Whakatauki, or sayings, are products of the poetical way Maori use language – combined with an element of common sense advice.
The Journal of the Polynesian Society is available online thanks to a collaboration between Auckland University and the Polynesian Society. There is a wealth of information contained within these digitised pages including an article titled A Few of the Maori Wise Sayings from Lake Taupo. It lists sayings and their origins from this area.
Legends of the Maori by Maui Pomare features some more general whakatauki.
Books on whakatauki are also in available our collection including Peter Cleave’s The Maori State where the first section contains whakatauki and their meanings.
Te Ao Hou has several good articles with information about the origins and meanings of many whakatauki. It is a bilingual publication, also in Te Reo.