Abstract A qualitative investigation of the lived experiences of six Maori women educators of Aotearoa New Zealand revealed the importance of the ancestral home-place to their identity as Maori. The study showed that a sense of home-place constructs, reinforces and maintains a sense of cultural identity. At a metaphysical level, distance from the home-place is collapsed into space (adult recollections) and time (recollections told in the present). At a another level, such links are reinforced through physical links to the land, knowledge of genealogy, living close to extended family, the importance of the marae (tribal meeting complex) and experiences of the Maori language. These characteristics were found to be important markers of a secure identity as Maori that emerged as significant for each of the women in this study.