The First Mile

Ep8: Dispatch from New Zealand: Maori Culture, Traditional Navigational Techniques, and Teaching Heritage.

Listen on

Episode notes

In this action-packed Dispatch episode, we join Ash in Aotearoa New Zealand's North Island. Ash tackles rapids, learns about Maori culture (including traditional navigational techniques) - and makes it back to the UK just before lockdown hit.

Ash meets the captain of an ocean-going waka, who left the New Zealand Army to navigate oceans with just the stars, the weather, and the taste of the water. Then he canoes down the Whanganui River in the company of a man who teaches Maori heritage and history through a river journey.

In this episode:

  • How the Maori people navigated to Aotearoa New Zealand from near the equator.
  • The history wrapped up in Maori myth and legend.
  • How the value of nature is communicated through metaphor.
  • The historical importance and modern legacy of the Treaty of Waitangi.
  • What the haka means.
  • What European colonisation meant for indigenous peoples.
  • Why the Whanganui River has the same legal status as a person.
  • The geological representation of Maori familial connections.

Links mentioned in this episode: