Kore au e puapua Proverb


‘The tuber seeds sown from Rangiātea’ refers to the origins of our culture, as our ancestors travelled here from Rangiātea Island in Hawaiki.

The tuber seeds sown from Rangiātea will never be lost here at Te Puia | New Zealand MāoriArts and Crafts Institute.

Nestled in the ancient proverb is Te Puia | NZMACI’s core responsibility; to perpetuate the origins of our Māori culture, traditions, arts and crafts and to ensure the sustainability of the natural and geothermal environment.

Knowing who we are and where we come from not only makes us stronger, but allows us to stay true to our culture in everything we do.


Whakapapa means genealogy or shared origins and creates a line of descent from our ancestors to present day. It is an organising principle.

Linking people to all living things, our whakapapa can trace all the way back to the creation of the universe.

Relationships are integral to our culture, and our whakapapa help to establish interactions and relationships to be maintained and honoured throughout the generations.

Whakapapa are told orally in a variety of ways. Most commonly told, a tararere gives a single line of decent from an ancestor.

Did you know?

It is though whakapapa that individuals often get their names.

The wharenui (meeting house) is a model for whakapapa. The oldest ancestors lie at the top of the house near the tekoteko (carved statue), spreading out towards the bottom where recent lines can be traced.

Māori had no written language before the arrival of the Europeans and would recite their whakapapa, often containing hundreds of names, to ensure longevity. When the art of writing arrived, many began to record their whakapapa. Considered tapū (prohibited), these manuscripts would be burnt or buried when the author passed away.

A rakū is a notched stick which assists our people in recalling their whakapapa. Moving their hand along the stick as they recite, each notch represents a relationship.

Kore au e puapua Proverb