He pata ua ki runga, he ngutu tangata ki raro.
Dropping water wears away the soil, so frequent slander a good name.
Lit. A rain-drop above, a human lip below. Resembling some of Solomon’s Proverbs.
He tao rakau e karohia atu ka hemo; te tao kii, werohia mai, tu tonu.
A thrown wooden spear, if warded off, passes away; the spoken spear, when spoken, wounds deeply.
Another rendering of the same proverb:—
He tao kii ekore e taea te karo, he tao rakau ka taea ano te karo.
A spoken spear cannot be warded off, a wooden spear can easily be warded.
Ka katokato au i te rau pororua!
I am going about gathering, bit by bit, the bitter leaves of the sowthistle.
Meaning: I hear nothing but bitter words against me everywhere.
N.B.—The pororua was the old New Zealand indigenous variety (or species) of sow-thistle, which is much more bitter than the introduced variety commonly called puwha.
Te whakangungu nei ki nga tara a whai o Araiteuru!
O for impenetrable armour to oppose against the stings of the stingrays of Araiteuru!
Used by a chief in defending his own tribe against slander. I believe Araiteuru is a large shoal off the West Coast, near Taranaki; in such places, as also on shoals and mud-flats in harbours, as at Ahuriri, Whangarei, etc., large sting-rays abound.
N.B.—Here again there is much in the very name of that shoal which is lost in translation, viz.: Barrier-against-the-western-blast. (Psalm LVII., 4).
Kia eke au ki runga ki te puna o Tinirau!
I may just as well attempt to climb up and sit on the blow-hole of a whale!  A proverb of deep meaning to a Maori, grounded on legendary lore. Used of slander.
Aweawe ana nga korero i runga o Maunga Piware.
Reports and talks are ever floating in the air over Mount Piware.
I suspect that this place, “Mount Piware,” has a highly figurative meaning:—1. Pi and ware: pi = young downy nestlings, and ware = any thing viscous or sticky, as gum, etc. 2. Maunga has, besides its common meaning of mountain, the meaning of fast-to, adhering to; so that the full meaning may be, reports floating in the air are light and downy, and are easily caught and held by soft viscid surfaces.
Meaning; Don’t believe all you hear.
Tangaroa piri whare!
Tangaroa is hiding in the house.
Tangaroa is one of the great Polynesian gods, and particularly of the sea and fishes; is invisible, and hears all; be careful. “Walls have ears.”
Tangaroa pu-kanohi nui!
Large-eyed Tangaroa can see all you do, or say.
Kei whawhati noa mai te rau o te raataa!
Don’t pluck and fling about to no purpose the blossoms of the raataa tree!
The raataa tree (Metrosideros robusta), produces myriads of red flowers; the small parts of these when blown off by the winds fill the air around: so,—Don’t become ashamed when your lying is detected.
Ko Maui whare kino!
Yes, Maui with the evil house! or, Just like Maui of the house of ill-fame!
Schemes and cunning stratagems were planned in Maui’s house, or by Maui wherever staying; he was truly the coming deviser of schemes; in this respect much after the fashion of Mercury, the son of Maia;474 and of Proteus.
Ko Maui tini hanga!
Yes, Maui of many devices!
These last two proverbs were often used in speaking of a scheming, cunning person.
Ko korua pea ko Tama-arero i haere tahi mai?
Perhaps thou and False-tongue475 travelled hither together?
Korua pea ko Te Arahori, i haere tahi mai?
Perhaps thou and False-road came here together? 
I haere mai pea koe i te kaainga i a Te Arahori?
Perhaps thou camest hither from the village of Mr. False-way?
Korua pea ko Te Tangokorero i haere tahi mai?
Perhaps thou and Take-up-talk travelled hither together?
Na Tangokorero pea koe i tono mai ki konei?
Perhaps thou wert sent hither by Take-up-talk?
Those last five proverbs are very nearly alike in meaning, though used by different tribes. They were made use of when visitors should arrive bringing strange tales, or slanderous ones. I bring them here together to show how largely the ancient New Zealanders dealt with fictitious and figurative characters, to whom they gave highly appropriate names, just as Bunyan, already mentioned.
Ka mahi te tamariki wawahi taahaa!
Bravo! children, smashing your (mothers’) calabashes!
This saying is often applied to a man who is defaming his own relations, or tribe.
