For the purposes of Heritage New Zealand's responsibilities, cultural heritage excludes te reo, performing arts, most portable taonga, radio waves, etc.
Māori heritage can be divided into the physical/tangible, natural and intangible.
E toru ngā wāhanga, arā ko ngā taonga ā tinana, ngā taonga o te taiao me ngā taonga wairua.
The physical/tangible heritage places can be described as those land-based places created, formed or shaped by earlier inhabitants. These can be archaeological sites (eg burials, pā, pits, terraces, oven stones, midden, stone/rock structures, rock-art, house sites, etc) or Māori built heritage places such as marae buildings, including their contents (eg carvings, artworks, photographs, etc) and structures (eg flagpoles, gateways, etc).
Ko ēnei ngā nohonga me ngā tohu i hanga i ngā tūpuna.
Natural heritage places may be natural features associated with traditional activities (eg springs, trees, swamp, caves, etc) or a tribal landmark (eg mountain, river, lands, sea/lake, village, etc) where no human activity is evident.
Ko ēnei ngā āhua o Ranginui rāua ko Papatūānuku me ā rāua tamariki.
The intangible heritage places are those places that have intangible characteristics where no visible feature or evidence is present but where a significant event or traditional activity took place (eg battlefield, places of meeting, of learning, of ritual, fishing ground, taniwha den, etc)
Ko ēnei ngā wāhi o ngā tūpuna hei tiaki i te mauri o ngā wāhi tūpuna, me ngā wāhi mahi o ngā tūpuna.
All or any of the above cultural heritage places may also be considered to be wāhi tapu, traditional sites, wāhi taonga, or others depending on the iwi, hapū or whānau concerned.
Mā te Iwi, Hapū, Whānau rānei e tapa, e whakarite hoki i ngā wāhi tuku iho katoa.