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Maori Social Structures


The Maori social structure was based on descent, seniority and the extended family. These developed along with other human values and concepts, such as mana and tapu. The Maori social structure provided the basis for authority over the individual and the collective. This is evident through whakapapa, which introduces the principle of kinship. Whakapapa determines the rights of people and governs their relationships. Similarly, residency and environmental influences determined a person s rights and how their relationships developed in relation to other individuals and the collective group.

The dynamics that operate on the collective groups within Maori society are apparent when one observes the varying social, political and economic influences that affect the inter-relationship between individuals and the collective groups. The collective groups are the whanau, hapu, iwi and waka. Each had its own internal authority structure, which affected individuals socially, spiritually, emotionally and economically.

A social hierarchy governed Maori society, which determined the rank and standing of an individual and how notions of justice would affect them. The rangatira, tutua and tohunga class were based on seniority of descent. Notions of collective responsibility also played a role in how the individual functioned within the wider group and observed their responsibilities in relation to the wider group.


Ko tatou nga kanohi me nga waha korero o ratou ma kua ngaro ki te po
We are but the seeing eyes and speaking mouths of those who have passed on.

Whakapapa is central to Maori society. Whakapapa defines both the individual and kin groups, and governs the relationships between them. Whakapapa confirms an individual s membership within the kin groups that constitute Maori society and provides the means for learning about the history of their tipuna.[63]

Maori recognised four kin groups: whanau, hapu, iwi and waka. In general terms the iwi was the sum total of its hapu, the hapu an aggregation of whanau, and the whanau an association of close relatives.[64]

Membership in these groups and the right to participate was principally based on whakapapa, the principle of descent. Cohesion was maintained through an intimate knowledge of bloodlines, the constant deference to tribal ancestors on formal occasions and regular tribal gatherings.[65]  Each kin group would be descended from an eponymous ancestor, and each individual of the kin group could trace their descent back to that ancestor. In this way one would establish one s mana and tapu as it derived from the iwi, hapu and whanau. Maori viewed whakapapa as the crucial marker, which determined and connected one with whanau and other kin groups.

The significance of whakapapa was illustrated through a Ngati Porou oriori [66] composed by Hinekitawhiti[67], for her grandchild Ahuahukiterangi. The following extract provides an example of this.


Ngata classes this particular oriori as a genealogical-geographical waiata. The reference to nga tipuna within the oriori identifies the importance of the recipient of the oriori. The oriori establishes the family connection of Ahuahukiterangi with one of the most aristocratic lines of Ngati Porou, the descendants of Te Auiti. Hinekitawhiti also establishes her granddaughter s geographical links to various points on the East Coast through the oriori from the East Cape to Raukokore, where noted descendants of Te Auiti reside.

Maori Kinship Patterns

In anthropological terms, Maori kinship patterns are referred to as ambilateral affiliation, as Maori can attach themselves to any one kin group through either parent and to different kin groups of the same order through both parents at once.[68] Hence Maori are not restricted to tracing their line of descent from one parent only. Ambilineal groups allowed individuals to trace descent back to an ancestor through a line of mixed male and female links.

Genealogical ties could link an individual to any number of hapu and iwi. If both parents belonged to the same hapu or iwi, their children could claim membership to that hapu or iwi through both parents. If the parents belonged to different hapu or iwi, membership could be claimed to each one. Having ties to several kin groups placed responsibilities on pakeke to teach rangatahi, who in turn had responsibilities of reciprocity to pakeke. These ties also served as a means whereby individuals and groups could mobilise extensive support in times of crisis.[69]

The kin group that Maori lived with was usually the group they primarily affiliated to and identified with. Their other kin group or groups were given recognition, however, as an alternative place of residence or even refuge should the need arise.[70] Thus, although individuals would live with the whanau of one parent, they would still be considered whanau to the other parent s whanau by virtue of their whakapapa links. Often, when the family lived with one parent s kin group, a child would be sent to live with the other parent s family to maintain the kinship ties. This was because kaumatua were worried that the blood would get cold so they would continue cementing the kin bonds to keep the blood warm by sending the children to live with another kin group, which would also maintain their ahi ka.[71]

