Dictionaries and resources

The following links to external support material for information related to Te Reo, Tikanga and for general knowledge. Material used should be appropriately referenced. For more information, check out our APA referencing guide.


Te Aka online Māori/English English/Māori Dictionary He Pātaka Kupu HM Ngata Ngā Tikanga Tuhi a Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori A Dictionary of the Māori Language

H. W. Williams M.A. 6th ed. Govt. Printer, 1957

Māori-Polynesian comparative dictionary

Edward Tregear


Extra handy for the latest metalinguistic and metatextual words, for writing about writing & language


Ancient history of the Māori

Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 | Vol. 3 | Vol. 4 | Vol. 5 | Vol. 6 | Vols. 7-13

John White

Described as “one of our most extensive storehouses of Māori custom and tradition” (Andersen, Johannes C. The lure of New Zealand book collecting. Auckland: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1936, p. 77). It covers Māori knowledge, history and tradition, including karakia, pūrākau, waiata, whakapapa and whakatauki.”


Hawaiki: the original home of the Māori

S. Percy-Smith

First published in the “Journal of the Polynesian Society”, this book shows some of the origins of New Zealand Māori and Polynesian migration. It includes genealogical table of Rarotonga.

Ngā moteatea, me nga hakirara o ngā Māori

George Grey

This was the first collection of oral traditions in the Māori language published in New Zealand.

Māori and Polynesian: their origin, history and culture

John Macmillan Brown

Another work on the origin of New Zealand Māori, their traditions and culture.

The Māori division of time

Introduction | Full text

Elsdon Best

This work written through the lens of a Victorian imperialist, looks at how Māori interpreted the division of time, and how they made use of it for astronomical and agricultural purposes. It discusses the use of lunar phases for fishing and planting and the stories that help mark this phenomena. It further discusses terms employed to denote time.

History and traditions of the Māori of the West Coast, North Island of new Zealand, prior to 1840

S. Percy-Smith

This work covers history specific to the Taranaki coast prior to 1840.

Old New Zealand: being incidents of native customs and character in the old times by a Pakeha Māori

Chapter 1 | Download the eBook

F. E. Maning

Similar to the works mentioned above, Maning wrote a few sketches on Māori life, manners, customs etc. based on his observations and conversations with Māori.

The New Zealand Wars: a history of the Māori campaigns and the pioneering period

Vol. 1 | Vol. 2

James Cowan

James Cowan (1870-1943) grew up on Waikato land confiscated from Māori. The family farm included part of the Orākau battlefield. His two-volume set was considered the definitive account of the New Zealand Wars until recently and is notable for his use of both Māori and European oral sources.

– nzhistory.govt.nz

Polynesian voyagers. The Māori as a deep-sea navigator, explorer, and colonizer

Contents | Dominion Museum Monograph No.5

Elsdon Best

A work that covers a description of Polynesian migration via their maritime exploits from thet perspective of Māori as a navigator, explorer and colonizer.

Stirring times of Te Rauparaha

W. T. L. Travers

A collation of two works, the first section titled Some chapters in the life and times of Te Raupara, Chief of the ngatitoa, in Transactions of the New Zealand Institution v. 5 (1872) and the second section Kaiapohia; the story of a siege published in 1893. Originally published: Christchurch, N.Z.: Whitcombe & Tombs, 1906

– aucklandmuseum.com
Te Tangata: the human person

Michael P. Shirres

“Te Tangata is an insight into Māori understanding of humanity and spirituality. It allows the reader to glimpse the Māori world view. It is valued as a vital resource for all those who are interested in promoting cross cultural understanding and substantial bi-cultural relationships.”

– Accent Publishers

With the Lost Legion in New Zealand

G. Hamilton-Browne

G. Hamilton-Brown also known as ‘Māori Browne’ was a colonial soldier. There was doubt cast on the veracity of the work, as he served as a despatch rider long after the period of the ‘Māori War’. However as a fictional work it is written in the ‘gung-ho’ style of the Victorian Imperialist and offers a glimpse into a time that has few written works relating to it.

The Māori Race

Edward Tregear

Tregear’s work that was dedicated to Elsdon Best and a preface by S. Percy Smith, provided a single concise book on Māori. At the time, any who wished to learn about Māori had to research using multi-volume sets.

– Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Narrative of the Late War in New Zealand

R. Carey, Lt. Col.

An account of the Taranaki War, 1860-1861 written from the perspective of a colonial soldier.

Te Kaharoa

Te Kaharoa is an open access, multi-disciplinary, refereed, electronic journal with a focus on indigenous issues in the Pacific region.

Library resources

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