Aotearoa New Zealand “lays down the taki” to extend rousing invitation to the world



Reserved for significantly important occasions, the wero or laying down of the taki within the pōwhiri (Māori welcoming ceremony) signals the invitation to the 14 qualifying nations now set to call Aotearoa, New Zealand home from February 2023.


New Zealand Football Ferns, Claudia Bunge (#3/Defender) and Paige Satchell (#13/Forward, Midfielder) accompanied ahi Kaa (traditional custodians of the land) Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to deliver the rousing welcome.


“I can’t wait for people to see more of Aotearoa New Zealand next year, I’m really proud to be a Kiwi and it was awesome to take part in the welcome. Standing next to the amazing group from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and sharing our culture with the world was a humbling and powerful experience,” says Bunge


The riveting maioha (greeting) is delivered by Tarumai Kerehoma-Hoani, a renowned Māori Performing Arts tutor and kaitātaki wāhine (female leader) of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. The rendition sets the scene for the compelling wero delivered by another esteemed leader of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Piripi Davis and his masterful use of traditional weaponry passed on through his upuna (ancestors).


Graham Tipene of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, says, “The hope is that countries visiting will see the point of difference that only Māori and Aotearoa can offer.”


Host cities span the country’s North and South Islands boasting an array of rich experiences for those visitors looking to embrace and explore Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique culture, people and famed natural environment.


Video and photo assets available to download for media:





What is The Invitation?


  • The Invitation to the World is an invitation to the world for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023TM
  • In modern times, the wero or laying down of the taki [a ceremonial token, generally a branch of a native tree] signals the invitation to visitors and is reserved for significantly important occasions


Why has Tourism New Zealand extended this welcome?


  • The results of the FWWC2023 Draw create a moment in time for us to welcome international visitors to Aotearoa New Zealand and meaningfully demonstrate our unique values as a destination through authentic storytelling and activity.
  • The moment creates and opportunity to demonstrate our manaaki [deep expression of care and hospitality] by extending a warm welcome to the incoming teams in a way that is authentic to Aotearoa New Zealand.


How is Tourism New Zealand showing welcome?


  • Tourism New Zealand has produced a piece of film to extend a powerful welcome to [insert country] and manuhiri [visitors]   
  • The invitation is in the form of a wero, a formal invitation reserved only for special occasions and dignitaries.
  • It was performed at Eden Park by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei who are ahi Kaa [traditional custodians of the land] in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.


Who is Tourism New Zealand welcoming?


  • FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023TM  will be co-hosted by Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand across July/August next year and will be the first mega-event to hit our shores post-pandemic.
  • The FWWC2023 Draw on October 22nd will announce the 10 qualifying teams Aotearoa New Zealand will host from February 2023.


When was this shot?


  • The wero was filmed on Wednesday 28th September 2022 at Eden Park in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand


Why is TNZ working with FIFA?


  • New Zealand was successful in its bid to co-host the FIFA Women’s World Cup alongside Australia in 2023 will be the first mega event with a large international audience, post pandemic
  • Tourism New Zealand sees this as an extraordinary opportunity to showcase destination Aotearoa to international audiences on a scale that is traditionally unattainable against competitor spend.


Who is in the content?


  • New Zealand Football Ferns, Claudia Bunge (#3 /Defender) and Paige Satchell (#13/ Forward, Midfielder) accompanied ahi Kaa [traditional custodians of the land] Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to deliver the invitation.


Where was this shot?


  • The invitation was filmed in Eden Park, in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, one of the four New Zealand host cities.
  • Eden Park is one of New Zealand’s most famed stadiums and will play a key role during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023TM


What are the New Zealand Football Ferns wearing?


  • The New Zealand Football Ferns are wearing their away game match day kits.


Who are the New Zealand Football Ferns?


  • The two New Zealand Football Ferns that appear in the film are Claudia Bunge (#3 /Defender) originally from Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Paige Satchell (#13/ Forward, Midfielder) from Rotorua.


