Māori (Tangata whenua)

The Council enjoys maintaining an ongoing working relationship with the takata whenua, who have a traditional interest in the Queenstown Lakes District. 

This includes all nine Kāi Tahu (Ngāi Tahu) from Arowhenua (Temuka) south to Murihiku (Southland). The relationship involves:

  • consultation on the ongoing evolvement of the District Plan, including plan changes.  
  • determining the interests and view of the takata whenua on resource consent applications.
  • taking active steps to promote and protect the interest values, culture, traditions and taoka of the takata whenua.

Ngai Tahu Atlas


Māori statistics

Visit the Statistics New Zealand website for a wide range of statistics about our Māori population.


Local Māori History

The Wakatipu, along with other areas in inland Otago, was important to Southern Māori as a source of items such as eels, birds, ti kōuka (Cabbage Tree), mountain daisy leaves (used for cloaks) and taramea (Spaniard Grass) from which a fragrant oil was extracted.

Important settlement sites were at Tahuna (Queenstown), Oterotu (Frankton) and at Tititea (junction of Kawarau and Shotover Rivers). Other village and camping sites in the Wakatipu area have been found at Glenorchy, Bob's Cove, Kingston, Kawarau Gorge, Lake Hayes, Pigeon Island and Mavora Lakes.

The Wakatipu and Wanaka region was typical of the whole of the interior of Te Waipounamu. It had some permanent settlements, but was largely a seasonal resource base for highly mobile coastal communities.

No particular settlement or use of the Ben Lomond or Queenstown Hill reserves has been identified, although Queenstown Hill was named Te Tapu-nui, a name which signifies intense sacredness, although the reason for this does not appear to be known.


Lakes District Museum

The museum in Arrowtown is open every day between 8.30am and 5pm (except Christmas Day).  The museum features some Māori artifacts as well as an impressive collection of local history. 
Contact details
59 Buckingham Street
Phone 03 442 1824
Website - www.museumqueenstown.com