Map my waahi - discovering our shared heritage

In Aotearoa New Zealand, our ancestors all came from another place. Our society is a rich blend of origins, cultures, languages, traditions, religions and foods from all over the world. Early Māori sailed thousands of miles to reach Aotearoa New Zealand. Their routes were preserved in memory or recorded in song. Upon arrival they weaved place names and overland route descriptions into oral histories. These have been passed from generation to generation. Iwi mapping was therefore an oral tradition. The pepeha, for example, is an important form of introduction. It links individuals to their tribal roots and significant landmarks. The forerunner to the Global Positioning System (GPS)!

Join us as we explore the diverse heritage of a classroom, their stories and how they came to Aotearoa New Zealand. Meet with their parents and understand some of the challenges they faced in making this country their home. Your guides will be other students who have been using digital maps to create a record of their origins and the places that support their identity.

A New Reading of Tupaia's Chart, by Anne di Piazza & Erik Pearthree

One of the most intriguing artefacts brought back to Europe from Cook’s voyages in the Pacific is a map, Tupaia’s Chart, catalogued in the British Museum as a “Chart of the Society Islands with Otaheite in the center July-Aug 1769”. After decades of close, focused work on Tupaia’s Chart, it still cannot be read as a Mercator projection.

Many islands, even archipelagos seem to be misplaced. Could it be that Tupaia simply failed to solve the problem of converting his view of the Ocean world onto a twodimensional map, with a scale and azimuths?

In this paper, we propose a different reading of his Chart, a reading that is in accordance with how traditional Pacific navigators conceived of their sea environment, i.e., through memorised lists of “relevant pairs of islands plus so-called ‘star courses’ between these islands”. We conclude that Tupaia’s Chart, while having the appearance of a map, is in fact a mosaic of sailing directions or plotting diagrams drawn on paper, similar to those made by master navigators tracing lines in the sand or arranging pebbles on a mat to instruct their pupils.

Tupapa

Our ancestors journeyed from Polynesia to Turanganui-a-Kiwa (Gisborne) more than 700 years ago. Tupapa: Our Stand. Our Story is a project to tell our rich, interwoven stories that have been passed down about the first people to navigate to and inhabit this place.

Barney Whiterats by Glenn Colquhoun

Barney Whiterats was a famous swagman who spent nearly forty years travelling the roads of Southland and Canterbury. At the time – from the 1870s right through until the 1930s – there were a lot of swagmen in New Zealand. They walked from place to place, looking for work and a meal, and maybe a bed for the night.
This aspect of our history brings to mind the homeless people in our society today, and the different way other people treat them.

The Remarkable Reti by Kiwa Hammon and Duane Culshaw

A reti is a fishing device, used by Ngāti Pāhauwera to catch kahawai on the Mōhaka River. The iwi regard the reti as a taonga, and the article provides a great example of how traditions, along with stories and waiata, are handed down through the generations.

Matariki and Navigation - Kupe, Cook and Today

The 2019 sestercentennial commemoration of Captain Cook's first visit, called Tuia 250 First Encounters, is a time to reflect on the skills and knowledge of the people who discovered and founded Aotearoa New Zealand.
Matariki was originally a solar celebration that marked the solstice and let people commemorate dead and think about new year. Matariki means the eye of the Ariki, as the small star cluster rises just before dawn in early June from the same point that the Sun rises on the north-eastern horizon. This heralds the Māori New Year: a perfect time for our journey of discovery to explore the significance of Matariki; to appreciate the importance of stars in early navigation; to paddle a traditional waka; to explore Cook's landing sites; to use 18th century navigation and charting techniques, and to see how they compare with modern marine navigation and charting.

Dawn Raids in NZOnScreen

This documentary chronicles a shameful passage in NZ race relations: the controversial mid-70s raids on the homes and workplaces of alleged Pacific Island overstayers. Director Damon Fepulea’i examines its origins in Pacific Island immigration during full employment in the 1960s, when a blind eye was turned to visa restrictions. As times got tougher, that policy changed to include random street checks by police, despite official denials. Resistance by activists and media coverage helped end a policy which has had a long-term effect on the Pacific Island community.

Roadside Stories by Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Roadside Stories is a series of audio guides that follow major road trips in New Zealand. The stories cover the places you’ll pass along the way – their people, their history, their cultural and natural significance.

The star compass – kāpehu whetū in The Science Learning Hub

Like the Sun, stars rise in the eastern horizon and set in the western horizon. Navigators who know the direction and position in which the stars rise and set can use the horizon as a compass. Knowledge of the night sky is the most important of the mental constructs of knowledge needed for wayfinding. The star compass was devised to help navigators memorise this knowledge.

Kupe in the Hokianga - Roadside Stories by Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Hokianga Harbour was the departure point of legendary Māori navigator Kupe when he returned to his homeland of Hawaiki. Kupe is said to have left behind two taniwha (water spirits), which guided the safe landing of later Polynesian arrivals.

Matakohe kauri - Roadside Stories by Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Northland was once covered in magnificent kauri forests - but almost all were logged after Europeans arrived in New Zealand. Felling the giant trees was dangerous work, and dams were built so the logs could be floated down rivers. Today a museum at Matakohe showcases the history of kauri forests and their exploitation.

The Canoe Is The People

The stars can never go wrong.
Thousands of years ago, when most sailors were still hugging the coast, the island peoples of the Pacific held the knowledge and skills to explore the great ocean paths extending far beyond their homes. Modern instruments didn't exist - no compasses, no radio, no radar (a system that uses electromagnetic waves to locate surrounding objects), no GPS (Global Positioning System, a handheld computer that tells your position by communicating with satellites). The Pacific peoples found their way across the ocean, guided by the wind, waves, stars, and sea life. Voyage into this website to find out more…
Includes teacher and student guides.