Considerations of Residence

Although the principle of descent from an ancestor was the main basis for membership in the kin groups, certain considerations of residence would also be required to claim the status, rights and obligations of an individual of that group.[72] Affiliating with one group did not immediately forfeit an individual' s status, rights and obligations with other kin groups. An individual could choose to affirm his or her status, rights and obligations by taking up residence with their other kin group. Hence, while primary allegiance was given to one group, secondary and reciprocal ties could be maintained with other kin groups that the individual had established descent links with, through contact and participating in group activities.[73]

Similar conditions existed for people who married someone from another kin group. They would not officially be members of that group if they lacked the necessary blood tie, but they were assimilated to it as an operational group and given rights of use in its resources as long as they lived on its territory. Their former affiliation would be retained, including rights to the use of their own kin group s land, but they were not reckoned as part of the kin group s effective strength unless they returned to occupy and cultivate the land and the surrounding environment. Under the principle of ahi ka these rights could be passed on to the children but they would lapse after two or three generations if not taken up.

Maori society was always flexible and accommodating. Groups would wax and wane, continuously splintering, re-grouping and re-naming themselves. Often there were long periods of stability. This stability though would depend upon the capacity of the rangatira to provide protection and, material sustenance.[74]

Change would occur due to factors such as warfare, migration, famine, intermarriage, chiefly pursuit of mana, and shifting alliances. Composite groups made up of several hapu each retaining their individual identities was a common outcome of this process. Population growth and power could result in part of a kin group breaking away to become an autonomous group. However, the sustainability of iwi and hapu was dependent on them living and working together in harmony.

Te Whanau

The whanau was the basic unit of Maori society into which an individual was born and socialised. The whanau was the cluster of families and individuals descended from a fairly recent ancestor. Whanau derived from the word whanau (to give birth). On a purely descriptive level, the whanau would consist of up to three or four generations living together in a group of houses.

"A whanau in those days was not mother and father and siblings, it was never that, so anything that happened within an immediate whanau was the responsibility of the wider whanau really..." [75]

The whanau had its own internal authority structure, living under the direction and guidance of koroua and kuia.[76]

"The main function of the whanau was the procreation and nurture of children. In the absence of parents engaged in gardening or other activities related to the food quest, all other adults in the vicinity were in loco parentis. This meant that in the whanau children were used to receiving care and affection from many people besides their parents. In fact, as mokopuna they were probably more influenced by their grandparents, the kaumatua and kuia, in their upbringing. In the security of the whanau the loss of a parent by death or desertion was not such a traumatic matter. The whanau also looked after its own aged or debilitated members. The old people were not only revered for their wisdom but also valued for their own contribution in minding the young and performing tasks useful to the livelihood of the group." [77]

The koroua and kuia were the storehouses of knowledge, the minders and mentors of children. They would have primary authority over the children, and tended to assume greater responsibility than the parents for looking after and teaching the children, leaving the parents free to get on with their work.[78]

"Our kaumatua, kuia, grandparents, or even granduncles or whoever was around made it easier for a parent because it wasn t just the parents focusing on each other. The responsibility in fact was shared, it was shared by your extended whanau, shared by your hapu and the community that you lived in..." [79]

The whanau functioned as a unit for ordinary social and economic affairs, and making basic day-to-day decisions. Its members had close personal, familial and reciprocal contacts and decision-making relationships with each other. As a rule, the whanau managed its own affairs, acting alone in many day-to-day activities without interference by the larger groups. For many common purposes though, if the matter was of wider concern and such cases came within the sphere of village or tribal policy, whanau groups would act together under the authority of senior rangatira.[80]

Politically, the whanau would meet to decide important matters, and the kaumatua would act as the spokespeople in the wider forum of the hapu. Economically, the whanau provided its own workforce for subsistence activities and would work together to produce or gather food, hunt and fish. The whanau shared their wealth and resources, holding their houses, tools, stored food and effects in common. Other items, such as fishing nets were circulated within the hapu. The whanau would have use rights in respect of small eel weirs on branch streams, small fishing canoes, and some gardens, fishing grounds and shellfish beds in the immediate vicinity. They did not formally own these resources, but their prior rights of use were respected.[81] Therefore in most matters the whanau was self- sufficient. For defence, though, the whanau would have to band together for protection, a fact of existence recognised in the aphorism that a house which stands alone is food for fire.[82]

