Maori is an adjective habitually misused in New Zealand as a collective noun.
pronounced either maari or moeri if you want a job in TV,
academia, or public service.
Pronounced mow-ri by everyone else.
The literal meaning is "ordinary". That is how
the first group of people who arrived in NZ chose to describe themselves relative to the (slightly) later arrivals who they chose to call pakeha (outsider, alien, foreigner). New Zealand is an homogenised monocultural society (with terrible suppressed racial ethno-political tension). Some New Zealanders have some maori ancestry. None have only maori ancestry. Maori means maori person, a person with some maori ancestry.
In media and political usage "maori" is a collective noun used when attempting to sensationalise a news story or when promoting an outrageous political agenda for one's own personal benefit.
"Rangi is of maori descent"
"Many maori people are fine singers"
"maori are outraged"
(maori people do not have a hive mind - like the Borg on
"maori own the water"
("maori" is not an entity. It is a variable attribute of people,
people who already own or don't own the water in exactly the same way as all the other people who don't have that attribute )
The Urban Dictionary Mug
One side has the word, one side has the definition. Microwave and dishwasher safe. Lotsa space for your liquids.
Buy the mug