What is the Draw for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023TM


  • The FWWC2023 Draw is a globally televised event in which the 64 match fixtures for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, will be revealed.
  • The highly anticipated draw is an important milestone for the 32 teams and their fans who will learn who they will be playing, and in which host country.
  • The draw will include cultural performances from Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand and will also be an opportunity for fans to learn about the nine host cities.


When and where is the FWWC2023 Draw?


  • The Draw for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 TM will take place on Saturday 22 October 2022, and will be held at Aotea Centre in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, New Zealand.


Can I get tickets to the Draw?


  • Tickets are not available to members of the public, as the event is invite-only. However, it will be globally televised—check your local listings for information about how to tune in.
  • Fans can watch the Draw live on FIFA+, Prime in Aotearoa New Zealand, and Optus in Australia.


Why is the Draw significant?


  • The FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023TM is the largest women’s sporting event in the world and the highly anticipated FWWC2023 Draw is the main event in the leadup to the tournament.
  • Held in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, New Zealand, the FWWC2023 Draw will host nearly 1000 attendees including the FIFA President & Secretary General, FIFA Legends, representatives from the qualified teams, and international media.  
  • The globally televised draw will be an hour long and will provide an exciting opportunity for Aotearoa New Zealand as a host nation, to show our manaakitanga, people, place and culture to our guests and the world.


When is the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023?


  • FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023TM will take place from Thursday, 20th July 2023 to Sunday, 20th August 2023.


How many games will be hosted in New Zealand next year?


  • Aotearoa New Zealand will host 10 teams and a total of 24 group matches and 5 knockout matches – including 2 quarterfinals and a semi-final.


What are the host cities in New Zealand?


  • The four host cities that will host matches in Aotearoa New Zealand are Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Te-Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, Ōtepoti Dunedin, and Kirikiriroa Hamilton.


What is a wero?


  • A wero is often used as part of the pōwhiri to welcome a particularly important visitor. 
  • When performed it will be the first part of the pōwhiri process.


What is a pōwhiri?


  • A pōwhiri is a formal welcoming ceremony used in Aotearoa New Zealand for manuhiri [visitors] by tangata whenua [host tribe of the area].
  • The pōwhiri recognises that everyone has with them their own tapu [sacredness], in fact manuhiri at the beginning of the process are referred to as ‘waewae tapu’, sacred feet. 
  • The role of the pōwhiri is to join all participants tapu together, therefore the pōwhiri as a process is tapu. 
  • At its conclusion, the tapu of the pōwhiri process is removed by partaking in food.  This then frees everyone from tapu allowing them to carry on with their everyday activities and means the manuhiri are now able to move about the area without restriction. 
  • Traditionally, the pōwhiri begins at the entrance of the marae grounds [meeting grounds] however it is often used in other situations. Once the manuhiri [visitors] are assembled, a wero [challenge] might be performed, after which a kaikaranga [woman caller] will call the manuhiri [visitors] onto the grounds and up to the wharenui [meeting house] with a karanga [a welcome call]. It is a very special experience for those being welcomed, that is uniquely Aotearoa New Zealand.


When is a wero typically used?


  • Traditionally, a wero was used to determine the intent of the manuhiri [visitors] which once established, clears the way for the welcoming ceremony.
  • The warrior who is performing the wero, will lay down a taki [a ceremonial token, generally a branch of a native tree], in this instance a piece of mānuka, for the visitors to pick up to show they come in peace.


Who can perform the wero?


  • The wero is performed by a kaiwero, a senior male warrior from the tangata whenua [host tribe of the area].


Who performed the wero in this piece of content?


  • The wero was performed by Piripi Davis, an esteemed leader for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei who are ahi kaa [traditional custodians of the land] of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.


What is the sound in the pōwhiri?