The close relationship engendered between members of the whanau as a consequence of working together is referred to as whanaungatanga.[83] Whanaungatanga is of fundamental primacy because it determines and connects a person to chosen kin groups from immediate to extended family, to hapu and iwi, providing people with a sense of belonging.[84] It developed as a result of kinship rights and obligations, which also served to strengthen each member of the kin group, as well as the kin group who shared such values as aroha, pono and tika with each other.[85]

"This desire or necessity to unite individuals with one another and strengthen the kinship ties is a basic cultural value so strong that whanaungatanga must be seen by members in order for it to operate effectively."[86]

Whanaungatanga also extends to others to whom one develops a close familial, friendship or reciprocal relationship.[87]

Te Hapu

The hapu was the basic political unit within Maori society, consisting of a number of whanau. The term hapu derived from hapu (pregnancy), expressed the idea of birth from common ancestors, of a belly swollen by pregnancy and of members being born of the same womb. The term hapu emphasises the importance of being born into the group and also conveys the idea of growth, indicating that a hapu is capable of containing many whanau.

Splitting and recombination of kin groups established new hapu. When whanau expanded to a point where they could no longer be termed whanau, they could become hapu.

To qualify and be recognised as a hapu, certain conditions would need to be fulfilled. These conditions included territorial control of the turangawaewae of the hapu and the emergence of a rangatira with mana derived through his or her whakapapa.[88]   Often the name of that rangatira was taken as the hapu name, prefixed by a word meaning descendants of : Ngati-, Ati-, Kati-, Ngai-, Kai-, Aitanga-, Whanau-, Uri-. The rest bore names derived from an incident in their history. This also applied in the case of iwi names.

New hapu could also be formed when a hapu grew too large for effective functioning. Some of its members would break away under the leadership of one of the sons or younger brothers of rangatira and establish themselves independently, either on part of the original territory or on land acquired by conquest or occupation. They would acquire a new name, but would remember their origins and often join forces under the original name for large-scale undertakings.

The system of social and political life was dynamic. Autonomy was fundamental to a hapu and the way the hapu managed its affairs often distinguished it from other hapu. Each hapu was led by a rangatira. The primary function of the rangatira was to ensure that the group survived and that its land base and resources were protected and defended. A hapu and its rangatira would assert their distinctiveness in certain circumstances, as in visiting neighbouring hapu or receiving visitors: but their strength and survival also depended continually on making connections, and establishing whanaungatanga through whakapapa and other means.[89] Thus hapu were independent yet inter-dependent, and they were all related through a complex web of kin networks.[90]

Hapu would have land apportioned to them from the iwi land holdings and they would exercise political and economic control over that tract of land and its resources. As populations changed there was a reapportionment of land and resources amongst the various hapu. New lands could be occupied and developed according to needs, but always with the agreement of the wider iwi. The hapu would often operate as a group, meeting the requirements and needs of the whanau by undertaking all the major tasks necessary for group survival. These needs included defence, ceremonial and religious gatherings, economic undertakings such as larger cultivations and fishing, stocking of central food storage facilities, political affairs, land use, production and use of capital assets such as large canoes and meeting houses, entertaining of manuhiri and the rituals that accompanied all of those activities.

Being born into the hapu stressed the blood ties that united the families for the purpose of co-operation in active operations and in defence.[91]   One of the major political functions of the hapu was the defence and maintenance of alliances with other related hapu of the tribe. The hapu was responsible for its own defence and its viability was dependent on its capability of holding and defending its territory against others. The hapu could enter into alliances to protect its integrity, its resources and its people, and could count on the assistance of related neighbouring hapu of the same iwi if attacked by an outside force. Generally, related hapu stayed on amicable terms and co-operated with each other in defence, but there were times when they would quarrel and fight with one another.[92]

Te Iwi

A number of related hapu constitute an iwi. The term iwi derives from iwi (bone) . The bones of an ancestor were a revered and sacred taonga. Because one is defined by one s whakapapa, belonging to an iwi requires commonality of descent from a single ancestor or literally from their bones. The iwi would take its source from the mana of an ancestor, using him or her as a point of reference for the definition of iwi identity.[93] Relatives are often described as bones and in a sense the members of an iwi are bones, which emphasises again the importance of shared whakapapa.

