Changes to vehicle access 25 Jul – Nov 2022

Our vehicle entrance will be reduced to one lane from 25 July until the end of November 2022, due to the construction of a new set of traffic lights outside Te Papa.

Info about vehicle access to Te Papa 25 Jul – Nov 2022

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 to hear how you pronounce it – it will open in your browser. You can download the MP3 file if you right-click on the link and save the file.

Can’t find the word you’re looking for? Check out Māori Dictionary.

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A

Kupu Definition
āhea time/when
Ahitereiria Australia
aihe dolphin
aka pirita supplejack
akeake Dodonaea viscosa
amo bargeboard support
amokura red-tailed tropicbird, Phaethon rubricauda
anga shells
Aotea Great Barrier Island
Aotearoa the Māori name for Aotearoa New Zealand
arawai streams
arero tongue
Ari a bad day for fishing and planting (Maramataka)
Ariroa fairly good for planting and fishing and spearing eels (Maramataka)
aroha love
atua god
au cloud
awa rivers
awhi hug, care

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E

Kupu Definition
e noho rā goodbye

a e h i k m n o p r t u w

H

Kupu Definition
breath
haere mai welcome
haka ceremonial dance
hāngi earth oven, food cooked in an earth oven
hākari feast
Hakihea November–December (Maramataka)
hapū subtribe, or to be pregnant
harakeke Aotearoa New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax
Haratua April–May (Maramataka)
hau vital essence, wind
Hauturu Little Barrier Island
Hawaiki Pacific homelands
he reka delicious
hei konei rā goodbye
hei tiki pendant in human form
hēki egg
Here-turi-kōkā July–August (Maramataka)
Hereturikōkā July–August (Maramataka)
heru ornamental comb
hieke rain cape
hihi stitchbirds
hīkoi walk, march
hīnaki eel trap
hīnaki pūrangi eel trap
hīnātore to shine
Hineraumati summer maiden (Maramataka)
Hinetakurua winter maiden (Maramataka)
Hiwaiterangi star associated with granting our wishes, and realising our aspirations for the coming year (Matariki)
hoa friend, friends
hoata also Ohoata – Good day for fishing and planting (Maramataka)
hoeroa staff
Hōngongoi June–July (Maramataka)
Hongonui June–July (Maramataka)
hopu whakāhua photography
Hotu fifteenth night of the lunar month (Maramataka)
hue gourds
hue puruhau a large gourd used as a musical instrument played by blowing over the top opening
hue puruwai gourd with seeds used as a musical instrument
hui to gather, meeting
hui ā-rohe regional meetings
Hui-tanguru January–February (Maramataka)
Huitānguru January–February (Maramataka)
Huna bad day, everything is hidden (Maramataka)
huruhuru feathers

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I

Kupu Definition
ihi essential force
ihu nose
īnanga whitebait
ipu wooden bowl
iti small
iwi tribe

