Takatāpui 101

Takatāpui is a Māori word, historically meaning 'intimate companion of the same sex'. The term was reclaimed in the 1980s and used by individuals who were gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex or part of the rainbow community.

The use of 'takatāpui' as an identity is a response to western ideas of sex, sexuality and gender, and emphasises one's identity as Māori as inextricably linked to their gender identity or sexuality.

In the early 2000s, scholars discovered that one of the classic and earliest accounts of Māori beliefs (Nga Tama a Rangi by Wī Maihi Te Rangaikāheke, 1849), recounted Tūtānekai referring to his best friend Tiki as 'hoa takatāpui'. It is said that during a period of separation from Tiki, Tūtānekai said to his father, "I am dying for love for my friend, for my takatāpui, my beloved, for Tiki".

Helpful resources:


We have a regularly updated page on research relevant to queer, gender diverse and intersex people here.

General Info

He Takatāpui Ahau: Māori and Sexual Fluidity (NZ)
This is a quick fact sheet created by RainbowYOUTH about Takatāpui identities, the impact of colonisation and the reclaiming of the phrase (screen reader version here)

Takatāpui: Part of the Whānau (NZ)
Learn the history of the term 'takatāpui' as well as the key elements that make up takatāpui identity. This resource is for takatapui, their whānau and communities, and shares stories and information about identity, wellbeing and suicide prevention.

Takatāpui: Part of the Whānau (Video Resource) (NZ)
This video is part of a resource for takatāpui, their whānau and communities, sharing stories and information about identity, wellbeing and suicide prevention.

It Was a Revolution (NZ)
An article describing the reclamation of Takatāpui identities in Māori communities.

More Than Four (NZ)
More Than Four is a new video and poster resource from InsideOUT, exploring the identities and experiences of and beyond ‘LGBT’ identities.

Takatāpui - Over the Rainbow (NZ)
An online resources about the history of Maori culture and how it has traditionally included and celebrated people of all genders, and their relationships to people of any gender. Maori culture includes all Maori people.

All of Us (NZ)
The All of Us Project is a resource booklet aiming to start a conversation around increasing access and inclusion for intersex, gender diverse and queer young people who also have other minority identities. 


Tīwhanawhana is a takatāpui community group based in Wellington that welcomes people of diverse sexualities and gender identity.

Friends & Whānau

Growing Up Takatāpui: Whānau Journeys
Interviews with seven takatāpui rangatahi and their whānau inform this resource about the journey to and the importance of whānau support in a takatāpui young person's life.

Stories from Takatāpui

He Kākano Ahau 
This short documentary utilises English and te reo Māori to tell an intensely personal story of a courageous wahine (woman) fighting to be heard.

Bang! Season 2 Episode 6: Takatāpui 
Podcast: Meet non-binary Auckland teenager Kahi and their whānau, and hear what sex, sexuality and gender identity looked like in Te Ao Māori before Pākehā arrived