IV. New Zealand

For most people, New Zealand is about as far off as it gets. It takes roughly twenty-four hours to get there from anywhere in Europe, more than thirteen from the American west coast and even from a relatively close by city like Hong Kong, the island nation in the Pacific is still a good twelve hour flight away. With the International Date Line just to the east of its majestic shores, the land of the mighty Maori is always closer to tomorrow than any other country in the world. 

"New Zealand isn’t just on the edge of the world. It’s also on the edge of time"

One of our shoots took place on a beach on the east coast at sunrise. We had been on many sunrise shoots before, but as we were waiting on the beach in the dark for the sun to come up, we knew this dawn was going to be something special. When a faint orange glow began to light up the horizon in the east, we all felt a strange sense of privilege: we were about to be the first people in the world to see the sun rise that day. 

Maori

Maori

New Zealand

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The long and intriguing story of the origins of the indigenous Maori people can be traced back to the 13th century, the mythical homeland Hawaiki, Eastern Polynesia. Due to centuries of isolation, the Maori established a distinct society with characteristic art, a separate language and unique mythology.

“My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul”

Defining aspects of Maori traditional culture include art, dance, legends, tattoos and community. While the arrival of European colonists in the 18th century had a profound impact on the Maori way of life, many aspects of traditional society have survived into the 21st century.