Māori

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The Māori are the native or indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. They arrived in New Zealand from eastern Polynesia in several waves at some time before 1300 CE. Over several centuries in isolation, the Māori developed a unique culture with their own language, a rich mythology, distinctive crafts and performing arts. They formed a tribal society based on East Polynesian social customs and organisation. Horticulture flourished using plants they introduced, and after about 1450 a prominent warrior culture emerged.

The arrival of Europeans to New Zealand starting from the 17th century brought enormous change to the Māori way of life. Māori people gradually adopted many aspects of Western society and culture. Initial relations between Māori and Europeans were largely amicable, and with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 the two cultures coexisted as part of a new British colony. However, rising tensions over disputed land sales led to conflict in the 1860s. Social upheaval, decades of conflict and epidemics of disease took a devastating toll on the Māori population. But by the start of the 20th century the Māori population had begun to recover, and efforts were made to increase their standing in wider New Zealand society. A marked Māori cultural revival gathered pace in the 1960s and is continuing.

In 2010, there were an estimated 660,000 Māori in New Zealand, making up roughly 15% of the national population. They are the second-largest ethnic group in New Zealand, after European New Zealanders ("Pākehā"). In addition there are over 100,000 Māori living in Australia. The Māori language is spoken to some extent by about a quarter of all Māori, and 4% of the total population, although many New Zealanders regularly use Māori words and expressions in normal speech such as "Kia ora". Māori are active in all spheres of New Zealand culture and society, with independent representation in areas such as media, politics and sport.

The Māori face significant economic and social obstacles, with lower life expectancies and incomes compared with other New Zealand ethnic groups, in addition to higher levels of crime, health problems and educational under-achievement. Socioeconomic initiatives have been implemented aimed at closing the gap between Māori and other New Zealanders. Political redress for historical grievances is also ongoing.


Maori language

Māori or te reo Māori, commonly te reo ("the language"), is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand.

Linguists classify it within the Eastern Polynesian languages as being closely related to Cook Islands Māori, Tuamotuan and Tahitian; somewhat less closely to Hawaiian and Marquesan; and more distantly to the languages of Western Polynesia, including Samoan, Tokelauan, Niuean and Tongan.

Because it is an official language of New Zealand, the editors of this wiki have endeavoured to include the Māori names of New Zealand institutions in this wiki.

Assistance is being sought to ensure that technical issues, such as collating sequence of Māori words/phrases, is handled appropriately.

For a list of Māori words on the wiki, consult Category:Māori



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