Story: Tapa whenua – naming places

Mauna Loa, Hawaii (1st of 2)

Mauna Loa, Hawaii

In the distance is Mauna Loa (long mountain), in Hawaii. Hawaii shares many place names in common with other Polynesian islands – with slight changes as Polynesian languages spread and evolved. In Māori, mountain is ‘maunga’, so, for example, Maunganui is ‘big mountain’ and Maungatapu is ‘sacred mountain’.

Using this item

Stromboli online
Photograph by Juerg Alean

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Tapa whenua – naming places - Exploration and naming', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 November 2023)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 24 Nov 2008