Te Ao Māori

Whānau, hapū and iwi

The first people that settled in Aotearoa New Zealand were of Polynesian origin. Isolated for centuries, the Polynesians developed their own culture, language and customs. Over time, they formed groups to support the social and political needs of their society. Membership was and continues to be determined by whakapapa (genealogical descent). These groups are organised into whānau, hapū and iwi.

 

Whānau

A whānau consists of extended groups of related families. Membership can include grandparents, parents, children, sisters, brothers, cousins, nieces and nephews. Guidance is usually provided by the elders and selected leaders of the whānau.

Hapū

A hapū comprises a number of whānau. Traditionally, as whānau expanded there was a need to form new hapū. These hapū were groups of whānau united under a leader named after a common ancestor. The day-to-day operations of the hapū depended on everyone working collectively to achieve goals and aspirations.
 

Iwi

An iwi comprises a number of hapū. Primarily this group comes together to advance its social and political needs. The name of the iwi derives from, and serves to honour, a common ancestor or significant event. Often iwi trace their history back to the waka (canoe), which brought their founding ancestors to New Zealand (for example, Waikato tribes trace their lineage back to the Tainui waka).


Other meanings

It is important to note there are other meanings for these words. Whānau can also mean ‘to give birth’. Hapū can also mean ‘pregnant’, and iwi can mean ‘bone’ or ‘nation’. 

These alternative meanings can be seen as metaphors for the genealogical connection that unites whānau, hapū and iwi. The bond that unites these groups is whakapapa – both with each other and the environments they live in.

Despite a common language and similar cultural values, Māori operate as separate and distinct, and do not regard themselves as a single people. Each hapū is autonomous and has land rights to specific areas. Each hapū also has its own stories, dialect as well as kawa and tikanga (law, customs and practices).

Iwi map

The Iwi map has been designed to help access information on different Iwi, hapu histories and whakapapa.

Click on a region to see a list of hapu/Iwi appear below. Then click on specific hapu/Iwi to link to available resources. Alternatively, click here to see a list of recommended resources with information about specific iwi.

TainuiTe Tai TokerauTauranga MoanaHaurakiHauauruTe ArawaMataatuaTe TairawhitiTakitimuTe Moana RaukawaTe Tau IhuTe Wai Pounamu/Rekohu

Click on the hapu/Iwi to link to available resources

Te Tai Tokerau

Te Tai Tokerau
Ngai Takoto
Ngati Kuri
Te Aupouri
Te Rarawa
Ngati Kahu
Te Paatu
Nga Puhi
Te Roroa
Ngati Whatua
Click on the hapu/Iwi to link to available resources

Hauraki

Ngati Paoa
Click on the hapu/Iwi to link to available resources

Tauranga Moana

Ngai te Rangi
Ngati Pukenga
Ngati Ranginui
Click on the hapu/Iwi to link to available resources

Tainui

Tainui
Te Kawerau a Maki
Ngati Paoa
Ngati Maniapoto
Ngati Raukawa
Ngati Hikairo
Click on the hapu/Iwi to link to available resources

Te Arawa

Te Arawa
Ngati Rangiteaorere
Ngati Tarawhai
Ngati Tuwharetoa
Tuhourangi
Click on the hapu/Iwi to link to available resources

Mataatua

Mataatua
Ngai te Rangi
Ngati Awa
Ngati Ranginui
Tuhoe
Whakatohea
Te Whanau A Apanui
Click on the hapu/Iwi to link to available resources

Te Tairawhiti

Ngati Porou
Te Aitanga A Hauiti
Ngai Tamanuhiri
Ngati Kahungunu
Click on the hapu/Iwi to link to available resources

Takitimu

Takitimu
Rangitane
Rongowhakaata
Te Aitanga A Mahaki
Ngai Tamanuhiri
Click on the hapu/Iwi to link to available resources

Hauauru

Nga Rauru
Nga Ruahine
Ngati Maru
Ngati Ruanui
Ngati Tama
Te Atiawa
Click on the hapu/Iwi to link to available resources

Te Moana Raukawa

Ngati Kuia
Ngati Tama
Ngati Toa
Rangitane
Te Atiawa
Click on the hapu/Iwi to link to available resources

Te Tau Ihu

Rangitane
Te Atiawa
Ngati Kuia
Ngati Tama
Ngati Toa
Click on the hapu/Iwi to link to available resources

Te Wai Pounamu/Rekohu

Moriori
Ngai Tahu
Ngati Mamoe
Ngati Mutunga
Waitaha
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