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Maunga Hikurangi

Developing the underdeveloped: How Maunga Hikurangi will take tourism to the remote East Cape

Cultural preservation

Developing the underdeveloped: How Maunga Hikurangi will take tourism to the remote East Cape

The mighty East Cape Region is an untouched wonder in the North Island. While it represents one of the first regions discovered by Captain Cook, it’s one of the least influenced by the throes of colonisation. Still today, the vast coastline is defined by the heart of its local iwi (Ngāti Porou) and is largely hinged on agriculture, with few alternative avenues of business. The area has a rich heritage: referenced in the famous Māori myth Māui and the sun, and more recently, it was the setting for acclaimed New Zealand films Boy and Whale Rider. Now, a new tourism organisation - Maunga Hikurangi - plans to tell its story in a bid to attract tourists, boost commerce, and invite distant Ngāti Porou back into the community. We chat with creative director Timothy Livingston to discuss the possible tension between tourism growth and cultural preservation on the East Cape.