An important component of the metaphor of bone is that it provides strength. Iwikore, literally no bones, means feeble and without strength. Bones make a body strong and give form to it. Thus bones in the sense of whakapapa and in giving strength to anything is important in understanding the concept of iwi. The important aspect of the word iwi is its function as a metaphor of whanaungatanga and the strength that arises from that fact.

The iwi were independent units and the largest politico-economic unit in Maori society, of which the ariki was leader. They would occupy separate rohe, defending their rohe against all threats of attacks from others. The iwi endeavoured to settle internal disputes peacefully, but would defend their political and territorial integrity by force of arms.

An iwi would be identified by its territorial boundaries, which were of great social, cultural and economic importance. The tribal lands would often have been in the possession of the iwi for many generations.[94] Iwi history was recounted in the recital of the prominent landmarks and the significant ancestors who lived there. Oral history of the iwi helped to establish occupancy of iwi land and their authority over it.

The resource base of the iwi was much wider than that of the hapu and whanau. Neighbouring iwi would recognise the territorial boundaries, but the boundaries were often a source of conflict.

"The tribal property was made of the lands of the various hapu, the lakes, rivers, swamps and streams within them and the adjacent mudflats, rocks, reefs and open sea. The tribe, as the greater descent group, incorporated the rights of the lesser groups. Major fishing expeditions, journeys, trade arrangements, peace pacts and wars were undertaken at tribal level."[95]

The iwi had its own infrastructure, objectives and responsibilities, providing a rationale for alliances internally and externally, in peace and in war. For certain purposes, iwi obligations were remembered, iwi infrastructure invoked and iwi resources mobilised in pursuit of a common objective. The basic role of the iwi was to protect, where necessary, the interests of individual members and constituent whanau and hapu and to maintain and enhance the mana of the collective.

Te Waka

The largest kin grouping was the waka. The tie between iwi descended from common ancestors was not as strong as with hapu but it was recognised and served to bind them together in a federation of tribes based on the ancestral canoes of the various migrations.

The iwi of a waka, like the hapu of an iwi, often fought each other but they were always ready to combine under tribal leadership for co-operation in tribal affairs. Should iwi from other waka invade their domain, the waka bond would be used to form an alliance for common defence against the intruders.[96] A similar sentiment would often unite tribes whose ancestors belonged to different families but who came in the same voyaging canoe. The claim for co-operation was the waka, or ancestral canoe, and an eloquent orator could arouse sentiment to the point of action.[97]

Social Hierarchy

Rank and leadership within Maori society was based on seniority of descent from founding ancestors. Maori society consisted of three classes: rangatira, tutua and taurekareka. Tohunga were a class off to the side of society rather than a class in the hierarchy of rangatira, tutua and taurekareka. Social status depended on seniority of descent within each kin group and differences in rank were associated with mana and tapu.

Mana was spiritual power, which possessed and was possessed by individuals, groups and things and accounted for their effectiveness. Individuals inherited an initial store of mana varying with the seniority of their descent, but they could increase or decrease it by their own actions. According to their mana, people were more or less tapu or noa in relation to each other.

Tapu was a state that required respectful treatment and was dangerous if transgressed. Noa was a state of ordinariness and freedom from restriction. All free people were tapu to some extent. In relation to others, taurekareka were entirely noa.[98]

The following extract from the oriori[99] composed by Hinekitawhiti for her granddaughter Ahuahukiterangi is an example of how the mana and tapu of a Maori with a higher social rank is distinguished from Maori of a lower social rank.[100]


Hinekitawhiti distinguished between the mana and tapu of people through reference to the umu ki tahaki . Food cooked in the umu ki tahaki was for people of rank, ie, the rangatira class. A further underlying theme of the oriori is that the mana of Ahuahukiterangi is not differentiated as a female.

