He Tangata Experience was inspired by a team who had a passion to showcase the Maori culture in the South Island, and combine it with the delicacy of seafood (kaimoana).
Located in Nga Hau e Wha National Marae, He Tangata offers daily tours immersing participants in Maori protocol, cultural performance and kapa haka.
Urs was so lucky to be invited and experience this first hand:
Powhiri (or Welcoming Ceremony).
Jasmine - our guide for the evening - chooses one male out of the group to represent the group and act as a Chief (tribe leader). We were then lead onto the Marae and into the wharenui (main meeting house) itself.
It's a very impressive, modern building where most Maori Tribes in NZ are acknowledged and represented by their tupuna (ancestors) alongside our European ancestors including Captain Cook and Abel Tasman.
We were all seated, with men in the front rows to protect women and children, and enjoyed the songs and kapa haka (Maori performance act). The light shows added to the drama and it was very enjoyable.
Capturing the moment for Facebook or Instagram is important, and lucky for us there's an opportunity to get a photo with the performers.
After the show, we're lead into a large hall where we were greeted with the smell of food. A delicious Hangi buffet was served and more entertainment from the Kapa Haka Group. At one point, we're all invited to join on stage and learn about poi and haka skills first hand. This can be daunting, but was HEAPS of fun!
I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and talking to other visitors on the tour. It looked like everyone was impressed as I was with the quality of the performances and the food as well. The team at He Tangata were all really friendly, welcoming, helpful and had a great sense of humour.
Thank you so much! It was an evening to remember."