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Aotearoa

Aotearoa is the Māori-language name for New Zealand.

We extend a warm Kiwi welcome to the ISBCW conference hosted in the heart of New Zealand. Nestled in the breathtaking landscapes of Rotorua, our gathering promises not only a unique experience but a chance to forge connections and make history together.

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Image credit: Maurice Collins

Maramataka

The ISBCW 2026 dates have been chosen to intentionally align as the optimal time to hold this event, in this month, in this region of New Zealand. The biological, environmental and regional cues of the Māori traditional lunar calendar, known as Maramataka, recognizes the deep environmental awareness and significance woven into Māori culture.

In the past, Māori demonstrated a sophisticated knowledge system attuned to their surroundings, using environmental tohu (signs and signals in nature) to identify optimal times for various activities.

Similar to Indigenous communities worldwide, Māori for thousands of years, looked to nature for timekeeping, spatial delineation, and an understanding of their interconnectedness with the natural world. Maramataka, a distinctive system of observing environmental cues to synchronize daily activities with optimal conditions, vividly illustrates this profound connection.

Built on a holistic approach to well-being in Māori culture, the Maramataka calendar embraces the long-standing practice of observing moon phases. This observance forms the basis for reflection, planning, and aligning daily activities with emotional states. With its roots in this cultural wisdom, the Maramataka calendar reflects a balanced relationship between humanity and nature, showcasing a profound respect for the environment and the natural world’s rhythms.

Rotorua activities