Manaakitanga: Maori hospitality — a case study of Maori accommodation providers

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<ul><li><p>*Corresponding author. Tel.: #64-6-350-5799; fax: #64-6-350-5661.</p><p>E-mail address: s.j.barnett@massey.ac.nz (S. Barnett).</p><p>Tourism Management 22 (2001) 83}92</p><p>Manaakitanga: Maori hospitality * a case study of Maoriaccommodation providers</p><p>Shirley Barnett*Department of Management Systems, Massey University, Te Kunenga ki Purehuroa, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North, Aotearoa/New Zealand</p><p>Received 27 May 1999; accepted 24 August 1999</p><p>Abstract</p><p>Maori tourism accounts for little more than 1 per cent of tourism turnover in Aotearoa/New Zealand. As the new millenniumapproaches, the important role that Aotearoas unique Maori culture plays in attracting international visitors needs to be recognised.Accommodation operations now make up 30 per cent of all operations that are owned or operated by Maori in Aotearoa. Currently,these operations are not recognised in any of the four categories of Maori tourism product de"ned by the Aotearoa Maori TourismFederation (AMTF). This article discusses Maori accommodation operations generally and then looks in detail at "ve operations thatare providing a Maori tourism product to their guests. ( 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.</p><p>Keywords: Maori hospitality; Maori tourism product; Maori tourism operation; Aotearoa Maori Tourism Federation; New Zealand tourism</p><p>1. Introduction</p><p>The unique, rich culture of the Maori is a strong andattractive component of the social heritage in Aotearoa,2 which enhances New Zealands appeal to the worldtravellersa (Hall, 1996, pp. 156}157). Maori are friendlyhospitable people who would bene"t from being wellequipped to take advantage of the growing demand fromoverseas visitors for cultural experiences and cross-cul-tural interactions. In Aotearoa, approximately 1.5 mil-lion international visitors per annum are serviced bysome 15,000 small- and medium-sized tourism businesses(New Zealand Tourism Board, 1997). Tourism is thefastest growing and biggest industry in New Zealand,with tourism revenue for 1996 at New Zealand $4.8billion and employing 94,000 peoplea (Zeppel, 1997,p. 364). It is estimated by the NZTB that foreign visitorswill spend around $9 billion per annum by the turn of thecentury (Knight, 1997). According to Roana Bennett, theformer Chief Executive O$cer of the Aotearoa MaoriTourism Federation, Maori tourism accounts for lessthan 1 per cent of this total (cited in Zeppel, 1997). In1994 it was estimated that Maori tourism businesses hada turnover of only $7.5 million (Wilson, 1996). There is</p><p>ample space for Maori to increase their involvement inthe tourism industry in Aotearoa and Tommy Wilson;past-president of the Aotearoa Maori Tourism Feder-ation, illustrated this, stating that:</p><p>The role Maori people had to play in the industry wasevolving as overseas visitors came looking for a moreauthentic experience from people with an ancestralconnection to the environment. Weve got the product,what we need to do is convince the distribution chan-nels within the industry to take our product to themarket (Wharawhara, 1996, p. 3).</p><p>Experiencing an indigenous people and their culture mayleave a lasting impact on international visitors, and in-creasingly they are demanding di!erent cultural experi-ences as part of their travel package (NZTB, 1996).Cohen (cited in Ryan &amp; Crotts, 1997), argues that mod-ern tourists are abandoning the conventional for theunusual and novel experience. Hence tourists interest inthe world of indigenous people can be explained asa search prompted by a desire for the new or a search forthe reala (Ryan &amp; Crotts, 1997, p. 899). Gaining aninsight into Maori history, traditions and ways of life canprovide this distinctive or &amp;real experience for thesevisitors.</p><p>Maori experiences that are particularly memorableinclude: Maori guides that welcome and include visitorsgiving insights into both the Maori way of being and way</p><p>0261-5177/00/$ - see front matter ( 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.PII: S 0 2 6 1 - 5 1 7 7 ( 0 0 ) 0 0 0 2 6 - 1</p></li><li><p>of life; the retelling of myths and legends; exposure to artsand crafts; talking or mixing with Maori; inclusion incultural events (NZTB, 1997). However, Maori want tobe autonomous, they want to run their own show 2not just be the last three seats on the bus, the optionalextra, the clip-on, add-on, tear o!-the-coupon sidelineevent. We do not want to provide tacked-on plasticMaori experience in the venue or facilities belonging toothers. We want to provide authentic experience, learn-ing experiences, through which we learn too, interactingwith our guestsa (Mahuta, 1987, p. 1).</p><p>Many of the above desirable experiences could beprovided by one particular type of Maori tourism opera-tion * accommodation providers. However, to date,there has been little or no research carried out into theactivities of these business people. This article providessome initial "ndings based on information receivedfrom questionnaire surveys of Maori accommodationoperators.