Have you ever experienced Manaakitanga? It's a sacred New Zealand word that takes what we think of hospitality, kindness, and support, mixes them all together then adds a twist of New Zealand love to it! It's a word with DEEP meaning to New Zealanders and the Māori people.
One of the first times I experienced Manaakitanga, I was shooting Pete's Dragon in 2014. I was flying from Wellington to Rotorua and sat next to a young woman who was the manager of the band "Tunes of I". We chit chatted, during the flight but when we landed at the airport, I discovered I didn't have a ride! This young woman and her band didn't even think twice before extended a very warm and sincere invitation to ride with them! On that ride, they talked about their culture, what makes young New Zealanders tick, and I got to hear some of their music. I was so moved by our time together, I invited them to set to play for everyone working on Pete's Dragon. I proceeded to fall head over heels in love with New Zealand and the Māori people. How could I not? That's why I'm ecstatic to be a part of @natgeotravel and @purenewzealand campaign to hear from YOU. Share your story with #mynewzealandstory