Waiata or songs and chants are an important part of Māori culture. The words and expressions preserve the wisdom and knowledge of ancestors.
There are many forms of waiata used for different purposes including oriori (lullabies), waiata tangi (laments), waiata aroha (songs of love), ngeri (a type of chant), manawawera (a form of challenge) and waiata poi (poi songs). When performing a waiata, it is important to choose a song appropriate for the occasion.
Waiata are often performed at the end of whaikōrero (speeches) to support what has been said. They can also be sung to remove tapu (restrictions) or to engage, entertain, calm, or comfort the listener.