25 Jul 2013

Tikanga Maori helping Europeans reconnect with culture

10:02 am on 25 July 2013

A Maori owned and operated company in London is using tikanga Maori to help Europeans reconnect with their own cultural identity.

Manaia was set up in 2005 and holds haka workshops and corporate team-building activities.

Managing director Karl Burrows, of the Taranaki iwi Ngati Maru, says he teaches people about whakawhanaungatanga, or coming together, and sharing their personal stories.

Mr Burrows says they're used to talking to their colleagues about how good they are at their jobs and about their skills but not about their ancestors. However, he says it empowers them and helps them in their work.

People in the northern hemisphere are intrigued when they see the powerful vibe given off when haka and waiata are performed, and they are inspired to participate and learn the philosophy behind it, he says.

Manaia also runs workshops in schools in other countries, including the United States and Russia.