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K

Kupu Definition
kāeo sea tulips
kāheru shovel, spade
Kāhui Assembly
Kāhui Kaumātua Council of Elders
kai food
kaiako teacher
kaimoana seafood, shellfish
kāinga home
Kaihaka performers
Kaihautū Māori leader
kaitiaki guardian
kaitiakitanga guardianship, stewardship
Kaitito Composer, writer
kaiwhatu weavers
kākahu clothes, cloak
kakama agile
kākāpō green parrot, Strigops habroptilus
kakī neck
kapa haka Māori performing arts
kapokapowai dragonflies
karakia incantation, prayer
karanga to call
kātote soft tree fern
kauae jaw
kaumātua grandparent, male elders
kaupapa plan, purpose
kaupapa whakahaere principles
kauri kauri tree, Agathis australis
kea mountain parrot, Nestor notabilis
kererū Aotearoa New Zealand woodpigeon, Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae
kete basket
kete whakairo patterned bag
ketu pointed paddle-shaped implement
ki hea where
kia ora greeting, hello
kiekie Freycinetia
kina sea urchin, Evechinus chloroticus
kiore rat, Rattus exulans
kiri tōtara tōtara bark
kiwi kiwi bird
hoe, digging implement
Kōanga Spring (Maramataka)
kōauau flute or kelp
kōauau pongaihu gourd flute
koha gift
kōhanga nest
kōhanga reo Māori language preschool
Kohitātea December–January (Maramataka)
Kohi-tātea December–January (Maramataka)
kōiwi tangata Māori skeletal remains
kōiwi tangata Māori Māori skeletal remains
kōkako orange-wattled crow, Callaeas cinerea
kōmako Aotearoa New Zealand bellbird, Anthornis melanura
kōpū belly
kōpūwai grey mullet, Mugil cephalus
kōpūwaitōtara puffer fish, Allomycterus jaculiferus
Korekore-hahani bad day as everything is unattainable (Maramataka)
Korekore-piri-ki-ngā-Tangaroa moon on the twenty-first night of the lunar month Bad day as everything is unattainable (Maramataka)
Korekore-te-rawea moon on the twentieth night of the lunar month Bad day as everything is unattainable (Maramataka)
Korekore-te-whiwhia moon on the nineteenth night of the lunar month Bad day as everything is unattainable (Maramataka)
kōrero talk, stories, or discussion
kōrero ōkawa formal speech
kōrero ōpaki informal speech
kōrero tuku iho oral histories
koro grandfather
kōwhaiwhai painted rafters
kua ea victory
kūi the tiger beetle grub, Neocicindela tuberculata
kuia grandmother, female elder
kuia moko tattooed female, women elders
kūmara sweet potatoes
kupenga net
kupu word
kura kaupapa primary school
kura kaupapa Māori Māori primary school
kurī dog

a e h i k m n o p r t u w

M

Kupu Definition
mahi work
Mahitahi South Island town (Bruce Bay)
māhunga head
Mahuru August–September (Maramataka)
maihi bargeboard
Maitahi alternative placename for Mahitahi
mamae pain, ache
mana authority, power, prestige
mana whenua authority over land or territory
manaia supernatural being
manākitanga hospitality, kindness, generosity
manawa heart
Mānawatia a Matariki Welcome to Matariki, celebrate Matariki
manga branch (of a river or tree)
Mangawhai town in Northland
mānia slip
manu bird
manu moana sea birds
manu whenua visitors or guests
manuhiri visitors
mānuka tea-tree, Leptospermum scoparium
Māori indigenous New Zealander, indigenous person from Aotearoa New Zealand
Māoritanga Māori culture and way of life
māra garden
marae open area in front of the main meeting house
marae ātea open area in front of the main meeting house
maramataka Māori lunar calendar (Maramataka)
maro body covering worn around the waist
mataī black pine, Prumnopitys taxifolia
Mata-kāheru Māori name for the constellation Hyades
Matariki Māori New Year and the Pleiades star cluster (Maramataka)
Matariki ahunga nui great food piles of Matariki
Matariki hunga nui the many people of Matariki
Matariki manako nui the wishes and desires of Matariki
mātauranga Māori knowledge
Mātauranga Māori Māori knowledge
matua parent
mātua parents
matuku white-faced heron Egretta novaehollandiae
Māui storyteller and trickster
maunga mountain
mau rākau Māori martial arts
Maure fairly good for planting and fishing and spearing eels (Maramataka)
mauri life force
Māwharu a good day, especially for cray fishing (Maramataka)
māwhero pink
mere weapon
mīere honey
mihingare missionary
mita rhythm, metre
moa large extinct flightless bird
moana sea
moko tattoos, reptiles, grandchild, human remains
moko kauae female tattooing
mokomoko grandmother, female elder
mokopuna grandchildren
momo species
Mōrena Good morning
mōteatea poetry
moto blow of the fist
motu island, country, land
muka flax fibre
Mutuwhenua the worst day of all (Moon is dead) (Maramataka)
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa our Māori name, ‘Te Papa Tongarewa’, translates literally to ‘container of treasures’