Rangatira Class

Haere, e whai i nga waewae o Rehua

Go and follow in the footsteps of Rehua
(If one follows a great chief, such as Rehua,
one can be certain of good food and entertainment)[101]

The ariki, who was usually the first born son of the most senior family in society, headed the rangatira class. The first born was also referred to as the matamua. The most senior family was that which could trace its descent from the founding ancestor of the iwi or hapu through as many first born antecedents as possible in the rangatira whakapapa.[102] The younger siblings of the ariki were referred to as rangatira. Rangatira brought together the strands of a community to make a unified whole.[103] First-born females were referred to as ariki tapairu. They had certain ceremonial functions attached to their high rank as well as being the custodian of some rituals.

"Chieftainship is a birthright and the measure of chieftainship is the sum of whakapapa. Leadership is the political functioning of chieftainship. Buck says, the first-born son inherited the power to rule but his mana remained dormant within him until it was given active expression on his father s death. The obvious corollary was that the power to rule remained forever dormant in a female first-born. This was not to overlook the acknowledged fact that women wielded much power and influence behind the scenes. Further, there were occasions when a teina chief became the effective leader of a hapu or iwi."[104]

Ariki inherited the qualities of tapu and mana from their tipuna. Because mana and tapu were viewed as coming from the kawai tipuna, the ariki was regarded as the taumata and therefore the closest to the kawai tipuna -hence his was the greatest mana and tapu in society.[105] Although ariki were the heirs to the mana attained by their close relation to the ancestor-dead, they could not stand back and give orders. Their lead or opinion was normally accepted, but the rangatira and the kaumatua also had considerable authority in their own right. Ariki were dependent for economic and military strength upon reciprocal services with kinsmen, and they could not take independent decisions or persistently flout public opinion without risk of repudiation.[106]

Although rangatira lines usually provided the leader with the status of leader, this did not necessarily make for a good leader. Leaders had to prove that they were worthy of the position.[107]

"Primogeniture didn t guarantee that you would always be rangatira, you were only rangatira for as long as you were effective in the eyes of the people. Unlike some other cultures you remained rangatira no matter what, whereas in our culture, if you proved to be defective or hopeless you were just removed in the sense that somebody else took your place in all the important issues. I think you were still acknowledged as having rangatira blood, but you just didn t have the same effect..."[108]

If ariki or rangatira displayed prowess in war, wise rule, generous behaviour to their people, protection of the kin group, oratory skills, skill in diplomacy and the ability to strengthen the identity of the hapu or iwi by political marriages, their mana, and that of their descendants, could be increased. But if the ariki displayed mean behaviour or unwise rule their mana could easily be diminished.

"Mana might be in one who is fearless in war but stoutly promotes peace, is persuasive in oratory, is lavish in entertaining and attracts important visitors, is uninhibited in giving, is trusting of others but harsh if offended, is punctilious in fulfilling promises, is proud but humble and, most of all, one who works for the people and not for personal advantage." [109]

Tutua Class

The tutua class was the biggest grouping in Maori communities. Many people in this class possessed specialised skills. They were the largest productive group in the community and so the community s economic development was dependent on them.[110]

Commoner is the English term that has been coined in respect of tutua, but it is probably not the best translation because it does not hold the same meaning as it does in the English class system. Tutua refers to that class of people that are not as senior in rank as those in the rangatira class. Theoretically, tutua could claim from the founding ancestor, but because they were of junior descent lines that diverged away from the senior line in succeeding generations, they were to all intents and purposes not chiefs but commoners.[111]

Descendants of junior families who intermarried with other junior families got farther and farther away from the prospect of exercising chieftainship over family groups and thus passed automatically out of the rangatira class. This divergence from the main line meant that junior members of a hapu had a tendency to split off and start their own hapu. Hence, tutua carries a more depreciatory meaning than the English word commoner does.[112]

Taurekareka Class

Taurekareka[113] were slaves captured after the defeat of war. They lived with the victorious hapu or iwi and did the menial tasks. Although they were slaves in the sense that they were required to carry out the menial jobs, they were not restricted physically. Taurekareka usually rejected notions of escape though because their own hapu preferred to regard them as dead rather than attempt to rescue them. However, the children of a member of the hapu and a slave enjoyed the same rights and obligations that other members of the hapu enjoyed.[114]


Tohunga embraced this social structure. They were effectively a class of their own, but this class existed within the hapu and iwi at differing levels with differing powers and status. Certain members of the community would be recognised as having the potential to become tohunga. This would be evident through the skills or talents or both they showed as children and the ability to be able to deal with the information they were learning.

