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.

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 Voyage Out, by John Wilson

From the Scottish port of Greenock to Dunedin in New Zealand’s South Island is close to 20,000 kilometres – as far as you could travel to start a new life. By sailing ship, the journey took months. Voyagers endured boredom, terror, and misery, and with only the vast, unpredictable ocean to look at. Many of those who stepped on board owned few possessions, but they had what it took: plenty of courage and hope.

New Zealand History topic in National Library Services to Schools

The Māori were the first settlers of Aotearoa, followed by the Europeans. Discover the history of New Zealand’s landscape, its people, events, places, identity, and cultures from sites like Te Ara, Te Papa, DigitalNZ, and NZ History. SCIS no. 1808403.

My Place, by Janice Marriott

Jeromie and Jelintha have come to a New Zealand city from rural Papua New Guinea. Ryan lives on a farm that his family has owned for generations. The MacLean family is travelling around the country in a camper van. And Ruiha lives in an outer suburb of Wellington but commutes to school in the city. This text explores what “home” means to all these people. It includes information about their daily routines and the challenges they face. Quotes from interviews pepper the report, and key ideas are highlighted visually.
(Teacher support materials only)

Home: Stories from New New Zealanders, by Kate Paris

Home: stories from New New Zealanders tells the stories of four Avondale Intermediate students who moved to New Zealand from overseas. Interviewed by their teacher, Kate Paris, the students share memories of what life was like in the countries where they were born (South Africa, Sāmoa, Pakistan, and Kenya), and they discuss what it’s been like adjusting to life in New Zealand. The article explores the issues in a simple and accessible way, incorporating clear narration with students’ quotes and striking photography.

New New Zealanders, by Adrienne Jansen

This article introduces readers to a family who have escaped war-torn countries in the Middle East and have now embraced the freedom and safety that New Zealand offers. However, settling as refugees has its own challenges. We learn about the reasons the Kaka family had to move from Iraq to Syria, on to Lebanon, and then to New Zealand.

My Name is Rez, by Toby Morris

Rez Gardi was born in a Kurdish refugee camp in Pakistan and came to New Zealand as a young child, with her family. This graphic text is a memoir, looking back on her life so far. She is now a successful lawyer, a worker for refugees, and was the 2017 Young New Zealander of the year.

Alvin and Me, by Chris Tse

Themes of culture, difference, Chinese NZers, race, relationships, respect, and identity. "A week before Alvin arrived, I got summoned to the principal’s office. I was a good kid. I never got into trouble. I was sure I’d done nothing wrong. But still, I couldn’t help worrying..."

Ramadan is Coming, by Marita Vandenberg

Obay’s family has come to New Zealand from Saudi Arabia. The article describes his family’s daily life, then focuses on the activities that occur at Ramadan. Obay and his brothers attend regular school, and their mother maintains their Arabic learning at home.