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N

Kupu Definition
namu sandflies
nau mai welcome greeting
neinei Dracophyllum latifolium
ngā hēki eggs
ngā maunga mountains
ngā ngutu beaks
ngahere forest
ngahere tawai beech forests
ngāi tātou bees
ngā pī referring to everyone present
ngā pōpokoriki ants
ngā rākau a te Pākehā European skills, weapons
Ngahuru Autumn (Maramataka)
ngaki weeding, cultivating, planting
Ngāti Toa Rangatira Ngāti Toa Rangatira tribe
Ngāuruhoe Mount Ngāuruhoe
ngeru cats
ngū squid
niho teeth
noa unrestricted
noke worms
nui size, big

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O

Kupu Definition
Ohoata also Hoata – a good day for fishing and planting (Maramataka)
Ōhua Good day for planting; good returns for all seeds and seedlings (Maramataka)
Oike Not a good day for fishing or planting (Maramataka)
Okoro Good day for planting and eeling (Maramataka)
Ōmutu The last day of the productive period of fishing, planting and eeling(Maramataka)
one beach
oriori lullabies
Ōrongonui Good day, whitebait descending when Moon is well on the wane (Maramataka)
Ōtāne Good day for deep-sea fishing and night eeling (Maramataka)
Ōturu Good day for eeling, fishing and planting (Maramataka)
Ōuenuku good day for laying down seedling beds, planting and fishing (Maramataka)

a e h i k m n o p r t u w

P

Kupu Definition
fortified village
pae perch
pae perch
Paengawhāwhā March–April
Paenga-whāwhā March–April
pakanga o ngā manu battle of the birds
pākē capes
Pākehā European New Zealanders
pakerewha pale beings who bring sickness
pakiaka aerial root
papa plank
Papatūānuku the earth mother
para frost fish
paraki smelt
parāoa sperm whale, bread
parāoa koroua unleavened bread (i.e. made without yeast)
pare lintel
parirau wings
pātaka (food) storehouse
pekapeka bat
pepeke insects jumping
pēpeke insect crouching
piharau lamprey
pīnaki pointed paddle-shaped implement
pīpī chicks
Pipiri May–June
piupiu flax skirt
pīwakawaka fantail, Rhipidura fuliginosa
dark, night
poaka pig
pōhā bull kelp bags
pōhā hau hollowed-out blades
pōhā mata fresh kelp bags that have not been dried
pōhiri welcoming ceremony on a marae
poho chest
Pōhutukawa star associated with those that have passed on, Aotearoa New Zealand Christmas tree Metrosideros excelsa
poi āwhiowhio whistling gourd - a small gourd with holes which is attached to a string and twirled
pokipoki rat trap
Pōneke Wellington
ponga silver fern
poto young (fish)
pou post
pouākai Haast's eagle
pouaka fescue grass
pounamu Aotearoa New Zealand greenstone
pou pou panels
pōuri dark
pou tokomanawa central support pole of a meeting house
Poutūterangi February–March
Poutū-te-rangi February–March
pōwhiri welcoming ceremony on a marae
pūhoro thigh tattoos
pūkāea long wooden trumpet
pūkaki stream
pukapuka book
pukapuka mahi activity book
pūkauae female chin tattoo
puke hill
pūkeko purple swamphen, Porphyrio porphyrio
pūkenga specialist, expert
puku belly
puna to well up, spring of water
pūngāwerewere spiders
pūrākau Māori cosmogonic stories
pūtātara conch shell trumpet with a wooden mouthpiece
putiputi flower
pūtōrino large flute usually made of wood
pūwhara lookout

