Guests can expect to see cultural elements incorporated into all aspects of the event, from the set-up of the exhibition, through to the welcoming ceremonies.
Aside from MEETINGS, there are plenty of places to experience Māori culture throughout New Zealand, such as the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
While the Museum has been developed and updated since its beginnings in the 1920s, its cultural influence remains strong throughout the venue.
Event sales manager Jenn Haliday says the cultural element is an integral part of the Museum’s identity.
“It has grown, along with Auckland city, but it’s very iconic and very much loved as an institution,” she says.
“In terms of other venues in Auckland, there’s nothing else like it. We have eight variable spaces, and they’re all quite different from each other.”
Haliday says the Māori culture is a key element of New Zealand’s society and “a core aspect of who we are as people”.
The Museum’s Māori cultural group perform daily scheduled performances to visitors and are also available after hours for offsite events.
“Almost every international group that comes here for their special occasion, conference dinner or welcome cocktail will engage with the Māori cultural group onsite. It’s such a special thing to experience,” she says.
Beginners guide to Māori culture
Kia ora: the traditional greeting of the indigenous Māori people, used to welcome visitors.
Kaitiakitanga: the term used to describe the spiritual bond between Māori and the land. They regard land, soil and water as taonga (treasures). Māori see themselves as the kaitiaki (guardians) of this taonga.
Manaakitanga: the Māori principle of hospitality: that every guest is treated with the highest respect and made to feel welcome, safe and comfortable.
Pōwhiri: a welcome ceremony that provides a special opportunity for visitors to experience Māori traditions in action. A pōwhiri normally takes place on a marae, a meeting ground that sits at the heart of any Māori community.
Hongi: a Māori greeting and the ceremonial touching of noses.
Haka: a type of ancient Māori war dance traditionally used on the battlefield, as well as when groups came together in peace. Haka are a fierce display of a tribe’s pride, strength and unity.
Kapa haka: the term for Māori performing arts and literally means to form a line (kapa) and dance (haka). It involves an emotional and powerful combination of song, dance and chanting.