Definition of Pakeha in US English:



  • A white New Zealander as opposed to a Maori.

    as modifier ‘Pakeha influences’
    • ‘In the same speech he uttered the weighty words ‘Maori and pakeha are both indigenous people to New Zealand now‘.’
    • ‘So it's a mystery why, unique in the world, some European New Zealanders refer to themselves as pakehas - an insulting name originally applied by the Maoris to the fair-skinned Imperialists who were in the process of conquering them!‘.’
    • ‘I am still in a dilemma of how, as a pakeha, to present this relationship and history.’
    • ‘Haast named the pass after himself and claimed to be the first pakeha to have travelled through it, but the discovery of Cameron's flask discredited this claim.’
    • ‘He ignores all the advantages pakeha have inherited: wealth and land, and also dominance, confidence, privilege, and a society that is set up to convenience us.’
    • ‘The latest New Zealand Census-Mortality Study shows that Maori die younger than pakeha, even after controlling for socioeconomic status.’


  • Relating to white New Zealanders and their languages and culture.

    • ‘Maori families are larger than those of the pakeha, or white, population.’
    • ‘His book details his family's land battles, his brother's notorious murder charge and his uneasy existence in a two-sided world (born of a Maori father and a pakeha mother).’
    • ‘From what friends and family tell me this has split the Maori and pakeha camps and is causing bitter resentment.’
    • ‘There were storytellers on both the Maori and the pakeha sides of my family.’
    • ‘Her ideas were both challenging and threatening to many pakeha New Zealanders who were, and are, often ignorant of the country's history and fearful of difference.’