Meaning of wharepuni in English:


nounwharepunis, wharepuni

New Zealand
  • A building in which a Maori family lives and sleeps.

    ‘it was a superior wharepuni in which a high ranking person and his family lived’
    • ‘He was brought up in the bush, pig hunting with his father, where they would build small wharepuni to stay in for days at a time’
    • ‘Pictured is a Maori family outside a whare puni near Masterton.’
    • ‘Their dwellings were rectangular in shape and resembled those of their former homes in Polynesia, and this basic form became the wharepuni.’
    • ‘These early communities featured a variety of building types, but the most common type was the wharepuni.’
    • ‘There was a single space inside with a central passage and hearth, but smaller wharepuni had no central passage.’
    • ‘Traditional wharepuni had a proportion of length to breadth of about 2 to 1.’
    • ‘The free-standing type of wharepuni, without earthed-up walls, were constructed of less-durable materials and became more popular after the arrival of Europeans.’
    • ‘Most Maori continued to live in wharepuni, and from the 1870s some of these included European materials, such as doorknobs, nails, sawn timber, and glazed windows.’
    • ‘He noted that the wharepunis were void of ventilation and reeking with tobacco smoke.’
    • ‘The wharepuni was used during his lifetime and was in use for some time after the passing away of his wife.’


Early 20th century from Maori whare ‘house’ + puni ‘group, company’.