a e h i k m n o p r t u w

R

Kupu Definition
rākau trees
Rakiura Stewart Island
Rākaumatohi moon on the sixteenth (or eighteenth) night of the lunar month – a fairly good day, whitebait moving (Maramataka)
Rākaunui full moon – a good day for planting, but not fishing (Maramataka)
rangahau research
rangatahi youth
rangatira leader
rangi sky
Ranginui the sky father
rāpeti rabbit
raranga weaving
Rātana Rātana, placename
raupatu conquest
rawe excellent
Rehua Antares (star)
Rēkohu Chatham Islands, Wharekauri
rerekore flightless
reo language, dialect, tongue, speech
rimurapa bull kelp
ringa arm, hand
rīwai or taewa – Māori potatoes
stick insect
roa length
rohe region
rongoā medicine
Rongomaraeroa Rongomaraeroa is the name of Te Papa’s whole marae, including entrances and pūwhara (lookout)
roto lakes
Ruapehu Mount Ruapehu
Rūaumoko god of earthquakes
ruru morepork owl, Ninox novaeseelandiae

a e h i k m n o p r t u w

T

Kupu Definition
taewa or rīwai – Māori potatoes
taha huahua gourds
tāhuhu kōrero history
tai coast
taiaha long wooden weapon
taiao nature
taiāpure coastal reserve
taihoa wait (interjection)
taiko Westland petrel, Procellaria westlandica
Tai Rāwhiti East Coast
takahē flightless bird, Porphyrio hochstetteri
Takirau son
takurua winter
tama moon on the third night after the full moon. Best day of all to plant kūmara (Maramataka)
tamāhine daughter or girl
tamaiti child
Tāmakimakaurau Auckland
Tamanuiterā the sun, sun god
Tama-nui-te-rā the sun, sun god
tamariki children
Tamatea-ā-hotu Bad day for planting and fishing (Maramataka)
Tamatea-āio Good day for planting and fishing (Maramataka)
Tamatea-ā-ngana Bad day for planting and fishing (Maramataka)
Tamatea-kai-ariki Bad day for planting and fishing (Maramataka)
tāmoko tattoo, apply traditional tattoo
tāne male
Tānemahuta god of the forest
Tāne-mahuta god of the forest
Tangaroa god of the sea
Tangaroa-a-mua moon on the eighth night after the full moon Good day for deep-sea fishing; white-bait is running (Maramataka)
Tangaroa-a-roto Good day for deep-sea fishing; white-bait is running (Maramataka)
Tangaroa god of the sea
tangata person
tāngata people
Tangata Tiriti Treaty People
tangata whenua the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand
tangi crying, funeral
tangihanga funeral
taniwha supernatural water creature
taonga treasures
taonga Māori Māori cultural treasures
taonga pūoro musical instrument
taonga tuku iho heritage
tapu sacred restriction
Tapuārangi star associated with everything that grows up in the trees: fruits, berries, and birds
Tāruke crayfish pot
Tarawera Mount Tarawera
tātarakihi cicada
tatau to count
Tauiwi foreigner, non-Māori
tautoko exclamation to show agreement
Tautoru Orion’s belt (sometimes called ‘the pot’)
tawaki Fiordland crested penguin, Eudyptes pachyrhynchus
Tāwhirimātea god of the weather
te ao the world
te ao Māori the Māori world
Te Ātiawa an iwi
Te Hāhi Katorika the Catholic Church
Te Hāhi Ringatū the Ringatū Church
Te Hau ki Tūranga the traditional meeting house from Ko Rongowhakaata iwi in Mana Whenua Te Papa
Te Ika a Māui The Fish of Maūi, North Island
teina the younger sister (of a female), younger brother (of a male)
teka foot tread
tēnā koe hello (to one person)
tēnā kōrua hello (to two people)
tēnā koutou hello (to three or more people)
tēnā koutou katoa hello to you all (to three or more people)
tēnā tātou katoa formal greeting to everybody present
te pītau a manaia a traditional carving pattern
te reo Māori the Māori language
Te Tai Rāwhiti East Coast of the North Island
Te Tai Tokerau Northland
Te Tairāwhiti East Coast of the North Island
Te Tiriti o Waitangi The Treaty of Waitangi
Te utu cost
Te Waipounamu The South Island
Te Waka a Māui The Canoe of Māui | South Island
te wao nui the great forests
te wao nui a Tāne the great forests of Tāne
Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington
Te Wiki o te Reo Māori Māori Language Week
tiaki safeguarding
tīeke saddleback, Philesturnus rufusater
tihei mauri ora the sneeze or breath of life
tikanga custom
tiki carved figure
tī kōuka cabbage tree, Cordyline australis
timo grubber for loosening soil
tino rangatiratanga sovereignty
tipuna ancestor
tīpuna ancestors
Tirea Bad day. The New Moon determines the start of the lunar month (Maramataka)
tītī muttonbirds
titiwai glow-worm
toa warriors
tohunga expert
tohunga kōkōrangi expert astronomers
tohunga tāmoko tattoo experts
tohunga whakairo master carver
tohutō macrons
toi moko preserved Māori tattooed heads
toke earthworms
toki adze, axe
toki poutangata greenstone adze
tokotoko walking stick
Tongariro Mount Tongariro
toroa albatross
tōtara Podocarpus totara tree
toto blood
tuāhine sisters (of a male)
tuakana elder sister (of a female), elder brother (of a male)
tuakoi tonga southern hemisphere
tūere hagfish, Eptatretus cirrhatus
tūī parson bird, Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae
tukutuku ornamental lattice-work
tuna eel, Anguilla australis
tungāne brother (of a female)
Tupuānuku star associated with everything that grows within the soil to be harvested or gathered for food
Tupuārangi Atlas - one of the stars in Te Kāhui o Matariki, the Pleiades star cluster
tupuna ancestor
tūpuna ancestors
tūranga stand
Tūranganui Gisborne
Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa Gisborne
tūrangawaewae place of belonging, location of identity
turi deafness
Turu Full moon. Fairly good for planting, the Sun and the Moon can both be seen (Maramataka)
tūtae poo

