A traditional Māori greeting in New Zealand. It is done by pressing one's nose and forehead (at the same time) to another person when greeting another. This is used at traditional meetings among Māori and at major ceremonies, serving a similar purpose to a formal handshake. Generally a hongi is in conjunction with a firm handshake.


In the hongi, the ha (or breath of life), is exchanged and intermingled. The breath of life can also be interpreted as the sharing of both party's souls.

Through the exchange of this physical greeting, one is no longer considered manuhiri (visitor) but rather tangata whenua, one of the people of the land. For the remainder of one's stay one is obliged to share in all the duties and responsibilities of the home people.



is a communal house of the Māori people of New Zealand, generally situated as the focal point of a marae. Wharenui are usually called meeting houses in New Zealand English.The wharenui along with the carvings are sacred, and must be respected. There are certain rules and protocol for each wharenui, generally followed by the locals.


Before entering a wharenui, you must be welcomed by the local iwi (tribe) by a powhiri (traditional welcoming). Where once welcomed, you must remove your shoes enter the wharenui and partake in the formalities of the powhiri. Once the powhiri is over you are no longer considered manuhiri (visitior) and must partake in the duties with the locals.


The building often symbolises an ancestor of the wharenui tribe. So different parts of the building refer to body parts of that ancestor. 

Kapa Haka


Refered to as 'Māori Performing Arts' or the 'cultural dance' of Māori people. Kapa haka allows Māori to express and showcase their heritage and cultural identity through song and dance.


Kapa haka dates back to pre-European times where it developed from all traditional forms of Māori pastimes; haka, mau rakau (Māori weaponry), poi (ball attached to rope or string) and moteatea (traditional Māori songs). These everyday activities were influential to the development of kapa haka.


Kapa haka performance involves choral singing, dance and movements associated in the hand-to-hand combat practiced by Māori in mainly precolonial times, presented in a synchronisation of action, timing, posture, footwork and sound. The genre evolved out of a combination of European and Māori musical principles.




to stare wildly, dilate the eyes - done by both genders when performing haka and waiata (songs) to emphasise particular words. A Pukana is often done to challenge another person or the "enemy" in the case of it being performed in a haka.