The story of how New Zealand was discovered

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A captivating tale of exploration and adventure.

Around the 13th century, the Polynesian explorer Kupe is believed to have discovered New Zealand. Legend has it that Kupe set out on a daring voyage from his homeland Hawaiki (often considered to be in the vicinity of modern-day Polynesia) in pursuit of a legendary giant octopus known as Te Wheke-a-Muturangi.

During his voyage, Kupe navigated the vast Pacific Ocean, encountering numerous challenges and adventures. After a perilous journey, he finally reached the shores of a new land, which he named Aotearoa, meaning “Land of the Long White Cloud.”

Upon returning to Hawaiki, Kupe shared stories of his discovery, sparking the interest of others who later voyaged to explore and settle in this new land. This migration by the Polynesian ancestors of the Maori people is considered one of the key events in New Zealand’s early history.

This story of Kupe’s daring exploration and discovery continues to be celebrated in Maori folklore, highlighting the bravery and adventurous spirit of those early seafarers who first set foot on the shores of Aotearoa.
It’s a tale that showcases the courage and determination of ancient explorers, and it’s a significant part of New Zealand’s rich cultural narrative.

Please see some of the best movies about early settles and Maory people in New Zealand:

1.The Piano” (1993) – Directed by Jane Campion, this Academy Award-winning film is set in the 19th century and tells the story of a mute Scottish woman, Ada McGrath, and her daughter, who arrive in New Zealand for an arranged marriage. The film beautifully captures the rugged landscapes and the challenges faced by early settlers.

2.“Once Were Warriors” (1994) – Directed by Lee Tamahori, this powerful film delves into contemporary Maori life in urban New Zealand. It explores social issues and cultural conflicts within a Maori family.

3.“Whale Rider” (2002) – Directed by Niki Caro, this heartwarming film follows a young Maori girl who challenges traditional gender roles and strives to fulfill her destiny as the leader of her people. It portrays the Maori culture and the connection with nature.

4.“The Dead Lands” (2014) – Directed by Toa Fraser, this action film set in pre-colonial New Zealand follows a Maori chieftain’s son who seeks vengeance for his father’s murder and restores honor to his tribe. It incorporates Maori customs and traditions.

5.“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” (2016) – Directed by Taika Waititi, this comedy-drama tells the story of a rebellious foster child and his reluctant foster uncle who become the targets of a manhunt in the New Zealand bush. While not directly about early settlers, it captures the stunning landscapes and the Kiwi spirit.

These films offer a mix of historical settings, cultural insights, and contemporary tales that provide glimpses into life in New Zealand, its landscapes, and the challenges faced by its people across different eras.

I hope you enjoy the films and you will have something to talk about with your future workmates in New Zealand, as the first 3 films most New Zealanders have seen.

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