for the Whale Rider
- Māori are the tangata whenua - the indigenous people of the land - of New Zealand and their culture is an integral part of New Zealand life. About 15% of the population of 3.8 million is of Māori descent.
- Māori culture first-hand in many parts of the country, including Rotorua where Māori first began introducing visitors to their culture in the early 19th century.
- The Māori language is considered a national taonga (treasure) and is spoken by around 23 percent of New Zealanders.
- The language is undergoing a revival, with initiatives like Māori Language Week, Māori language schools (from pre-school through to high school) and a Māori language television station all playing a role in growing Te Reo.
Today, about 530'000 Maoris live in New Zealand. Because of the high numbers of mixed marriages between Maoris and white people (the „Pakeha“), there live very few Maori of pure Maori descent now.
Nowadays, the Maoris are included in political, economic and social institutions, for example the New Zealand Maori Council, the Maori Women’s Welfare League and the Maori Education Foundation.