Experiencing New Zealand's Hospitality (Manaakitanga)

What is manaakitanga and how can it help you when sell New Zealand?

We sent six travel advisors to New Zealand to discover manaakitanga, and to serve as our travel trade ambassadors, providing you with first-hand experiences and recommendations.

What does manaakitanga mean?

The word ‘manaakitanga’ comes from New Zealand’s Māori language, it is a concept now shared by all New Zealanders. It describes the warm and respectful way that New Zealanders embrace and welcome visitors, look after them throughout their journey and invite them into their culture.
Through manaakitanga, New Zealanders enhance our own mana (honour), and we ask that when visiting New Zealand you respect our mana, culture, lands and people and in doing so uplift your own mana.

How do you pronounce manaakitanga? 

Pronounce the ‘a’ as you would in ‘car’ and the ‘ki’ like you would in ‘car key’ – so phonetically it sounds like ma-naa-key-tung-a.  Play

Talking about manaakitanga when selling New Zealand

You can explain to your clients that New Zealanders want visitors to have a great time in their country and will go to great lengths to ensure they do.

New Zealanders are known for being friendly and welcoming, which is influenced by a Māori belief that your mana, or reputation, is enhanced by welcoming visitors and looking after them like they are part of your family.
This can be anything from a simple “Kia ora”, through to a fully hosted experience.  Learn more about out famous “Kia ora” expression, watch this short video – or share it with your clients to help get them excited.


What does manaakitanga feel like to a visitor?

  • They will feel welcome.

  • They will be treated more like a new friend than a stranger.

  • New Zealander’s will go out of their way to look after them.

  • They will feel respected - manaakitanga acknowledges the mana of others as having equal or greater importance than your own.

  • They will enjoy great food and accommodation - Māori consider that all gatherings or activities should be remembered with fondness and gratitude by those who attended. It is common for hosts to treat their guests to local delicacies, for which their area is well-known.

For New Zealanders, being hospitable, looking after visitors and caring how others are treated - no matter what their standing in society - is of prime importance.  


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