Maori word or name for non-Maori New Zealander, specifically a white person and particularly of English/British descent, but including other English-speaking white people such as those of Dutch or Yugoslav ethnic origin.
Sometimes now taken to mean any non-Maori New Zealander including those of ethnic Chinese and Indian origin, though not generally applied to Pacific Island peoples.
The origins of the word are unclear and the subject of much controversy. Generally translated as referring to a white or pale appearance, pakeha has been variously described as meaning white pig, white maggot, or even white ghost, which may be in reference to the pakepakeha, a pale-skinned forest-dwelling people of pre-European Maori mythology.
Today, some white New Zealanders embrace the term as a unique reference to themselves, some reject it as racist and derogatory, while others don't care either way.
In spite of appearance and skin colour, all Maori today have some degree of "pakeha" ancestry thanks to 150 years of intermarriage. This reality annoys racist Maori who wish the White Man would go away, but doesn't bother anyone else.
Maori boy (to white man): "Hey cuz, can I call you a pakeha bro?"
White man: "I don't care what you call me, old bean, just don't call me late for breakfast."
Maori boy: "I wish all you white honky fullas would just all go back to England, bro. I wish you never come here in the first place."
White man: "That would make things rather awkward for you, native chappie, since your grandfather was one of us."
Maori boy: "Yeah bro, that sucks eh. I hate myself."
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