Te reo Māori glossary

Here are some of the te reo Māori

  te reo Māorithe Māori languageMāori
words you might encounter during your visit to Te Papa or on our websites.

Click on each word or phrase, and then on the speaker icon, to hear how you pronounce it.

If you can't find the word you're looking for, check out Māori Dictionary.

a

Aotearoa

  AotearoaNew ZealandMāori

the Māori name for New Zealand

h

haere mai

  haere maiWelcomeMāori

welcome

haere rā

  haere rāgoodbyeMāori

goodbye

hapū

  hapūsub-tribe, or to be pregnantMāori

sub-tribe, or to be pregnant

Hīnātore

  Hīnātorephosphorescence or luminescenceMāori
 
the name of our learning space. Hīnātore means phosphorescence or luminescence – a glow or glimmering in the dark

hui

  huimeetingMāori

meeting, to meet

i

ika

  ikafishMāori | Noun

fish

iwi

  iwitribeMāori | Noun

tribe

k

kai

  kaifoodMāori | Noun

food

kaitiaki

  kaitiakiguardianMāori

guardian

kākahu

  kākahucloakMāori | Noun

cloak/cloaks

kapa haka

  kapa hakaMāori performing artsMāori | Noun

Māori performing arts

kupu

  kupuword/wordsMāori

word/words

kōrero

  Kōrerostories or discussionMāori

stories or discussion

m

mana

  manaauthority, power, prestigeMāori

authority, power, prestige

manuhiri

  manuhirivisitorsMāori

visitors or guests

marae

  maraecommunal meeting houseMāori

communal meeting house

Matariki

  MatarikiMāori New YearMāori | Noun

Māori New Year and the Pleiades star cluster

mātauranga

  mātaurangaMāori knowledgeMāori | Noun

Māori knowledge

Māui

  MāuiA Pacific heroMāori | Person
 
a Pacific hero who performs amazing feats

mauri

  maurilife forceMāori

life force

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

  Museum of New Zealand Te Papa TongarewaContainer of treasuresMāori
 
our Māori name, ‘Te Papa Tongarewa’, translates literally to ‘container of treasures’

r

Ranginui

  Ranginuithe sky fatherMāori | pronoun

the sky father

Rongomaraeroa

  Rongomaraeroathe name given to Te Papa's whole maraeMāori

Rongomaraeroa is the name of Te Papa’s whole marae, including entrances and pūwhara (lookout)

n

ngā kaupapa motuhake

  ngā kaupapa motuhakeeventsMāori | Noun

events

p

Pākehā

  PākehāEuropean New ZealandersMāori | Noun

European New Zealanders

Papatūānuku

  Papatuanukuthe earth motherMāori | pronoun

the earth mother

pounamu

  pounamuNew Zealand greenstoneMāori | Noun

New Zealand greenstone

pōwhiri

  pōwhiriwelcoming ceremonyMāori

welcoming ceremony

t

tamariki

  tamarikichildrenMāori

children

tangata whenua

  tangata whenuathe indigenous people of Aotearoa New ZealandMāori | Noun

the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand

taniwha

  taniwhasupernatural water creatureMāori | Noun

supernatural water creature

taonga

  taongatreasuresMāori

treasures

te reo Māori

  te reo Māorithe Māori languageMāori

the Māori language

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

  Te Wiki o te Reo MāoriMāori Language WeekMāori
 
Māori Language Week, celebrated every year in September

Tūrangawaewae

  Tūrangawaewaeplace of belonging, location of identityMāori | Noun

place of belonging, location of identity

w

waka

  wakaocean-going vessalMāori | Noun

ocean-going vessal 

waka taua

  waka tauawar canoeMāori | Noun

war canoe

whakapapa

  whakapapagenealogyMāori

genealogy

whānau

  whānaufamilyMāori

family

whanaungatanga

  whanaungatangafriends and familyMāori | Noun

friends and family

whare

  wharebuildingMāori | Noun

building

wharenui

  wharenuilarge meeting houseMāori

large meeting house

whare whakairo

  whare whakairocarved meeting houseMāori | Noun

carved meeting house

whenua

  whenualandMāori

land

whetū

  whetūstarsMāori | Noun

stars