Participating in a different culture takes time and patience. Learning about tikanga or cultural protocol will enrich your experiences and improve your ability to participate fully. Tikanga can be described as general behavior guidelines for daily life and interaction in the Māori culture. Tikanga is commonly based on experience and learning that has been handed down through generations. It is based on logic and common sense associated with a Māori worldview. Here are some resources to help you prepare for your journey. Please click on the titles for more information.


Welcoming ceremony

The powhiri is the traditional Maori welcome ceremony which takes place usually when going onto a marae or into a sacred space. 


Ancestral house

The wharenui is symbolically designed to represent the chief and his ancestors. Every piece, every part of the wharenui has an important function or role contributing to the identity of the tribe and their ancestry back to the creation.


Pressing of the nose

The first woman was created by the Gods, molding her shape out of the earth. The god Tane embraced the figure and breathed into her nostrils. She then sneezed and came to life.

Kai, invocation, and protocol

Maori tribes have special protocol around food and the blessing of food. 


Whanaungatanga captures the belief that the more relationships people have in their lives the happier and healthier they are. Relationships are the heart of the community. And a sense of being connected to the community through relationships is at the core of the good life. In fact, the community provides endless opportunities for the creation of relationships.


hospitality and kindness

Manaakitanga encompasses reciprocal hospitality and respect from one individual or group to another.It also acknowledges the mana of others as having equal or greater importance than your own, through the expression of aroha / love, hospitality, generosity, and mutual respect.

Maori Language Pronunciation

The New Zealand Maori language is part of the Polynesian sub-family of languages which form a very closely related group spoken for the most part within the Polynesian triangle. ThusMaori speech is a dialect of the language spoken throughout Polynesia and hence conveniently called the Polynesian language.

 PEPEHA, who am i

Pepeha is a way of introducing oneself. Using a set structure it identifies who we are, where we’re from and where we belong. Pepeha is used in a Māori context and has a formal basis, but the idea is universal. Everyone has a pepeha which links them to their ancestors. It’s like a story that connects you to your waka, your hapū and iwi. It identifies important places like your maunga, awa, and marae.