Glossary of Terms


This page provides explanations of some key kupu (words) and phrases used on this website.


Glossary of Terms

Note: words given in italics below are Te Reo Māori, the language of the Māori people of Aotearoa New Zealand – one of Aotearoa’s official languages.


Georeferencing involves aligning two sets of geographic data to each other. For example, digitally overlaying historic maps on a modern map, using locations found in both data sets to link the two maps together (as accurately as possible).   


A speech, narrative, or story. Can also be used as a verb.  


A word. 


Plan, chart, map. 


A myth, ancient legend, story. 


Wetland (also swamp, bog or marsh).  


A treasure, or something prized or valuable. Can be applied to a wide range of things, including socially or culturally valuable objects, resources, phenomenon, ideas and techniques (maoridictionary.co.nz). 

tangata whenua 

Local people, hosts, indigenous people – people born of the whenua, i.e., of the placenta and of the land where the people’s ancestors have lived and where their placenta are buried (maoridictionary.co.nz). 


A song, chant or psalm. Several waiata are included on Ngā Pūrākau Mahere (Map Stories), and Taonga Repo pages of this website.  

Wairarapa Moana 

Wairapa Moana means ‘sea of glistening water’ in Te Reo Māori. It is the largest wetland complex in the lower North Island and has held cultural significance to Māori for some 800 years. It was established as a Ramsar site since 2020, recognising it as an internationally important wetland, that should be conserved and used wisely.  


Whakapapa is a fundamental principle of Māori culture. Whakapapa establishes a person’s genealogy, giving their line of descent down from their ancestors and also linking them to whenua (land), all other living things, the earth, and sky. Stories connect whakapapa to the landscape. (https://teara.govt.nz/en/whakapapa-genealogy)

Other useful resources:  

Te Aka

Māori-English, English-Māori Dictionary

Place Names – Rangitane Education 

A reference for Māori place names in the area.

Frequently Asked Questions


Education Resources

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