Story: Tapa whenua – naming places

The naming of Hawaiki

The naming of Hawaiki

This map shows how the name Hawaiki was taken through Polynesia. To Māori, Hawaiki is the ancestral homeland, but to the voyagers it referred not to a specific island, but the island previously visited – its original meaning was ‘the previous homeland’.

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How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Tapa whenua – naming places - Names from Polynesian mythology', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 June 2024)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 24 Nov 2008