Mori people have resided in New Zealand—or Aotearoa, as it is known in te reo—for about 1,000 years, long before the British invaded the country in the early nineteenth century. The Mori people’s relationship with their conquerors has a history that is similar to that of other countries across the world: severe sickness, broken contracts, land loss, and systematic cultural persecution.
The Mori way of life is gradually returning to the country, thanks in part to mid-century agitation that led to the 1975 Waitangi Tribunal, which officially rectified previous injustices in the form of compensation.
Te Ao Mori, or the Mori worldview, pervades New Zealand culture today, with around 16% of the population identifying as Mori. Its relevance in the wine industry is especially significant, as terms like trangawaewae (a place to stand) parallel the French concept of terroir.
There are now around a half-dozen Mori-owned wineries. The national wine organisation, New Zealand Winegrowers, has created a sustainable winegrowing framework for the whole sector based on the Mor idea of kaitiakitanga (custodianship of land and people).