Māori heaven

The ten division of the heavens, counting upwards, are named:

  1. Kiko-rangi, where Toimau governs;
  2. Waka-maru, the heaven of rain and sunshine;
  3. Ngā-roto, the heaven of lakes. The spray splashing over is the rain and hail in the world. Maru is god in this heaven;
  4. Hau-ora, or Te Wai-ora-a-Tāne, the Water of Life of Tāne: from hence comes the spirit to the child about to be born (see Waiora);
  5. Ngā-tauira, the abode of beings who attend on the inferior gods who officiate in Naherangi;
  6. Ngā-atua, the home of the inferior gods: Tāwhaki rules in this heaven;
  7. Autōia: here the soul is created;
  8. Aukumea: time allowed here for spirits to live;
  9. Wairua: spirit-gods live in this place, to attend on the gods in Naherangi;
  10. Naherangi, or Tuwharea, the Supreme Temple and highest heaven inhabited by the great gods. Rehua is the ruling power.

Of these heavens, Maru is god of the lower three, Tāwhaki of the next higher three, and Rehua of the upper four.

In other Māori accounts1 there are twelve heavens, and Io dwells in the uppermost one, known as Tiki-tiki-o-rangi, and also as Te Toi-o-nga-rangi, or as Te Rauroha. The following are the names of the twelve heavens, commencing with the lowest one:

  1. Rangi-nui-a-tamaku.
  2. Rangi-tamaku;
  3. Rangi-parauri;
  4. Rangi-maire-kura;
  5. Rangi-matawai;
  6. Rangi-tauru-nui;
  7. Rangi-mataura;
  8. Rangi-nui-ka-tika;
  9. Rangi-te-wawana;
  10. Rangi-naonao-ariki;
  11. Tiritiri-o-matangi;
  12. Te Toi-o-nga-rangi, or Tiki-tiki-o-rangi;

Collectively the twelve heavens are termed nga rangi tuhaha, the bespaced or separated heavens.

See also Māori underworld.



  1. Best, Elsdon. (1924). The Maori. Wellington, New Zealand: Harry H. Tombs, p. 88.


  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, pp. 168, 394.

This article incorporates text from Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary (1891) by Edward Tregear, which is in the public domain.