Wāhi Tūpuna Glossary of Terms

Listed below are definitions to several terms used in, and related to, the Wāhi Tūpuna Chapter.




Ara Tawhito

Trails and routes. A network of trails crossed the region linking the permanent villages with seasonal inland campsites and the coast, providing access to a range of mahika kai resources and inland stone resources, including pounamu and silcrete.


Aukaha is a consultancy established by the local rūnaka to help streamline the resource consent process for applications requiring consultation with Kāi Tahu in Otago.

Represents the following Rūnuka within QLDC;
(a) Te Rūnanga o Moeraki
(b) Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki
(c) Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou





Cultural Impact Assessment  A report that sets out Māori perspective on values, interests and associations with an area or resource. These are technical reports for the purposes of an assessment of environmental effects (AEE).
Hapu Sub-tribe, extended whanau.
Iwi Tribe.
Iwi authority The authority which represents an iwi and which is recognised by that iwi as having the authority to do so. 
The exercise of customary custodianship, in a manner that incorporates spiritual matters, by tangata whenua who hold Manawhenua status for particular area or resource.

Kāi Tahu
(Ngāi Tahu)

The collective of individuals who descend from Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe and Waitaha who are Manawhenua in the Queenstown Lakes District.

Limited Notification If a person is assessed as being affected by a development or activity that is part of a resource consent application, and written approval from that person(s) has not been obtained, then the Resource Management Act (s95B) requires notification of the application, limited to the person(s) who is considered affected by the proposal. 
Mahika kai  Mahinga kai refers to the gathering of food and natural materials, the places where those resources are sourced, and the traditions, customs and collection methods. Mahinga kai remains one of the cornerstones of Ngāi Tahu culture.
Mana whenua Those who exercise customary authority or rangatiratanga.


Important mountains. Mountains are of great cultural importance to Ngāi Tahu. Many are places of spiritual presence, and prominent peaks in the District are linked to Ngāi Tahu creation stories, identity and mana.
Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998

Relates to remedying breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Mechanisms from this legislation that are implemented through the Resource Management Act include; identifying Statutory Acknowledgements, tōpuna, nohoanga and taonga species.



A network of seasonal settlements. Ngāi Tahu were based largely on the coast in permanent settlements, and travelled inland on a seasonal basis. Iwi history shows, through place names and whakapapa, continuous occupation of a network of seasonal settlements, which were distributed along the main river systems from the source lakes to the sea.
Pā site Fortified settlement
Pounamu Nephrite, greenstone, jade.



Chieftainship, decision-making rights.


(Patatipu Rūnunga)

Local Manawhenua representative group or community system of representation.

Statutory Acknowledgements There areas recognise the special relationship Ngāi Tahu has with specific areas.
 Tangata whenua

(Takata whenua) 

 The iwi or hapū that holds Manawhenua in a particular area.



 Tauraka waka  Waka (canoe) mooring site
Te Ao Mārama Incorporated (TAMI) Te Ao Mārama Incorporated is a consultancy established by the local rūnaka to help streamline the resource consent process for applications requiring consultation with Ngāi Tahu (Murihiku).

Represents the following Rūnunga within QLDC;
(a) Te Rūnunga O Awarua
(b) Te Rūnanga O Hokonui
(c) Te Rūnanga O Oraka-Aparima
(d) Te Rūnaka O Waihopai




Named for the Tōpuna cloack worn by Ngāi Tahu rakatira, Tōpuni in this sense provides a public symbol of Ngāi Tahu Manawhenua and rakatirataka over some of the most prominent landscape features and conservation areas in Te Wai Pounamu. 
Under the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 Tōpuni has been laid over 14 areas of public conservation land of significance to Ngāi Tahu. Tititea (Mt Aspiring), Pikirakatahi (Mt Earnslaw) and Te Koroka (Dart/Slipstream) are the tōpuni within QLDC.
Tūāhu Sacred place.
Urupā Burial place.
Wāhi taoka Resources, places and sites treasured by tangata whenua. These valued places reflect the long history and association of Ngāi Tahu with the Queenstown Lakes District.
Wāhi tapu Places sacred to tangata whenua.
Waka Canoe.
Wāhi Tūpuna Landscapes and places that embody the relationship of Manawhenua and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, wāhi tapu, and other taonga.
Whakapapa Geneology.


Note: in the south of the South Island, the local Māori dialect uses a ‘k’ interchangeably with ‘ng’. The preference to use a ‘k’ so southern Māori are known as Kāi Tahu, rather than Ngāi Tahu.