NZTC International Word of the Week: tūrangawaewae

Date
Feb
10
20150210

NZTC International Word of the Week: tūrangawaewae

As New Zealanders commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi 175 years ago, on 6 February 1840, by representatives of the British Crown and Māori chiefs, here’s a Māori word that has become widely known and used by New Zealanders, both Māori and Pākehā, wherever they may be in the world, to refer to the place where one feels ‘at home’. In the traditional sense tūrangawaewae means ‘a place to stand’ and denotes the place where a person has rights of residence and affiliation through kinship ties. In Māori tradition, it also signifies the right to stand upon the tribal meeting place, the marae, and proclaim one’s views about the world and life.

Pronounced ‘too-ranger*-why-why’ (‘ranger’ as in ‘hanger’).

‘Tūranga' means 'standing place' and 'waewae' the feet.