Maori welcome for Princess
MAORI elders at New Zealand’s historic Waitangi Marae have created a new market in partnership with Princess Cruises, creating income for the local community and cultural connections for visitors.
Held last week during a visit to the Bay of Islands by Majestic
Princess, the new attraction is planned for operation during cruise ship visits and will allow Maori-owned enterprises to offer traditional art and craft as well as cultural performances.
Group President of Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia & New Zealand Jan Swartz said it represented the first trade to take place at the marae since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.
It had been created after discussions with Maori leaders on how they could collaborate for mutual benefit.
“They were looking to create and operate a market that would showcase their art, crafts, and cultures because it was, first and foremost, about pride in their people and sharing their talents and ideas,” Swartz said.
“For us... it’s about enriching the experience for our guests.
“They have an opportunity to get a taste of culture, visit the marae - let alone such a historic one - and have a chat with a local and take a little piece of their culture home with them.”
Shuttle buses operating between the local wharf and the town centre of Paihia made stops at the marae, or meeting grounds, to allow passengers to browse at the market during the ship’s visit.
The market will now operate on an ongoing basis during visits by Princess Cruises ships and other operators.
Pictured: Maori locals perform a traditional welcome for Princess Cruises guests during last week’s visit to the Bay of Islands.