There will be some Maori words I use on this blog that people outside Aotearoa/New Zealand may not understand. We have three official languages here (New Zealand Sign Language, English, and Maori) and sometimes a Maori word is really the only one that will work in a New Zealand context.
There’s a Maori dictionary here. Otherwise I’ll define words as I use them on this page. Please let me know if you think I’ve got something wrong – I’m not fluent in te reo by any means.
- Maori – indigenous people of New Zealand/Aotearoa
- Whanau – family – but wider than the English sense, more like extended family.
- Mana – authority, control, personal power, command, determination, dignity, influence, integrity, prestige.
- Aotearoa – New Zealand.
- Te Reo – Maori language
- Iwi – closest to this is tribe. Maori who whakapapa back to/descend from a common ancestor.
- Whakapapa – genealogy, relationships to one another, descent line.
- Pakeha – non-Maori New Zealander – usually means of European descent – so white New Zealander. Other non-Maori New Zealanders likely to be referred to as “tauiwi.”
- Tauiwi – all non-Maori New Zealanders.
- Kiwi – flightless bird that’s only in New Zealand. And slang term for anyone from here.
- Tino rangatiratanga – independence, sovereignty, control over your own destiny.
- Hui – meeting.
- Ka Kite – goodbye.
- Kaitiaki – guardian, keeper.
- Takutai – coast, coastal, shore.