Around 10% of the 3.5 million inhabitants or so of New Zealand are Maori. They came from Polynesia, colonising the North and South Island in the 14th century. Discovered by Dutch navigator Tasman in 1643, New Zealand was first explored in 1840 by Englishman James Cook. The communal houses were the traditional meeting places for the native Maori. Here they talked, sang, celebrated and held other communal events. Today the communal houses are largely used by groups of pupils wanting to learn more about Maori culture. Our model shows clearly the ornate wood carvings characteristic of this people’s culture.