori people and learn about the customs and traditions that still thrive with a mihi whakataū/welcome. We'll visit an area where the first non-Māori people—European settlers guided by the chief of the Tuturau—visited in 1853. You'll connect to Māori culture as you experience the Wero/Challenge laid down by a Māori warrior brandishing a Taiaha and learn the traditional Hongi greeting—where you press your nose and forehead together with another person—and why it is done. I'll explain to you the Haka, a Māori dance specific to the region of Central Otago, and explain what each action means. The Mihi Whakataū will take place even in light rain as the Maori of the 1700’s did not have access to rain jackets and neither shall I. Experience the authenticity and originality as it should be. PS I can provide umbrellas.There are 2 different meeting points for this experience and you will be advised of the meeting point the day before your Māori Welcome date is scheduled. Both locations are relatively close together.

inova Corporate Māori Welcome Hilton May 2023.jpg

Māori Whakataū - Conferences/Group

The Māori Whakataū/Welcome will connect you to the whenua/land and start a conference or group welcome with the intent of facing front on all challenges we all face as a group, business, individuals. It will build a bond of togetherness/whānau/family, and leave you feeling vitalised for the conference. The time range for these can go from 10/15min for conferences to 30/45min for more in-depth connection to Central Otago.


REVIEW: We would like to extend our gratitude to Joe Waide (Māori tribal warrior) who’s presentation and cultural performance yesterday, were outstanding.

What better way to formally welcome our delegates and attendees (all Aussies) and to show our respect, our acknowledgment and admiration to the history, the heritage, to the Land, the culture and to the ancestry and people of Queenstown, via Joe’s ‘reception greeting’. Haere mai, ngā manuhiri tūārangi
And Joe performed his ‘traditional welcome greeting’ with passion, with pride, with dignity and with a great deal of enthusiasm. It also brought about a sense of complete respect for each of us during the ‘ceremony’ – including the acceptance and receiving the branch, the Hongi etc. 

I was most impressed by this Hongi and ceremony and the commentary and feedback from our delegates has been extremely positive and ever-so respectful as well.

So, we extend our many thanks to Joe and wish him all the very best. It certainly created and enhanced the Opening Address and Welcome to Congress. We will have no hesitation to recommend him for future events and obviously, if we are to return to Q’town, we will seek him out again.

Kind regards,

Mark Stephen
Managing Director

Civitas Services Australia


Māori Whakataū - Weddings

This is a Wedding welcome group option to the beautiful Central Otago region of Wānaka and Queenstown with a set fee regardless of the number of your guests. This is more personalised towards YOUR wedding and to provide your guests with a unique Māori culture experience to include in your special day here in New Zealand. This is from experience more suited to the day(s) before the wedding day where guests have gathered together for a pre-wedding get together, so the wedding day is about YOU.  If you can't see suitable availability, send me a message or email to check availability.

REVIEW: My husband and I were very fortunate to have Joe Waide from WanaHaka perform a Whakatau for our wedding in Queenstown, this entailed a beautiful Whaikorero (opening greeting), Haka (traditional maori war dance) and hongi (greeting). I found Joes number via the WanaHaka website and since the first call he made the whole process so personal and seamless. Joe’s performance was strong, powerful and deeply moving. I am a kiwi with Maori ancestry but husband is Australian as are his parents thus they had no idea what to expect with having a maori ceremony proceeding the celebrants ceremony, needless to say they and my other guests were completely blown away with the energy Joe brought to his performance. Joe is an absolute gentleman and so accommodating, he explains everything in thorough detail and personalises his performance to suit your needs. I really cannot recommend Joe highly enough, especially if you are looking for a beautiful “kiwi” edge to your wedding or to any function for that matter.

Thanks again Joe you bloody legend! x


Māori Welcome Corporate Reviews

Māori welcome Corporate Queenstown

"We organise a lot of First Nations welcomes in Australia for all the events we produce and we all had to say that was one of the most wonderful experiences. Your energy, passion, humour and the education elements were in perfect balance. We all have a much deeper understanding of Maori culture."

– Fourth Wall, Sydney, Australia at QT Hotel, Queenstown

 A truly unforgettable experience from start to finish.

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