a e h i k m n o p r t u w

U

Kupu Definition
Uenuku Good day for planting and eeling (Maramataka)
uhi tattoo instrument for puncturing the skin
umu earth oven
upokohue pilot whales, Globicephala melas
upoko head
uri descendants
Ururangi star associated with the winds

a e h i k m n o p r t u w

W

Kupu Definition
waeroa mosquitoes
waewae legs
wahaika hand
wahine woman
wāhine women
wāhine Māori Māori women
wai water
waiata song
waiata tira choral item
waipounamu Aotearoa New Zealand greenstone
Waipuna-ā-rangi star associated with the rain
Waipunarangi star associated with the rain
wairua spirit
Waitā star associated with the ocean, and food sources within it.
Waitī star associated with all fresh water bodies and the food sources that are sustained by those waters
waka ocean-going vessel
waka huia a treasure box for storing feather headdresses
waka kererū pigeon snare
waka taua war canoe
wānanga learning
wauwau pointed paddle-shaped implement
wehi awesome
werewere kōkako blue mushroom, Entoloma hochstetteri
wero challenge
wētā large insects of various species found in trees and caves
whaea mother, aunt
whaikōrero formal speech
whakairo carving
whakapapa genealogy
whakarau captive
Whakāri White Island (Bay of Plenty)
whakataukī proverb
whakawhiti kaimoana propagation of seafood
whānau family
whanaunga relative
whanaungatanga connection, relationship, friends and family
whanga bay
whāngai foster
whāngote mammals
Whānui Vega – fifth brightest star in the sky
whara to be hit accidentally
wharawhara coastal astelia, Astelia banksii
whare building, house
whare horoi laundry
whare kai dining hall
whare karakia church
whare pora house of weaving
whare tapere house of storytelling
whare tipuna ancestral house
whare tupuna ancestral house
whare whakairo carved meeting house
Wharekauri Rēkohu, Chatham Islands
wharenui large meeting house
whawhai fight
whē praying mantis
whenua land
whetū stars
Whiringa-ā-nuku September–October
Whiringa-ā-rangi October–November
Whiro Bad day, the Moon is out of sight (Maramataka)

a e h i k m n o p r t u w