1989 was the year it all began. Doug and Mike Tamaki forged a turning point for tourism in Rotorua and forever changed the way people from around the world experienced cultural storytelling. Two kiwi cowboys doing things a bit differently. From old school buses to hot-rod Harleys and roundabout sing-alongs, a new storyline was unfolding and the families, couples, the globetrotters from near and far were all on board the one-of-a-kind Tamaki Māori Village experience.
Now 30 years later, Tamaki has become an iconic brand in tourism – a leading force that pioneers and inspires through authentic and meaningful cultural experiences that the world continues to applaud and celebrate. Tamaki Māori Village is the most award-winning cultural attraction in New Zealand and was voted the 7th best experience in the world by TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice award in 2018.
At the heart of Tamaki Māori Village are our three pou or pillars.
Mana Whenua (The Land), Mana Tangata (The People), and Mana Atua (The Spirit), each feather of our emblem represents a diﬀerent aspect of our pou.
Known as the song bird of Aotearoa, the Tūī were traditionally trained to recite greetings, prayers, and proverbs while mimicking the tones of their Chief. Their ability to communicate bestowed upon them the status of a Manu Rangatira – a chiefly bird. The Tūī are known to Māori as messengers and so these intelligent birds resonate well with the storytellers of Tamaki Māori Village. They are a beautiful representation of our people and values.
If you look closely at our Tūī, you will see its circular form is not fully enclosed. The white space between the feathers and its beak pay homage to you our valued manuhiri, our guests. As you flow throughout our village we nurture you with our stories and our knowledge.
It is our manuhiri who complete who we are at Tamaki Māori Village.
This is our company whakatauki, a proverb so completely expressive and depictive of the values we live and breathe here.
“Very enjoyable evening witnessing the Māori performance... the dinner was a sumptuous feast and a gastronomical delight... everyone overeats at this place.”
“Loved this tour. It was so much fun to be included and take part in the cultural experience, not just watch it. Definitely take the bus trip, it was a great way to start and finish. The meal was hearty and delicious.”
“Went for the tour and dinner. A wonderful experience to get an understanding of the culture. Each station explained another activity and element of the Māori. Everything was in period and interactive. Even dinner was traditional and cooked as the Māori would have.”
“We attended the show and hangi...and loved everything about it. My cousins from the UK also thought it was wonderful and very informative with regards to the Māori culture. A great learning experience. We loved the hangi...beautifully cooked. Well worth the money and we would take any overseas visitors to this evening.”
“This was an excellent introduction to the culture and traditions of the Māori. Everyone was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Food was much better than expected and plentiful. Tutorials and demonstrations were fun and informative. Highly recommend.”
“We took my cousin from the U.K down to Rotorua and had heard good things from other family that had visited. WOW! Blew us out of the water! I learnt a lot, had a lot of fun and a great feed. Also the bus drive there and back with Davey was HIGHLY entertaining. Would highly recommend in future.”