The idea that Māori were a ‘warrior society’ is clearly outlined in the target article by Gary Raumati Hook (2009). Hook takes the reader on a journey of scientific exploration and research findings of previous studies to discuss the notion that Māori carry a gene that may or may not be responsible for some of Māori behaviour. Throughout the article Hook suggests that the label, ‘warrior gene’ is not appropriate and that environmental factors have not been considered. The nature versus nurture debate is apparent and the author constantly questions the validity of the warrior gene hypothesis or more importantly the association of the monoamine oxidase gene or MAO to Māori antisocial behaviour. This commentary highlights and discusses three points from Hook’s paper. First, is the inappropriate labelling or stereotyping of Māori. Second is the effect stereotyping can have on future generations of Māori. The third point is how key cultural concepts and principles such as whakapapa (genealogy), āhua (behaviour), mauri (life force), mana (pride) and tapu (sacredness) constantly underpin the subject of Hook’s article.