</p><p>The Aotearoa Maori Tourism Federation (AMTF) ischarged with trade lobbying and marketing for Maoritourism operations and, to facilitate this has categorisedMaori tourism products into four distinct groups. Theseare entertainment, arts and crafts, display of taongaand cultural interpretation. None of these groupseasily categorise the activities of Maori accommodationproviders (with the exception of those who providemarae stays). As a teacher and researcher within thetourism "eld, this researcher believes that some Maoriaccommodation operations are providing a unique cul-tural experience for international tourists, but they arenot being represented in the marketing that is currentlyundertaken for tourism in Aotearoa.</p><p>Because of the number and diversity of Maoriaccommodation operations in Aotearoa this writer be-lieves that accommodation operations should be recog-nised as an individual group within this larger group andmarketed as such. To support this view, informationcollected about some operations and their products willbe discussed, but initially this writer will provide anoverview of Maori hospitality, Maori tourism, theAotearoa Maori Tourism Federation and Maori tourismoperations.</p><p>2. Hospitality and Maori society</p><p>Hospitality has always been an important aspect ofMaori society and manaaki is the term used to expresslove and hospitality towards people. In Maori society thetalisman or mauri manaaki of hospitality is planted onthe left-hand side of an ancestral house. Its purpose is toremind the hosts that they should be charitable and kindto visitors. Maori notions of hospitality (manaakitanga)meant that visitors were accorded a warm welcomea(Ryan, 1997, p. 260). The most important attributes for</p><p>the hosts are the provision of an abundance of food,a place to rest, and to speak nicely to visitors (Barlow,1991).</p><p>The importance of hospitality as part of Maori life isre#ected in a number of whakatauki or sayings that arecommonly used. For example:</p><p>Kei takahia a TahuDont trample on Tahu</p><p>Literally translated to mean do not refuse hospitalitywhen it is o!ered (Karetu, 1987). Another example is:</p><p>E kore te kai e whai i te tua o HekemaruFood will not follow the back of Hekemaru</p><p>This whakatauki relates the story of Hekemaru, a chiefwho refuses to turn back and accept an invitation to eat,because the invitation was not issued until he had passed.This meant that the invitation had been directed to theback of his head, the most sacred part of his body(Karetu, 1987). The lesson is that hospitality must neverbeen seen as an afterthought. Yet another whakatauki is:</p><p>He tangata takahi manuhiri, he marae puehuA man who eats with visitors without being invited todo so causes dust to rise in the courtyard * this isa serious o!ence</p><p>Literally translated this means that hosts should makesure that the guests are looked after before thinking ofthemselves (Patterson, 1992). The "nal example is:</p><p>Te anga karaka, te anga koura, koi kitea ki te maraeThe husk of a karaka berry, the shell of a cray"sh,should not be seen on the courtyard</p><p>Literally translated to mean that one should not raisefalse hopes in others. Do not do anything that will leadothers to expect a treat unless you are going to provide it(Patterson, 1992).</p><p>Hospitality and providing guests with the best that onehas available has remained important in contemporaryMaori society and there are some responses from the oper-ators discussed later in this article that illustrate this fact.</p><p>Maori academics and business people also discuss theimportance of Maori hospitality, and the links totourism. Ella Henry, a Maori academic, talking aboutfarmstays and bed and breakfast operations, said that2 tourism allows Maori to do what they do well* show their culture and hospitality (NZ Herald, 1998,p. 20). Hinurewa Te Hau said that small-scale tourismo!ered Maori the ability to use resources on hand* their culture, homes and land (NZ Herald, 1998). Ona more general note, Tommy Wilson, former president ofthe AMTF, says that Maori are natural hosts andcaterers, with good people skills (Weir, 1994).</p><p>However, Ngatata Love of Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry ofMaori Development), cautions that Maori style hospi-tality is not always a tourism bonusa (Moore, 1997, p. 11).</p><p>84 S. Barnett / Tourism Management 22 (2001) 83}92</p></li><li><p>While he praises Maori for expanding their role in thetourism industry from simply producing arts and crafts,and presenting cultural performances into running res-taurants, bars and accommodation, he says that if Maoriwish to make money from these new ventures they haveto curb their tendency to extend hospitality too far. Inthe past we have tended to eat and drink away ourpro"ts. We are now learning that the cuzzies [sic] have topay * there are no free feeds when they come visitinga(Moore, 1997, p. 11).</p><p>3. The importance of Maori tourism</p><p>Tourism to Aotearoa began almost as soon as the "rstcolonisers arrived in the early 1800s. A new country wasthere to be explored complete with &amp;noble savages and&amp;beautiful entertaining women (Barnett, 1996). Many ofthe early tourists were from the whaling vessels that pliedtheir trade in the cold Antarctic waters.