Tikanga – Underlying principles and values (Mead, H 2003

This chapter discusses the principles and values that are associated with Tikanga. Some variables being the principles of tika and pono, Take-utu-ea and values which include:

  • Whanaungatanga
  • Manaakitanga
  • Mana
  • Tapu
  • Utu
  • Noa and ea

Mana is associated with an individual’s place/ranking within a social group. While some people may have a high level of mana, others can have varying levels. In Meads chapter, mana is defined as “authority, control, influence, prestige, power, psychic force, effectual, binding, authoritative.” It is said that people draw their mana from their ancestors (mana Tipuna), however it can also be based off personal attributes such as skills/contributions than an individual has made to a group over time. The concept of psychic power relates to a persons whakapapa as well as the connections made with the Gods of the Maori world (mana Atua). Individuals with mana tend to be people in leadership roles within the community, however mana can also be placed on the tuakana/taina standing of a person. This means that tuakana (older siblings, male or female) have a higher power position socially compared to the taina (younger siblings). An individual with mana must always be respected whether it’s in a social event or in general, and actions that may diminish someones mana can result in trouble.



  • Mead, Hirini Moko. “Nga Putake o te Tikanga, Underlying principles and values” Tikanga Maori: Living by Maori values. NZ: Huia, 2003.

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