It’s cool to kōrero — June 2024

June 25, 2024

Puku — belly, stomach

Stomach pain: “ngaupuku” or “puku mamae”. Photo: Adobe Stock
Abdominal exercises: “Whakapūioio puku”. Photo: Adobe Stock

Intestines: “koru” (literally, a coil). Photo: Adobe Stock

Haere mai and welcome to the June “it’s cool to kōrero” column. Puku is the word in te reo Māori for belly or stomach.

As well as the place to be filled with healthy kai, the puku is also the place where powerful feelings can be stored. The Pōwhiri Poutama model for counselling and therapy using tikanga Māori, includes the advice to participants to focus on expressing “what sits in your puku” which is “often strong emotions”.


Kupu hou (new word)
  • Puku (stomach, belly) — pronounced “poo-coo”
  • Kei te kī tāku puku. — My stomach is full.

Other words and phrases related to puku include:

  • Ngaupuku — stomach ache
  • Koru — intestine (literally, a coil)
  • Puku hamuti — bowels
  • Huaketo puku — rotovirus
  • Waikawa puku — gastric acid
  • Puku mamae — stomach pain
  • Whakapūioio puku — abdominal exercise
  • Puku nui — big belly

E mihi ana ki a Titihuia Pakeho rāua ko Mairi Lucas.