The tohunga formed a critical part of the bonding mechanism of a hapu or iwi. They were priests who exercised religious duties or had specialised knowledge in one or more important skills a community required, such as house construction, medicine and healing, the weather, religion, education, canoe building, agriculture, fishing and carving.

Tohunga were the repositories of tribal history and whakapapa. They studied natural phenomena, the stars, seasons, weather conditions and other information of practical value to the people. Not all these skills were necessarily exclusive to the tohunga, but their presence and recognition by the iwi assisted in the passing on of this specialised knowledge through generations and deliberating on matters of tapu, utu and other concepts of social control.[115] Spiritual beliefs were so interwoven with social and material matters that the tohunga were absolutely necessary to the proper functioning of Maori society. Thus the high class tohunga were scholars, scientists and philosophers as well as theologians.[116]

"Tohunga were trained to cope with and placate necessary spiritual infringements and perform purificatory rites. They both caused and cured mate Maori and fixed the utu or koha necessary to restore the mana of the offended persons or the atua present in all natural life. Development was achieved through tohunga who had to ensure that it could be done with harmony and balance, equity and justice in accordance with ancient lore."[117]

Individual Standing

Ma te tuakana ka totika te taina, ma te taina ka totika te tuakana
It is through the older sibling that the younger one learns the right way to do things
and it is through the younger sibling that the older one learns to be tolerant.[118]

The place of an individual in the system depended upon two factors: first, seniority, both personal seniority and that of his or her descent line; and secondly, upon the generation to which he or she belonged. Siblings and cousins of the same generation were considered brothers and sisters. A boy would refer to older brothers as tuakana; the younger ones would be teina. The same classification would apply in the case of girls. In the case of cousins, the children of a tuakana would inherit the status of tuakana. Therefore, the sons born to a teina brother would be teina to the tuakana brother s sons, even though the son s of the teina may be older. The same principle applies in the case of females. Siblings of the opposite sex would not be referred to as tuakana or teina. Sisters or female cousins of boys would be termed tuahine, and brothers or male cousins of girls would be tungane. The kinship terminology would determine how t e in a and tua k a n a behaved towards each other.

Collective Responsibility

Maori society was largely based around collective responsibility. Individualism and individual responsibility was uncommon. If an individual wronged against another individual or kin group, the whanau and hapu of that individual would have to take responsibility for those actions.

"Where there were antagonistic factions within the hapu, the whanau had a hui about it. Everybody had a turn to get up they weren t just slamming matches, you were heard, the other side were heard and anybody else. They said some really awful things but at the end of that, everybody got relief from unburdening themselves of the anger and the hurt and then coming to a resolution through consensus. . ."[119]

While Maori kin groups had kaumatua, rangatira or ariki as leaders, these leaders did not make decisions on behalf of their kin group without first consulting with them. Meetings would be held to discuss the issues and a consensus would be gained as to the appropriate form of action.

"I think our whole philosophy of consensus wasn t such a bad philosophy. It took a lot of time, but it meant all shades of the arguments were heard. There was a chance to discuss them, they could be dismissed or supported depending on how they felt about them, which I think is a very healthy way of coming to resolution, whether it was dispute resolution, or political resolution or domestic resolution. . ."[120]

Individual rights were indivisible from the whanau, hapu and iwi welfare.[121] Each had reciprocal obligations tied to the precedents handed down by tipuna, and whanau had to accept the consequences for a member s wrongdoing.

