Updated free Māori Dictionary – Toi Te Kupu 

Updated free Māori Dictionary – Toi Te Kupu 

Toi Te Kupu is a Māori-to-English and English-to-Māori dictionary about kai, cooking, our body and our mind. It is the result of the commitment of the Heart Foundation and Māori Health Provider, Toi Tangata, to improve the health of families and whānau in New Zealand. 


The resource was developed to empower everyone in Aotearoa to have conversations with tamariki and mokopuna about the importance of food and health in te reo Māori.  

“At the Heart Foundation, we have a responsibility to teach children about the importance of healthy food, a healthy body and a healthy mind. In doing so, we ensure that future generations will continue to share this knowledge and live a lifestyle that can reduce their risk of developing heart disease,” says Heart Foundation Chief Executive Clive Nelson.

“Teaching these kupu (words) to children so they grow up with the knowledge of both the te reo Māori and English translations allows all children to develop an understanding of the history, culture and language that underpins Aotearoa,” he says.

The book includes stories of the Atua and the foods of Tāne, Tangaroa, Haumia and Rongo. Words (kupu) for vegetables, nuts, fruits, legumes and pulses, breads and cereals, meat and eggs, dairy products, drinks and beverages and types of snacks are also included.
 It explains the digestive system, cooking and preparation methods and the kupu for cooking equipment.   

The Heart Foundation is calling for more resources to tackle heart disease in the Māori community and it hopes this book can help start the conversation about how our kai and daily activity plays a role in preventing heart disease.

The new Toi Te Kupu 2020 edition is free and can be ordered online or

First published in 2014, the 2020 revision is funded by the One Foundation.