V. Against Trusting to Promises, Appearances, etc.
Nga korero o era rangi, mahue noa ake!
Promises of other days, wholly left behind!
“Never trust to fine promises.”
He marama koia kia hoki rua ki Taitai?
If indeed thou wert like the moon to return a second time to its place of shining?
Lit. A moon indeed! to return twice to one place (or to Taitai = name of place)?
Said to a person who promises to give you something at the next time of meeting.
Poroaki tutata, whakahoro ki tau kee!
Last words at parting stand close at hand, deferred by slips to another year!
Said of a person too ready in promising.
N.B.—The word “whakahoro”—which I have rendered deferred by slips—is here very expressive; it means to fall by degrees, or to slip, slide, or crumble down, as clayey cliffs, etc.; or to be levelled, as mounds, dykes, etc.
Hohoro i aku ngutu, e mau ana te tinana.
My lips were quick (to move), the body being fixed.
Meaning: Promises were quickly made, but the body is slow to perform.
N.B.—“Body,” with the old Maoris, meant more than with us; viz., the whole man, the entirety, the substance, as against the mere lips. Just  as we might speak of the body of an oak in comparison with two of its branchlets.
“My tongue hath sworn, my mind is still unsworn.”—Eurip.; Hippolytus.
Haere ana a Manawareka, noho ana a Manawakawa.
Well-pleased goes off, Bitter-mind remains behind!
Meaning: He who has got what he wanted goes away rejoicing; while he who has given without any return gift, trusting to the others’ promises, endures the pangs of disappointment and regret.
Tee whai patootoo a Rauporoa!
Long-Bulrush did not strike loudly and repeatedly (so as to be heard)! or, Long-Bulrush gains nothing by his repeated attempts at hitting!
This proverb is used by, or for, a person who returns without that for which he went. It is one of deep meaning to an old Maori (though little understood by the present younger ones), and always evokes a laugh; but requires a little explanation.
The Raupo plant (= Bulrush, Typha angustifolia), which is here figuratively personified, grows in watery places and in the water; the tips of its long narrow numerous leaves are always agitated with the least breeze, and are naturally carried by the same in one direction before the wind; hence, they invariably keep the same distance from each other, or, if they clash, their striking is not heard, and is productive of no result. Moreover, as the longest plants grow only in the deeper water, the saying may also have a latent reference to the greater difficulty in gathering the flowering spikes from such tall plants; for, in the summer season, parties went among the Raupo specially to gather the dense heads of flowers for the purpose of collecting their pollen, when only a smaller quantity could be obtained from the over-long plants, owing to their extra height above and to the greater depth of water below, etc., though attended with much more labour. This pollen, in its raw state, closely resembled our ground table-mustard; it was made into a light kind of yellow cake, and baked. It was sweetish to the taste, and not wholly unlike London gingerbread. Thirty years ago, specimens of it, both raw and baked, were sent to the Museum, at Kew. I have seen it collected in buckets-full.
Hei te tau koroii! and, Hei te tau ki tua!
Put off till the season in which the white pine tree bears its fruit! (which is not, however, every year); and, At the season yet to come.
He iramutu tu. kee mai i tarawahi o te awa.
A nephew stands carelessly (or, without regard) on the opposite side of the river.  Meaning: He is not to be depended on in times of extremity, etc., like a son.
I take it, however, that this “nephew” is the son of a brother, not the son of a sister.
He pai rangitahi!
A one day’s beauty; a short-lived pleasure.
Sometimes used of a girl’s countenance.
Meaning, also: After a fine day, a storm follows; after a great feast, a famine, etc.
He pai tangata ekore e reia; he kino wahine ka reia.
A handsome man is not always eagerly sought after; an ugly woman is eagerly sought for—or, has plenty of lovers.
Here it should be remembered, that with the New Zealanders the women always began the courting.
He pai kanohi, he maene kiri, he ra te kai ma tona poho; waihoki, he pai kupu kau.
Pretty face, smooth skin, loves to bask idly in the sun; therefore the beauty consists in words only. (“Prettiness dies quickly”).
This is plain enough; but, in the next, we have just the opposite.
He pai kai ekore e roa te tirohanga; he pai kanohi e roa te tirohanga!
Good and pleasant food is not long looked at; a good-looking face is long observed.
Meaning: Looked on with satisfaction and delight.