Māori (Tangata whenua)

The Council enjoys maintaining an ongoing working relationship with the takata whenua, who have a traditional interest in the Queenstown Lakes District. 

This includes all nine Kāi Tahu (Ngāi Tahu) from Arowhenua (Temuka) south to Murihiku (Southland). The relationship involves:

  • consultation on the ongoing evolvement of the District Plan, including plan changes.  
  • determining the interests and view of the takata whenua on resource consent applications.
  • taking active steps to promote and protect the interest values, culture, traditions and taoka of the takata whenua.

Local Māori History

Whakatipu, along with other areas in inland Otago, was important to Southern Māori as a source of items such as tuna (eels), manu (birds), ti kōuka (Cabbage Tree), mountain daisy leaves (used for cloaks) and taramea (Spaniard Grass) from which a fragrant oil was extracted.

Important settlement sites were at Tāhuna (Queenstown), Te Kirikiri (Frankton) and at Puahuru (junction of Kawarau and Shotover Rivers). Other village and camping sites in the Whakatipu area have been found at Tahuna (Glenorchy), Punatapu (Bob's Cove), (Takerehaka (Kingston), Kawarau Gorge, Lake Hayes, Wāwāhi Waka (Pigeon Island) and Mavora Lakes. In the Upper Clutha, Take Kārara was a settlement at the southern end of Lake Wānaka, now part of the current Wānaka township and Manuhaea was a settlement and kāika mahika kai (food gathering place)

The Whakatipu and Wānaka region was typical of the whole of the interior of Te Waipounamu. It had some permanent settlements, but was largely a seasonal resource base for highly mobile coastal communities.



Related links

  • Details of historic and current sites of importance to Māori can be found in the Ngāi Tahu Atlas: www.kahurumanu.co.nz/atlas 
  • For information regarding marae within the Otago region or to contact local hapu and papatipu runaka please visit the website of Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu: www.ngaitahu.iwi.nz
  • The Lakes District Museum in Arrowtown is open every day between 8.30am and 5.00pm (except Christmas Day).  The museum features some Māori artifacts as well as an impressive collection of local history: www.museumqueenstown.com 
  • Visit the Statistics New Zealand website for a wide range of statistics about our Māori population: www.stats.govt.nz