"If I was the one who offended in the whanau the muru would take place on my whanau and not just on me, and my whanau will accept that and compensate them for my hara. . ."[122]

The imposition on the whanau or hapu for taking responsibility for an individual s actions strengthened the sense of reciprocal group obligations. Since the ancestral precedents which established the sanctions also established the kinship ties of responsibility and duty, the consequences of an individual or group action could rebound on the whanau, hapu or iwi.[123]

The Maori kinship system was thus an all embracing one, relating every individual in some degree with every other one, at varying degrees of remove from whanau, hapu and iwi, and linking every individual to a line of ancestors stretching back to Ranginui and Papatuanuku. At the same time, ambiguous claims to seniority, debatable rights of people who married or were adopted into hapu, and the manipulation of the system by individuals of ambition were potent causes of almost perennial strife.[124]


Whakapapa and residency determined membership in Maori society . Notions of tapu and mana played an important part in determining how an individual participated in group activities and life. The internal authority structures of the whanau, hapu, iwi and waka affected the daily lives of Maori in different ways. The whanau would function as a unit in its basic day-to-day decisions and subsistence activities. Hapu would operate as a group to meet the requirements and needs of the whanau groups by undertaking the tasks necessary for group survival and by protecting and defending its land base and resources. Members of an iwi generally did not operate together in basic day-to-day matters. The iwi was a mechanism for related hapu to support each other in protecting the interests of the individual members and constituent whanau and hapu. The waka was recognised and served to bind the iwi together in a federation of tribes.

Seniority of descent was the determining factor in how an individual participated in the daily life of the social groups. The qualities of mana and tapu each individual had were determined by his or her social status. The rangatira, tutua, taurekareka and tohunga classes benefited the communities economic, social, and spiritual development through their inherited and acquired skills and knowledge.

Particular importance was placed on collective responsibility as individuals were deemed to be a unit of the group. Therefore, the group's interests over rode those of the individual. The individual's rights, responsibilities and obligations were determined by their standing in the community and his or her relative mana and tapu in relation to others. The individual is simply are presentation of the social groups that constitute Maori society and the behaviour of an individual must be ca refully observed as their actions can affect the mana of the group.



63. Manuka Henare "Nga Tikanga me nga Ritenga o te Ao Maori: Standards and Foundations of Maori Society" in Report of the Royal Commission on Social Policy The April Report: Future Directions Associated Papers Vol III Part One (Government Printer, Wellington, 1988) 11 [Nga Tikanga me nga Ritenga o te Ao Maori]

64. Muriwhenua Fishing Report above n 4, 35

65. Muriwhenua Fishing Report above n 4, 36

66. See A Collection of Behaviours, Philosophies, Emotions and Cultural Influences for an explanation of 'oriori'

67. Hinekitawhiti "He Waiata Oriori" in Apirana Ngata and Pei Te Hurinui Jones Nga Moteatea: He Marama Rere No Nga Waka Maha (The Songs: Scattered Pieces from many Canoe Areas) A Selection of Annotated Tribal Songs of the Maori with English Translations Part I (The Polynesian Society Inc., Auckland, 1988) 2-7 [He Waiata Oriori]

68. The Maoris of New Zealand above n 15, 6-7

69. Nga Tikanga me nga Ritenga o te Ao Maori above n 63, 11

70. Ranginui Walker Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou: Struggle Without End (Penguin Books, Auckland, 1990) 64 [Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou]

71. See Whenua chapter for an explanation of 'ahi ka'

72. Nga Tikanga me nga Ritenga o te Ao Maori above n 63, 11

73. The Maoris of New Zealand above n 15, 7

74. Waitangi Tribunal Te Roroa Claim Wai 38 (Brooker & Friend Ltd, Wellington, 1992) 5, 5 WTR 17 [Te Roroa Claim]

75. Kaumatua Interview, Wellington, 8 April 1999

76. See 'taringa huruhuru', 'rei puta' and 'he rake toetoe' under A Collection of Behaviours, Philosophies, Emotions and Cultural Influences to see how kaumatua were valued by Maori society and the respect they demanded

77. Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou above n 70, 63

78. See 'he aroha whaea, he potiki piripoho' under A Collection of Behaviours, Philosophies, Emotions and Cultural Influences for a further illustration of how children should be looked after by their whanau. Also see 'piripoho and piripaua', 'ukaipo and koingo', and 'poipoi' under A Collection of Behaviours, Philosophies, Emotions and Cultural influences are examples of how some children develop and depend on whanau.

