1. (noun) spirit, soul - spirit of a person which exists beyond death. It is the non-physical spirit, distinct from the body and the mauri. To some, the wairua resides in the heart or mind of someone while others believe it is part of the whole person and is not located at any particular part of the body. The wairua begins its existence when the eyes form in the foetus and is immortal. While alive a person's wairua can be affected by mākutu through karakia. Tohunga can damage wairua and also protect the wairua against harm. The wairua of a miscarriage or abortion can become a type of guardian for the family or may be used by tohunga for less beneficial purposes. Some believe that all animate and inanimate things have a whakapapa and a wairua. Some believe that atua Māori, or Io-matua-kore, can instill wairua into something. Tohunga, the agents of the atua, are able to activate or instil a wairua into something, such as a new wharenui, through karakia. During life, the wairua may leave the body for brief periods during dreams. The wairua has the power to warn the individual of impending danger through visions and dreams. On death the wairua becomes tapu. It is believed to remain with or near the body and speeches are addressed to the person and the wairua of that person encouraging it on its way to Te Pō. Eventually the wairua departs to join other wairua in Te Pō, the world of the departed spirits, or to Hawaiki, the ancestral homeland. The spirit travels to Te Reinga where it descends to Te Pō. Wairua of the dead that linger on earth are called kēhua. During kawe mate, or hari mate, hura kōhatu and other important occasions the wairua is summoned to return to the marae.
(Te Kōhure Textbook (Ed. 2): 221-228;)
Haere rā i a koe ka kōpikopiko atu ki Te Hono-i-wairua, ki te kāpunipunitanga o te wairua (TTR 1998:37). / We farewell you as you wend your way to the Gathering Place of Spirits, the meeting place of departed souls.
Te tinana, te hinengaro, me te wairua ēnei e toru, te mea nui o ēnei ko te wairua. Te tinana: he anga kau nō te wairua. Te hinengaro: he kaiwhakaatu ki te ao he pēnei nā te wairua kei roto i te tangata (TTT 1/12/1930:2215). / Of these three things, the body, the mind and the spirit, the most important is the spirit. The body is the vehicle for the spirit. The mind shows the world what the spirit of the person is like.
3. (noun) bonfire moss, common cord-moss, Funaria hygrometrica - a moss that grows in profusion on moist, shady, and damp bare soil, especially on sites of old fires, and in plant pots in glasshouses and shadehouses. Found throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand.