Read Tama Kōrero

He Whakarāpopoto | Executive Summary

Te Waikoropupū wells up from under the ground. The waters that gurgle up are some of the purest and clearest waters in the world, filtered through caverns of sandstone buried deep in the land. Impressively Te Waikoropupū is the largest coldwater spring in the Southern Hemisphere and releases tens of thousands of litres of water a second, feeding the river systems around it. But more importantly, Te Waikoropupū is a taonga, it is a wāhi tapu, home of Huriawa and has been feeding Ngāti Tama spiritually and culturally for generations.

We want our language to be like Te Waikoropupū. We want it to be natural and grounded in our heritage, whakapapa and tikanga. We want it to be clear, to be heard. We want it to infiltrate our homes and communities. We want it to nurture the cultural identity and confidence of all of our whānau. It is a taonga that we hope generations of Ngāti Tama will draw strength from.

Te Reo me ōna Tikanga

A collection of Ngāti Tama ki Te Tauihu waiata, karakia, tikanga protocols on the marae and Te Reo resources for whānau of Ngāti Tama ki Te Tauihu.

Tikanga o Te Marae

Much of the tikanga practiced on marae today has remained unchanged over the years. The protocols witnessed on marae throughout Taranaki today have largely been influenced by the Parihaka prophets, Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi. The main premise being that the marae proper is the domain of Tūmatauenga – the deity of conflict and aggression whereas the pouwhare is the domain of Rongo – the deity of peace and goodwill to all people. Therefore, it was prudent that all Taranaki iwi adhere to this tikanga, given the passive resistance kaupapa of Parihaka.

Formalities like pōwhiri and tangihanga services are generally conducted inside the pouwhare except where the occasion may be dictated by the numbers attending or the weather allows for some flexibility.

The pōwhiri has sometimes been likened to the famous ballet, the ‘Dance of the Seven Veils’ whereupon the dancer discards a veil at certain points of her performance. The same can be said of the pōwhiri whereby at least seven stages need to be attained to be regarded as noa. When the last stage has been achieved with the sharing of food, the manuhiri can be regarded as noa that is, attaining a state of neutrality and being free of tapu.

1. Whakaeke: meet at the entrance to ascend the marae In most situations, the pōwhiri will begin when the manuhiri have indicated that they are ready to ascend the marae.

2a. 2b. Karanga: a traditional call of welcome from the tangata whenua followed by the response from the manuhiri.

3. Maioha a brief silent pause in front of the pouwhare.

4. Hongi: formal greeting Manuhiri proceed directly into the pouwhare from the left-hand side led by the men and followed by the women and children where they will engage the tangata whenua with the hongi.

5. Kōkohu: handing over of koha This is the time when the koha is discretely handed over by the first male from the manuhiri to the first male of the tangata whenua. In Taranaki, the koha is not laid on the floor and may be regarded as impolite to do so.

6. Pāeke: welcome process From then on, the process is much the same as in other pōwhiri where pāeke is the tikanga, that is, the local speaker(s) (6a) will begin accompanied by a waiata followed by the visitors (6b).

Once the formal part (ōkawa) of the pōwhiri is completed, the visitors may be given the opportunity to speak in English (ōpaki) but it should never be assumed this will happen as it is a privilege and not a right determined by the hosts.

7. Kai: sharing of food At the completion of the formalities the visitors will be invited to lead both groups into the dining room (wharekai) to share kai which may be regarded as the last of the rites of the pōwhiri process to be completed and the final lifting of the tapu upon the visitors.

Download PDF of waiata and karakia

Waiata and Karakia Flip Cards from 2021 Wānanga

Mate koe i te aroha

When you’re sad or feeling alone
Look to your ancestral peak (can be substituted for another peak)                    
See the billowing smoke
And know that the home fires are burning*Horoirangi interchangeable with other mounga


Effervescent waters!
Effervescent waters!
Springing from beneath the earth.
Life sustaining waters.
Life source of the community.
A tribute to those who have gone before.
Effervescent waters!
Effervescent waters!
Download PDF of waiata and karakia

Karakia tīmatanga: Opening prayer

To the dawning of a new day welcome.
Cast your essence upon these humble beings.
As the night recedes silently, a glow of light and the new dawn breaks.
We are all in agreeance!

He Hōnore

Honour and Glory to God.
Peace on earth.
Goodwill to all people
Instill oh God
in us all
your spirit
to help and guide us
in all that we learn today

Karakia whakamutunga: Closing prayer

Disengage from the learning process,
to free up one’s mind, body and spirit.
Let peace reign on high.
Yes, we all agree!

Tērā a Matariki

Yonder sits Matariki, suspended on the horizon.
Welcome the fruits of the New Year.
The dawn breaks, a new day is born.
The dawn chorus sounds.
Come together,
the bellbird chimes.
Be alert, seize the day.
Let peace reign.
Tis absolute, fixed in place.
We are united as one.

Nā Koro Huirangi Waikerepuru

Whakataukītanga kōrero: proverbial sayings

Ko te pō te kaihari i te rā
Ko te mate te kaihari i te oranga
night is the bringer of day
death is the bringer of life
Despite the hardship that may befall us, life will prevail.       

nā Te Whiti me Tohu Kākahi (Parihaka)

Kāore he whakaatia o te weka!

The weka knows no shame

Take risks, be brave but be cautious  

nā Kēri Ōpai

Mahi Whakahua: Pronunciation exercise

Hei kai mā te hinengaro – food for thought.

The pronunciation of some local place names has been a bone of contention over the years however it may in fact be an indication or a ‘silent’ reminder of our collective history. Those who are familiar with the glottal stop will know that it is a feature of speech or a dialectal representation common in the Taranaki region. All of the tribes in Taranaki and extending as far as Whanganui use the glottal stop which is characteristic of the dropping of the ‘h’ not dissimilar to the Cook Islands whereupon it’s commonly accepted that many of the migratory waka visited and settled for a time before continuing the journey south to Aotearoa.

Given that Ngāti Tama and Te Āti Awa settled in Te Tauihu alongside the other iwi it would seem feasible that their occupation was recorded in the places that they settled giving rise to many of those sites today and the confusion regarding their correct pronunciation.

As the region also became more populated with non-Māori peoples and their lack of knowledge regarding the Māori language let alone the differences in dialect amongst those iwi, it seems logical that these sites would become targets of further confusion and falling victim to mispronunciation which would eventually become the ‘the norm’.

Here are some local examples of place names;

Commonly accepted name:
Waimea / Waimeha
Mahitahi / Maitai
Rai / Rahi
Glottal stop – (‘)
Possible meaning
to establish
Rigel (Puanga) star cluster
dilute, weak, insipid (water)
cooperate, collaborate
large, expansive

While the debate will rage on regarding the correct pronunciation of these place names, I believe there is ample evidence to suggest these place names are an indication of our linguistic footprint that is of Taranaki origin.

Kupu hou – glossary

rules, protocols

meeting house

Tangata whenua
host people


gift or contribution to a hui (usually money)

belief system, initiative

formal part, official (whereby spoken Māori only is permitted)

informal part (opportunity may be given to visitors to speak English)

state of being, formal process of entering a new, foreign or restricted domain like a marae

formal welcome ceremony

state of being, having moved from a state of tapu to one of neutrality via the pōwhiri

ascend the marae

traditional call, acknowledgement

sign of respect

pressing of forehead and bridge of nose (no kissing)

be discreet or conceal

procedure whereby the local speaker(s) will begin followed by the visitor(s)