Maori Culture
‘Kanohi ki te kanohi’ ‘one on one’.

Kai Waho can be translated as outdoor cuisine. It can also describe a master or teacher of the ways of the wilderness. Visit Tamau Pā with your guide Tom Loughlin who as tangata whenua (person of the land) is not only passionate about his culture, but also a professional chef and expert hunter/gatherer. 

Tom uses traditional Maori gathering techniques and cooking methods to create a magnificent hangi feast for you to enjoy while sharing knowledge and stories. The Kai Waho experience was voted number 35 on the Top 100 Travel Adventures around the world by Australia's Sydney Morning Herald. 


Kai Waho Options

Whether you want to trek, forage, learn about the Maori lifestyle, weave containers from foliage collected along the way and learn how to cook on hot stones; or immerse your group in the

spiritual welcome celebration that is a Powhiri - perhaps followed by a hangi feast. The experience will stay with you long after you have returned home.


The Significance of Living Within the Limits of the Land

Haumi and Rongo at Poronui Haumie (ho-me-air) is on the left. Rongo (raw-ngaw) is on the right. Haumietikitiki (full name) represents all food that occurs naturally in the bush eg Pikopiko, berries etc. Rongomairangi (full name) represents all food that is cultivated, like kumara and potato.

The pou in the foreground was used by the Hunters, who would go to their pigeon snares, after first passing a branch up the side of the pou to gift them a good catch. Ceremony was a key to all of the Maori hunting techniques.


About the Ngati Tuwharetoa

The Ngati Tuwharetoa people name themselves as descendants of the people who came to Aotearoa in the great Arawa canoe. The navigator of Te Arawa was a powerful tohunga or high priest by the name of Ngatiroirangi. After landfall in the Bay of Plenty, Ngatiroirangi led a group of his people inland looking for a place they could call their own. He claimed the mountains of Tongariro for his people, now known as Ngati Tuwharetoa.

Present day Ngāti Tūwharetoa take their name from a powerful chief who lived near present-day Kawerau during the 16th century. Tūwharetoa was renowned as a warrior and a very wise man. He was tall and handsome and also became an expert carver, carving many ornate buildings for his people.

Sir Tumu te Heuheu (Te Heuheu Tukino VIII), a descendant of Tūwharetoa and Paramount Chief of Ngati Tuwharetoa, was named the Chair of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in 2006.

Sir Tumu’s ancestor, Horonuku Patatai (Te Heuheu Tukino IV) gifted the mountains to the south of Lake Taupo to the New Zealand government in 1887 for a national park. Those mountains - Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu, were transferred to the Crown on 23 September 1887. Due to the foresight of Horonuku and his people, Tongariro National Park was the first park to be established in New Zealand and the fourth in the world. Today, the original 2,640 hectares is now approximately 79,598 hectares and known throughout New Zealand and the world as ‘Tongariro National Park’.

Tongariro was the first national park formed in New Zealand, the fourth in the world, and the first national park in the world to be gifted by a country's indigenous people.

It was Sir Hepi Te Heuheu, Tumu’s father, who advocated that Māori control their own issues. As one of the more prominent Māori leaders in New Zealand today, Sir Tumu Te Heuheu continues the work of his father with his people and at a national level, and has been active in the field of world heritage.

Poronui is truly honored to be able to work with the forward-thinking Ngāti Tūwharetoa and offer this cultural experience to visitors.


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