79. Kaumatua Interview, Wellington, 7 April 1999

80. Alan Ward National Overview Volume II: Waitangi Tribunal Rangahaua Whanui Series (GP Publications, Wellington, 1997), 5 [National Overview]

81. Muriwhenua Fishing Report above n 4, 35

82. Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou above n 70, 63 quoting Elsdon Best The Maori As He Was 95

83. See 'me ohu' and kanohi kitea under A Collection of Behaviours, Philosophies, Emotions and Cultural Influences as illustrations of whanaungatanga and the resultant obligations

84. The Taking Into Account of Te Ao Maori above n 1, 11

85. See A Collection of Behaviours, Philosophies, Emotions and Cultural Influences for an explanation of 'aroha' and 'pono'

86. Nga Tikanga me nga Ritenga o te Ao Maori above n 63, 13

87. The Taking Into Account of Te Ao Maori above n 1, 20. See A Collection of Behaviours, Philosophies, Emotions and Cultural Influences for a further explanation of 'whanaungatanga'

88. Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou above n 70, 64

89. National Overview above n 80, 5

90. Waitangi Tribunal Muriwhenua Land Report Wai 45 (GP Publications, Wellington, 1997) 29 [Muriwhenua Land Report]

91. The Coming of the Maori above n 16, 333

92. Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou above n 70, 65

93. Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou above n 70, 63

94. Tikanga Whakaaro above n 18, 33

95. Muriwhenua Fishing Report above n 4, 36

96. Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou above n 70, 65

97. The Coming of the Maori above n 16, 334

98. The Maoris of New Zealand above n 15, 8

99. See A Collection of Behaviours, Philosophies, Emotions and Cultural Influences for an explanation of 'oriori'

100. He Waiata Oriori above n 67, 2-7

101. A E Brougham and A W Reed revised by T S Karetu Maori Proverbs (Reed Books, Auckland, 1987) 58 [Maori Proverbs]

102. Api Mahuika "Leadership: Inherited and Achieved" in Michael King (ed) Te Ao Hurihuri: The World Moves on: Aspects of Maoritanga (Hicks Smith, Wellington, 1975) 86, 87 [Leadership: Inherited and Achieved]

103. Muriwhenua Land Report above n 90, 29

104. Leadership: Inherited and Achieved above n 102, 88-89

105. Leadership: Inherited and Achieved above n 102, 89

106. Alan Ward A Show of Justice: Racial Amalgamation in New Zealand (Auckland University Press/Oxford University Press, New Zealand, 1973) 6 [A Show of Justice]

107. See 'poupou', 'pou tokomanawa' and 'toka tu moana, toka tu whenua' under A Collection of Behaviours, Philosophies, Emotions and Cultural Influences to see how ariki and rangatira could be regarded

108. Kaumatua Interview, Wellington, 9 April 1999

109. Muriwhenua Land Report above n 90, 29

110. Paul Moon Maori Social and Economic History to the end of the Nineteenth Century (Huia Publishing, Auckland, 1993) 14 , 54-55 [Maori Social and Economic History]

111. Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou above n 70, 66

112. The Coming of the Maori above n 16, 338

113. See A Collection of Behaviours, Philosophies, Emotions and Cultural Influences for another use of 'taurekareka'

114. Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou above n 70, 66

115. Maori Social and Economic History above n 110, 55-56

116. The Coming of the Maori above n 16, 476

117. Waitangi Tribunal Manukau Report - Wai 8 (Government Printer, Wellington, 1985) 58 [Manukau Report]

118. Maori Proverbs above n 101, 93

119. Kaumatua Interview, Wellington, 7 April 1999

120. Kaumatua Interview, Wellington, 9 April 1999

121. This is illustrated in the Case Studies. See particularly Case Studies 1 and 2.

122. Kaumatua Interview, Wellington, 8 April 1999. See Muru chapter for a full explanation of muru and Case Study 3 for an example of a muru taking place on a whanau

123. He Whaipanga Hou above n 3, 39-44

124. David Lewis and Werner Forman The Maori: Heirs of Tane (Orbis Publishing, London, 1982) , 152