New Zealand is the youngest country on earth - the last major landmass to be discovered. It has a rich and fascinating history, reflecting both our Maori and European heritage. Amazing Maori historic sites and taonga (treasures), some dating back almost a thousand years, are a contrast to many beautiful colonial buildings. New Zealand today is a culturally diverse and fascinating country. Discover the movie magic when you visit the Lord of the Rings filming locations. Take guided tours of the stunning locations shot in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
4. Apirana Ngata


Apirana Ngata had the range of abilities and interests of a true renaissance man. He made his career in politics as a great social and economic reformer, was also a scholar and lawyer with a profound grasp of agriculture, and was fluent in two cultures. But his renaissance was not something that happened in Europe centuries ago, nor was it something that he followed. It was occurring in his own time and his own place and he was very much the leader.

He grew to manhood when the Maori population was at its lowest ebb in the 1890s and many in the Pakeha community were predicting extinction. In his long life of public service – he was MP for Eastern Maori for 38 years — he devoted his many talents and skills to the work of reviving the fortunes of his people.

As a politician and minister, he organised and worked on inquiries into Maori land grievances. One of his greatest achievements was a bold scheme to help and encourage Maori to develop their land. And he was instrumental in setting up the Maori Pioneer Battalion and the Maori Battalion, which fought with such distinction during the first and second world wars.

He also encouraged a revival of Maori art and culture, setting up the Board of Maori Ethnological Research and a school of Maori art in Rotorua. He took more than just an administrative interest; he was a famous exponent of the haka and his scholarly work included an annotated collection of waiata, Nga moteatea. “We have survived to maintain some of the old traditions,” he wrote to his old friend, the anthropologist Sir Peter Buck, “chiefly because back in those days was a small remnant who prized the tribal traditions and folk-lore, kept up the interest in the whakapapa, performed the old time hakas and carried on many of the crafts. Can we in our turn supply that background?”

Underpinning it all was the need to set Maori society on a solid economic foundation, and that meant developing their land. “The Native-land question could not be dissociated from the wider question of the welfare of the Maori race, a satisfactory solution of it was fundamental,” he wrote in a report to Parliament on his ambitious development schemes in 1931.

“The efforts to educate the youth of the race, to improve the hygienic conditions of the villages, to correct the malign influences of certain elements in European culture—all these would fail to produce enduring results unless they centred round and assisted in an industrial development based principally upon the cultivation of land.”

Travel to New Zealand. There is just so much to do make sure you allow plenty of time for your visit. You will find a diverse range of scenery and conditions from sub-tropical to a little colder down south particularly in the winter time. New Zealand can be enjoyed at a pace to suit every age group. Grab a cheap flight to New Zealand for a game of golf, Buy a map, hire a rental car, have an adventure and fill your lungs with the smog free air New Zealand has to offer. Accommodation from backpackers, bed and breakfast to luxury hotel. Take your New Zealand tour.