  • Two taonga pūoro [traditional Māori instruments] heard during the pōwhiri are the Pūtātara and the Pūkāea and they are used to communicate with the warriors, and tangata whenua [host tribe of the area].
  • The Pūtātara is a triton shell, rarely found in Aotearoa the Pūtātara occasionally washes up on beaches and is regarded as a gift of Tangaroa, the god of sea.
  • The sound of Pūtātara is used to announce the arrival of manuhiri [visitors] to the tangata whenua [host tribe of the area].
  • The Pūkāea is a long trumpet made of wood and is traditionally used to welcome people and announce events or occasions of importance.


Why was the wero used in this content?


  • The wero is the first part of the pōwhiri ritual and is performed by a representative of the tangata whenua [host tribe of the area] before the manuhiri [visitors] have stepped onto the marae. So, it has been used for this content as an invitation to an audience who are not yet on the whenua [land] in Aotearoa New Zealand, by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei who are ahi kaa [traditional custodians of the land].
  • More recently, it is used mostly when welcoming distinguished guests to acknowledge their achievements and promote the strength of hosting people. 


What are the roles of each person in the content?


  • Two New Zealand Football Ferns connecting the performance to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023TM
  • Four kaihaka wāhine [female performers] preforming a haka with support from the tāne [men].
  • One kaitaki [challenger] who comes forward and lays down the taki. 
  • Two kaiwero who act as supporting warriors for the kaitaki. 
  • Two kaipūtātara who sound the Pūtātara [shell trumpet]. 
  • One kaipūkaea who sounds the Pūkaea [long wooden trumpet]. 


What is the call that plays throughout the video and what is she saying?


  • The call that plays throughout the video is a type of maioha [greeting] given by tangata whenua [host tribe of the area]. 
  • It is performed by Tarumai Kerehoma-Hoani, a renowned Māori Performing Arts tutor and kaitātaki wāhine [female leader] of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. 
  • In this maioha connections are made to the local tribe, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, ahi kaa [traditional custodians of the land], and the land and marine features of the area.
  • It begins with a reference to a famous saying of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei ancestor, Tītahi. 
  • Tarumai then refers to the Waitematā, the harbour on which Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is situated.  She then acknowledges Rangi and Papa, the primal parents in the Māori creation story to reference the environment, that is the earth and sky.  
  • In this reference she calls for calm to come to both elements as well as the many waters, rivers and harbours, of the area. 


In Māori culture why are wāhine seen as sacred?


  • In te ao Māori [the Māori world] women are known as ‘te whare tangata’, the house of humanity and are venerated for their ability to create life. 
  • Their mana [sacred power] is sourced from the many female atua [gods] in Māori folklore including the primal parent Papatūānuku, the earth mother and creator of all life. 
  • During times when this ability to create life is demonstrated, e.g., during menstruation and pregnancy, there can be restrictions placed on their involvement during ceremonial activities like the pōwhiri. 
  • That is, women who are experiencing either of these conditions are not permitted to perform the karanga during a pōwhiri.  Also, as te whare tangata, women were to be protected.
  • Therefore, during the pōwhiri the women are generally positioned behind the men during the whaikōrero [speeches] and the kaiwero [challengers] were male. 


Why are wāhine essential to the pōwhiri process?


  • Due to ‘te mana o te wāhine’, the sacred power of the woman, women are able to negate tapu [sacredness] related to a process or a person so that activities can be carried out and people move about without restriction. So, as kaikaranga they can neutralize the tapu of visitors who are visiting a marae for the first time. 
  • They are also able to connect the two worlds, the spiritual and physical, reconnecting the visitors with loved ones who have passed on. They are also, in this capacity, able to ward off any bad spiritual energy. 
  • Therefore, their presence at the pōwhiri or during any part of the pōwhiri is essential.  So, it is necessary to have women present during the wero, as without a karanga the pōwhiri process would stop.  And because there are no words spoken during the wero, the karanga is known as ‘te reo tuatahi o te pōwhiri’, the first voice of the welcome. 


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