Meaning of whangai in English:



mass noun
  • 1New Zealand (in Maori culture) adoption of a child within an extended family.

    ‘the rules for whangai varied between tribes’
    as modifier ‘one of the big debates over several generations has been about whangai children’
    • ‘The issue with regard to whangai is very important to Maori.’
    • ‘In respect of whangai, without a legal adoption there is still room for the tikanga of a particular tribe to apply.’
    • ‘The Native Health Act of 1909 meant that Maori women could no longer breast feed, nor use whangai systems to adopt children.’
    • ‘Maori people, with great anxiety, a huge amount of consultation, and a great degree of angst, thought very carefully about the process of whangai.’
    • ‘So the issue of whangai and adopted children, so far as the Adoption Act of 1955 and also the Human Rights Act are concerned, is a real issue.’
    • ‘We had quite a discussion at the select committee about the issue of whangai, and how those people fit in.’
    • ‘We said that surely on issues of whangai, the expressions in the bill should be closely aligned to what that iwi wanted.’
    • ‘As she will be aware, respective iwi have their own tikanga in terms of whangai.’
    • ‘I am aware we need to consider the recognition of whangai.’
    • ‘And the issues surrounding Whangai adoptions are revisited in Inside New Zealand: Whangai - Who Gets Baby?’
    1. 1.1count noun A child who has been adopted within an extended family.
      ‘Timoti was a whangai and a very spoilt one at that’
      • ‘The play looks at the stresses caused by having different degrees of fluency in Maori, as the children, students and whangai of a Maori educator gather at his tangi.’
      • ‘Is that definition limited strictly to whangai who are descended by blood from their original family?’
      • ‘I have never ever heard of a neglected whangai.’
      • ‘Most of the whangai she interviewed "recall their homes nostalgically as happy, caring places".’
      • ‘For one participant being a whangai was seen to provide both benefits and tensions.’