Friday, July 8, 2016

From the book Māori Place Names: the meaning of Whangaparāoa and Whāngārei

Whales were an important resource to pre-European Māori, and that’s reflected in several well-known names.

Whangaparāoa, the peninsula north of Auckland city, means Bay or harbour of sperm whales; whanga (harbour); parāoa (sperm whale).

Among the many explanations for the name Whāngārei is that it’s a shortened form of Whāngārei-terenga-parāoa: whanga (harbour); rei (rushing); terenga (place of swimming); parāoa (sperm whale).

Find these and many more definitions in Māori Place Names. For more about the book go to

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