The first day we went to a Marae, a sacred Maori land. This was a truly a special experience which I deeply cherished. Out of respect to Maori culture and the promises we made (through song, no less) we took no pictures during our time there and their culture which are public knowledge.
In order to preserve their culture, they have asked we not share parts of their culture. See the documentary "Bastion Point" to see how exploitation of their culture and lands have made this precaution necessary.
We really should take a moment to appreciate Maori culture, I was so impressed with the cultural love of nature, the recognition of our place in the world and the openness and partnership with other cultures. There is no word for"ownership" in the Maori language, they believe you cannot claim to own land just because you walk on it. It belongs to the earth and to nature and we are allowed to live there if we can take good care of the plants and animals that also live there.
I have to say that learning about this was revolutionary for me. Sometimes you hear things for the first time but at an internal level you feel as though all of your life experience has shown you that this has been true the whole time. This was one of those moments. This truth absolutely resonated with me at a spiritual level and I was so impressed by it.
It is so arrogant of us to claim that the earth is our property. When we claim to own something we can justify treating however we want. Which is why we are on our current race to destroy the planet.
Maori culture does not have this view, they have a deep love and appreciation of plants and animals around them. They believe that everything, even a rock, has its own life force.