1. (verb) (-ngia,-tia) to put in place a temporary ritual prohibition, closed season, ban, reserve - traditionally a rāhui was placed on an area, resource or stretch of water as a conservation measure or as a means of social and political control for a variety of reasons which can be grouped into three main categories: pollution by tapu, conservation and politics. Death pollutes land, water and people through tapu. A rāhui is a device for separating people from tapu things. After an agreed lapse of time, the rāhui is lifted. A rāhui is marked by a visible sign, such as the erection of a pou rāhui, a post. It is initiated by someone of rank and placed and lifted with appropriate karakia by a tohunga.
(Te Kōhure Textbook (Ed. 2): 226-227;)
2. (modifier) reserved, restricted access, restricted.
I pā ā-tinana tonu a Īhāia ki ngā whakahaere a te kōti whenua i te wā o ngā huihuinga autō mō te poraka o Waikōpiro me ētahi atu, nō mua kē atu he whenua rāhui i kōwhakina mai i te poraka o Waipukurau (TTR 1994:30). / Ihaia had personal experience of the operations of land court during the protracted hearings concerning the Waikōpiro block and others, which were originally reserves separated off from the Waipukurau block.
3. (noun) warning sign that a rāhui is in place, sanctuary, resource reserve, temporary prohibition.
Ko te pou rāhui te tohu o te rāhui, he mea pani ki te whero. Hei ētahi wā ka whakairia he kākahu, he hukahuka, he rarauhe rānei hei tohu i te rāhui. He wā ko te rangatira tonu ka whakatau i te rāhui (Te Ara 2013). / A rāhui was often indicated by a post painted red. Sometimes clothing, a lock of hair, or bracken fern might be hung to signal a rāhui. Sometimes a chief would place the rāhui.