Group of Māori men performing a welcoming dance

One of the huge attractions of Aotearoa New Zealand is our rich cultural heritage. We’re a multicultural nation where many ethnicities live side by side, but at its core are the customs and traditions of Māori, the original settlers of this great land.

When people imagine New Zealand it’s typically the mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes. And there’s no denying we do those well!  They might have some knowledge of our Māori culture but travellers and immigrants are often surprised by how te ao Māori (the Māori way) is so intricately woven into how we do things here.

When you arrive, you’ll see the language (reo) used in signs and documents, and you’ll hear it in the media. You’ll see artwork, carvings, moko (tattoo) that reflect the unique creativity of Māori artists and describe the story of our people and our country.  You might be welcomed with a pōwhiri, and learn practices (tikanga), songs (waiata), and prayers (karakia).

Feedback from our international doctors is that this can be both daunting and enriching. We encourage you to do your homework before you come, and to not be afraid to ask questions. 

Having cultural awareness is a huge connector between you and your patients, the team you work with, and the community that is looking forward to welcoming you here!

Here are some great resources

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