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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



The Word Pakeha

Pakeha, which is a Maori term for the white inhabitants of New Zealand, was in vogue even prior to 1815. Its original meaning and origin are obscure, but the following are possible origins, the first being the most probable:

  1. From pakepakeha: imaginary beings resembling men.

  2. From pakehakeha: one of the sea gods.

  3. From keha: a flea.

  4. From poaka: a pig.

Its use was in no sense derogatory.

Next Part: Pakeha-Maori