Creator: Sue Scheele. © Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research. [Image: 3VEM] Creator: Sue Scheele. © Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research. [Image: 3VEM]

Easy access to detailed information on Māori traditional uses of New Zealand native plants and other organisms.

What information is in Ngā Rauropi Whakaoranga?

Ngā Rauropi Whakaoranga provides access to information on how Māori used plants and other organisms to live in Aotearoa - New Zealand, particularly before the arrival of Europeans. Fungi and seaweeds are included, and there is information for some Pacific plants, such as Pandanus, that have links to Māori culture. 

Information relating to later economic uses of native plants is recorded too, though generally not on timber uses or the kauri gum trade.  


The information is taken from written records in English, mostly published (books, articles, newspapers) and some unpublished (such as manuscripts and letters).

Sources are noted for each record. Information is generally recorded as written in the source material without interpretation. Editorial comment is sometimes made for clarification.

What does Ngā Rauropi Whakaoranga mean?

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Maori Language Commission) suggested the original name, Ngā Tipu Whakaoranga, for the database. Ngā tipu are the plants (literally, growing shoots). In this context, whakaoranga means "to provide the livelihood, or to sustain" — thus, the plants that sustain us.

The name was updated to reflect the inclusion of data on organisms other than plants — rauropi meaning organisms. 

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