</p><p>Tourism soon became more formalised and Aotearoawas promoted and marketed to overseas countries asa holiday destination. Tourists were visiting the famedPink and White Terraces, near Rotorua, as early as 1860.Initially, their accommodation needs and guiding re-quirements were adequately met by Maori businesses* the "rst hotels and guiding operations in the districtwere either wholly or partly owned and operated byMaori (Sta!ord, 1977).</p><p>There is little written information available on thedevelopment of Maori tourism from the late 1800s untilthe mid 1900s; however, it appears that Maori involve-ment in tourism was limited except as a marketing imageto be used on promotional material for Aotearoa asa whole (Barnett, 1996).</p><p>On 25}27 September 1985, the Manaakitangi Hui(Hospitality and Tourism Meeting) was held in Rotorua,the purpose of which was to encourage Maori participa-tion in the tourism industry. Two speci"c objectivesemerged from this hui:</p><p>1. To establish a Maori Tourism Task Force, and2. To establish a Maori Tourism Association.</p><p>Initially, the Maori Tourism Task Force was established,and in 1987 they stated that tourism o!ered four mainbene"ts for Maori. First, it is a labour intensive industry,although this is probably only true for the larger tourismorganisations, as small restaurants or homestays wouldnot require more than one or two people for e$cientoperation. Second, because many tourism operations arein the small business category, little investment in tech-nology may be required * this is true for a homestayoperation or a trout-"shing operation. Tourism, parti-cularly small-scale accommodation, does not requirelarge areas of land &amp; Maori have the ability to combinea land base that is often in scenic and more remote areas</p><p>of Aotearoa with tourist activities, and this is the thirdbene"t. The fourth bene"t has been discussed earlier, andthis is that tourism o!ers Maori the opportunity to usethe hospitality skills that are part of their life (Butter-worth &amp; Smith, 1987).</p><p>However, in counterbalance, it is important to ac-knowledge that tourism is not always positive and thereare negative social, cultural, environmental and eco-nomic impacts that have to be considered. One negativeimpact comes about because increasing tourist demandfor cultural experiences, in some cases, has lead to 2&amp;trinketised cultures degraded traditions and madeproud people slavesa (The Independent on Sunday, 5August 1990, cited in Collier, 1997, p. 336). One of themajor impacts of tourism on indigenous cultures is thatthere is always a possibility that tourism will destroy thecultural resource on which it is based. Negative impactson the environment also have to be managed and this isparticularly relevant when Maori are involved in nature-based tourism ventures, for example, Kaikoura Whale-watch, a Maori owned whale watching operation usingboats to take tourists to view whales.</p><p>The nature of genuine Maori tourism is not so muchtied to &amp;techniques or the &amp;how (e.g., concern aboutnon-Maori manufactured objects) as to the sharing ofthe core principles, for example manaakitanga (hospi-tality and caring), arohatanga (compassion). BeingMaori means sharing knowledge, hospitality, beliefsand well being. Ultimately, this is what Maori tourismis (Urlich Cloher &amp; Johnston, 1997, p. 3).</p><p>Maori tourism is important not only for Maori but also,in the context of international tourism, to Aotearoa. In1994 almost 350,000 international visitors visiteda Maori performance and of these approximately 110,000visited or experienced some other form of Maori tourism(International Visitor Survey, cited in Ryan, 1997). Manyinternational visitors are demanding di!erent culturalexperiences as part of their travel package and this isrecognised by the New Zealand Tourism Board in theirlong-term strategic goals for the tourism sector. Thesecond goal is identi"ed as being:</p><p>Continuing improvement in visitor satisfaction, con-sistent with the positioning of New Zealand as a dis-tinct, competitive and high value visitor destinationwith authentic experiences and a friendly welcome(1996, p. 11).</p><p>The Board carries on to state:</p><p>The Tourism Board recognised that if the New Zea-land tourism industry is to remain attractive and inter-nationally competitive it will have to continue todevelop quality products that cater to visitor demandsand help to make New Zealand a distinctive visitorexperience (1996, p. 42).</p><p>S. Barnett / Tourism Management 22 (2001) 83}92 85</p></li><li><p>Authentic experiencea and distinctive visitor experi-encea are two phrases that aptly describe Maori tourismand Maori tourism product. This is more explicitly statedin the 1998 strategic plan issued by the NZTB in whichthey call New Zealand The best holiday left on eartha.In this plan they state that individual businesses need toform networks which could focus on speci"c experiences,one being...</p></li></ul>

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