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Te Ao Māori

 Resources for teaching and learning, classroom practice, and strengthening organisational capability competence.

Understanding Māori place names

These resources are a good starting point when learning about Māori place names. From here, follow up with mana whenua and check the version you are using is one they are happy with, they may be able to share with you deeper knowledge in relation to these places and names. 

  • Tiki Towns is a series of one minute videos explaining the correct pronunciation of some of our Māori place names and the history of those names.
  • LINZ has some great resources. Maps of Te Ika a Maui and Te Wai Pounamu with an index of names, their meanings where known, and their equivalent names on contemporary mapping (4th and 5th rows in publications). Ngā Tohu Pūmahara, The Survey Pegs of the Past, Understanding Māori Place Names (7th row in publications). LINZ place names
  • Watch keynote speaker Matt Matuhaere at the 2020 EOTC conference - What's in a name? 

Tihei Taiao

  • An amazing and informative resource. Tihei Taiao is a series of 2 minute videos focusing on different tipu (plants) in te taiao. It explores their uses for kai and/or rongoā and how to identify them. Tihei Taiao

Survive Aotearoa

Survive Aotearoa is an awesome series available online. Barrie and Chris travel all over New Zealand to spend 24 hours in a survival scenario that could happen to anyone: marooned boaters, lost hikers, stranded mountain climbers, or injured skiers. One great aspect to this series is the pair draw on traditional Māori knowledge to help them survive. Some fantastic learning throughout the series. Check it out here https://www.teamokura.com/tv-shows/survive-aoteroa/

Good reads


  • Te Miri Rangi (Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa), a health promoter and the founder of Whakapapa Fridays offers perspectives on health and wellbeing. Read about Tamanuiterā, the sun and his two wives and more on this Spin-Off blog.



  • Catherine Delahunty, former Green Party member of parliament, looks at why the Pākehā-dominated environmental and conservation movements are so often at odds with tangata whenua aspirations. Read Moving from tokenism to respect.  

Integrating te reo Māori and tikanga Māori into classrooms

Deities and Guardians: introducing the Atua Matua

View Deities and Guardians: introducing the Atua Matuawritten to support a Māori world lens for the Ministry of Education and the relationship between Māori and the environment in 2016.


Other good resources supporting the work of writer Dr Ihirangi Heke (Waikato/Tainui) can be found on the Toi Tangata website. Here, Dr Heke has been working to develop an alternative to the current Māori health frameworks using a strength-based, culturally appropriate system drawing on atuatanga (environmentally based information), kaitiakitanga (indigenous role models) and tipua (esoteric knowledge).


Kā Huru Manu: The Ngāi Tahu Cultural Mapping Project


This project is dedicated to mapping the traditional Māori place names and associated stories within the Ngāi Tahu rohe (tribal area). Place names are tangible reminders of the Ngāi Tahu relationship with the landscape of Te Waipounamu. Over 5,000 place names have been mapped and fully referenced from whānau manuscripts, published books, 19th century maps, newspaper articles and a vast array of unpublished material.

Rangitāne o Wairarapa Education website


Here is superb information and education resources on a wide range of subjects from Te Ao Maori in the Wairarapa. This includes mythology, local Māori history, world views, tikanga, basic te reo, the natural world, basic needs ie food and social structure.

Documents, websites and other useful material produced by other sources have been utilized to provide a greater coverage and often to save duplication of an existing resource that aligns with understanding things Māori.

Giving mana to Tiriti o Waitangi in our schools

Janelle Riki-Waaka, on CORE Ed Talks, discusses how focusing on what it means to be a school unique to Aotearoa New Zealand and reflecting our bicultural heritage gives mana to Tiriti o Waitangi. 

There are other excellent videos on the Core Education website, enough for one a week for a term and more. 

Land of the Long White CLoud

This RNZ podcast is a seven-part documentary web-series that tells the stories of New Zealanders who are reflecting on their colonial heritage and white guilt, and the ways they push through to find a more healthy Pākehā identity.

Rediscovering Aotearoa

This is an 8-part bilingual short documentary, podcast and article series, made with the support of NZ on Air. The series travels Aotearoa meeting young Kiwis as they discuss the impacts of colonisation today, modern race relations and how they are decolonising themselves.