Before the arrival of Europeans in Aotearoa, New Zealand and their subsequent settlement in the 1800s, there was no concept of a Māori identity. Over time, however, as a result of rapid colonisation, Māori became a minority population in New Zealand. Consequently, the term Māori as normal or usual, began to lose its meaning (Webber, 2008), and another meaning began to emerge based on contrasts with the Pākehā settler population. This paper explores the complex and increasingly diverse nature of Māori identities in contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand, including contemporary early childhood contexts. It discusses the importance of negotiating the terrains of cultural knowledge, values and understandings in order to define what ‘being Māori’ means for teachers and children in an increasingly diverse and complex settings.