Tikanga Māori - Protocols overview

Tikanga can be described as general behaviour guidelines for daily life and interaction in Māori culture. Tikanga is commonly based on experience and learning that has been handed down through generations. It is based on logic and common sense associated with a Māori world view.

While these concepts of tikanga are constant, their practice can vary between iwi (tribe) and hapū (sub-tribe). For example, the way in which a hapū greet and welcome visitors may differ from another’s. However, both will ensure that they meet their responsibilities of manaakitanga (hospitality) to host and care for their visitors.

Participating in a different culture takes time and patience. If you are unfamiliar with tikanga, learn as much as you can from as many sources as possible. Learning about tikanga will enrich your experiences with the culture and improve your ability to participate fully.

This section has information about various aspects of tikanga Māori. The information covers basic forms of protocol related to meeting and greeting people in different situations.

Find out about:

  • Greetings
    How you say hello and introduce yourself
  • Pōwhiri
    The formal welcoming ceremony
  • Karanga
    The call inviting strangers to enter the marae or meeting place
  • Whaikōrero
    The art of Māori oratory
  • Mihimihi
    A less formal introduction given by individuals
  • Marae Visits
    A guide on what to do on the Marae
  • Tangi
    Māori funeral protocol and customs