Mar 1 Word of the Day
One who has a mania for music.
I am a melomaniac.
by Larstait November 14, 2003
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Early settlers of New Zealand, often wrongly described as 'native' or 'indigenous'. There are no people native or indigenous to the New Zealand islands. Everyone arrived by boat in one form or another, very recently in human and geological terms, and Maori were by no means the first.

The word "Maori" was coined by Maori themselves to differentiate them from the white people (or 'Pakeha') who arrived after them from Britain, Australia, America, and Europe. The word has been defined as meaning "ordinary" or "normal" people. It did not exist in pre-European New Zealand, where the various tribes knew themselves and one another by individual family and tribal names.

Maori are generally accepted to have been in residence in New Zealand since around 1200 - 1300 AD.

Maori are said to be a Polynesian race, although parts of their geneology have been traced to Taiwan and China, and there are other influences from as far away as Egypt and Sri Lanka. Some East Coast tribes from the North Island possess Portugese genetic markers.

Much of the truth of the origins of Maori is muddied by the editing of history to suit contemporary politics, and by the intermingling of Maori bloodlines with those of the peoples they found already living in New Zealand upon their own arrival.
First British Naval Officer: "We have made a Treaty with the Maori, Sir. All New Zealand land now belongs to us."

Second British Naval Officer: "Excellent. Release the Hounds."

First etc.: "Aye aye, Sir. More rum, Sir?"

Second etc.: "Abso-bloody-lutely. And bring me a Maori wench. I'm tired of all this Naval arse-buggery, never mind how traditional it is. It smacks of homosexuality, if you ask me."

First: "Very good Sir."
by Flash the Squirrel August 20, 2010
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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.
correct usage:
"Rangi is of maori descent"
"Many maori people are fine singers"

incorrect usage:
"maori are outraged"
(maori people do not have a hive mind - like the Borg on
Star Trek)
"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 )
by whakapu September 04, 2012
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Māori translates to natural or normal. When Europeans arrived in New Zealand, the natives had to come up with a way of defining themselves so they became known as Māori. This is because to themselves they were normal, while the Europeans became known as Pākehā, or foreign. Māori is also the name of the native language spoken by Māori people.
Someone who has Māori ancestors is considered to me Māori.

Māori is an official language of New Zealand.
by Mystery537 September 18, 2013
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New Zealand indigenous race, who migrated here between 900-1100AD. Were amazing warriors and navigators, the 28th Maori Battalion of the World Wars was praised by other countries as one of the best forces in the world. Maori are also credited for the invention of the modern war paradigm of trench warfare, invented during the New Zealand wars.

The main discrepency with Maori and non-Maori of NZ is the issue of the Treaty of Waitangi, which was written in two languages, and both hold differing meanings. The Human Rights Commission states that if such discrepencies exist, the indigenous version is to be deemed the official version. Of course the government ignored this. If you don't know the differences, read the Treaty (there are translations of both versions) and make your own decision. Know also that the single largest demographic on government benefits is white pensioners. Not maori "dole bludgers". Note also maori die younger and receive less treatment than non-maori for things like heart disease. So do not say Maori receive more 'privileges' than pakeha. My Uni fees are the same as everyone else. And for all of you who hate Maori but still do the haka at drunnken parties and wear taonga when you go overseas, you are dishonouring our culture with your two-faced visage.

For those who think we are getting unfair benefits, do some homework and learn the history. Parihaka, Orakei, there are many examples of travesties of justice by the Crown. The Tohunga Suppression Act, The Maori Land Court, shocking acts of injustice. Learn your history.
Foreigner: Hey thats a cool necklace! What does it mean?
Pakeha: I don't know. Its Maori though.
Foreigner: Mean tattoo, what is it?
Pakeha: Um....
Foreigner: Do you do the haka?
Pakeha: Yep! But...I don't know what that means either...
by Te Puoho July 04, 2007
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