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Glossary of Māori terms

Most of these meanings have been derived from Kaitiakitanga and Local Government: Tangata Whenua participation in Environmental Management (PCE, 1998, p. 132); The Reed Dictionary of Modern Māori (Ryan, 2001); Poharama et al., (1998) and Durie, (2002).

Aotearoa: New Zealand

aroha: love, compassion, sympathy

arohatanga: state of being sympathetic

haka: fierce rhythmical dance

hangi: earth oven, food from earth oven

hapū: sub-tribe

hinengaro: mind, heart, intellect, conscience, psychology

hongi: press noses

hui: meetings or gatherings, usually on the marae

iwi: tribal groups

kaikokiri champion

kaitiaki: iwi, hapū, or whānau group with the responsibilities for kaitiakitanga

kaitiakitanga: the responsibilities and kaupapa, passed down from the ancestors, of tangata whenua to take care of the places, natural resources, and other taonga in their area

kanohi ki te kanohi: face to face

kapahaka: Māori cultural performances (song and dance)

kaumatua: elder

kaupapa: plan, strategy, tactics, methods, fundamental principles

kaupapa Māori research: Māori-based research

koru: spiral pattern

kotahitanga: unity, solidarity

mana tangata: human rights, integrity

manaakitanga: respect given to visitors, sharing and caring

manuhiri: visitor, guest

Māoritanga: Māori culture, Māori perspective

marae: local community and its meeting places and buildings

mauri: the life force that imbues all created things

nga matatini Māori: Māori diversity

ngā tupunga whakakotahi: integrated development

pa: fortified villages

pākehā: non-Māori New Zealanders, (especially New Zealanders of European descent)

Papatuanuku: Earth Mother

poi: ball

powhiri: welcome, opening ceremony

puawaitanga: the principle of best outcomes

purotu: the principle of transparency

Ranganui: Sky Father

rangatiratanga: chieftainship or leadership

rohe: territory, area

runanga: committee of senior decision makers in an iwi or hapū

tangata whenua: people of the land, Māori people

taonga: valued resources, assets, prized possessions both material and non-material

te ao Māori: the Māori world

te ao marama: the world of light; present day world

Te Puni Kokiri: Ministry of Māori Development

te reo: Māori language

te taha hinengaro: mental

te taha tinana: physical and economic

te taha wairua: spiritual

Te Tai Rawhiti: East Coast

Te Tai Tokerau: Northland

Te Whaka Toi: Māori arts board of Creative New Zealand

tikanga: meaning, custom, obligations

tinana: body

tino rangatiratanga: self-determination

tohukataka: state of being a wise person

toi iho: Māori made

tuhono: principle of alignment

waiata: song

waiata-a-ringa: action songs

wairua: spirituality

wairuatanga: state of being spiritual

whakakotahi: to be united

whakapapa: genealogy, cultural identity

whakatauki: proverbs

whānau: extended family

whanaungatanga: relationship, kinship.

See also:

Last updated November 29, 2011



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