Māori protocol

Image: Powhiri by Darren on Flickr

The following sites will help you prepare for a visit to the marae, and to also understand Māori customs in general. SCIS no: 1700723


Tikanga are the Māori customs and traditions handed down from ancestors or tūpuna. They include mihi (speeches), pōwhiri (welcomes), karanga (calling), pepeha (introductions), tangi (funeral), hura kohatu (unveiling), poroporoaki (farewells).

Suggested level: primary, intermediate

Kawa of the marae/Marae protocol

The kawa of the marae means the protocols that operate on the marae. This site is useful for a visit to the marae; it includes roles, history of, basic etiquette for visitors and pōwhiri.

Suggested audience: intermediate, secondary


To discover information on the school work site ManyAnswers, use the search term Māori Protocol.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary

Māori Manners

Looks at how to behave in different situations: includes greetings, eating, families, elders, funerals, marae and childbirth.

Suggested audience: primary, intermediate

Māori Pōwhiri 

This information is intended as a general awareness and understanding of protocol and procedures of pōwhiri on the marae. A clear description of each aspect is listed.

Suggested audience: primary, intermediate

Māori Protocols and Processes

A paper prepared by council staff working with Māori iwi and community as a general guide into the iwi and Māori framework of marae protocol.

Suggested level: intermediate, secondary

Tikanga Māori - Protocols overview

Tikanga can be described as general behaviour guidelines for daily life and interaction in Māori culture. This site includes marae visits, funerals (tangi) and preparing a mihi.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate

Traditional rituals and practices

Rituals and ceremonies pertinent to the Māori people.

Suggested audience: primary, intermediate

Welcoming onto the Marae

This New Zealand Trade and Enterprise site explains how to welcome visitors with a diagram of the marae layout for the pōwhiri (scroll down to locate start).

Suggested audience: primary, intermediate


The Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre contains recent newspaper and magazine articles featuring different viewpoints on the subject of marae protocol.  School login (username and password) is required.

Suggested level: secondary


Have you thought about using fiction with your class to support your topic? The following is a suggestion for your students, and you, to read and enjoy:

Haere: farewell Jack, farewell by Tim Tipene, 2005 (picture book)
Hine’s Rainbow, by Judith Holloway, 2001 (picture book)
Timo and the Kingfish, by Mokena Potae Reedy, 2012 (picture book)

Māori Marae protocol. University of Otago. .20 - .60 secs

Pōwhiri in a school setting. Youtube. 7.30 mins