Kia Ora! Tena koe! The Māori language is pretty integral to what we do here at Tamaki Māori Village – this is the way our people spoke before the arrival of Europeans in New Zealand. The country is going through a real revival of Te Reo these days. For a while, there were concerns that the language was dying out, but now more and more people are making the effort to learn it. You’ll learn plenty of Māori words by coming along to our Evening Experience, but to help you get inspired we’ve put together a list of our top ten favourite Māori words & their meanings.
Our guides will be pretty impressed if you remember one or two of these phrases when you visit!
Kia Ora – when visiting New Zealand, you’ll hear this one a lot. It’s used mostly as a relaxed greeting – ‘hello!’ – but it also means cheers, good luck, or best wishes. It’s nearly as common as ‘hi’ or ‘Gidday’ throughout the country.
Haere rā – nearly as common as ‘Kia ora’, Haere rā means goodbye, farewell or bye-bye and is said to someone leaving.
Manaakitanga – this is probably our favourite word here at Tamaki Māori Village because it’s at the core of what we do! While it loosely translates to ‘hospitality’; it also means much more than that. It’s all about showing respect and taking good care of others, being generous and making sure guests feel a warm, friendly welcome.
Kai – another important one here at Tamaki! Kai is all about food – it means to eat, to feed oneself, to partake in feasting. And we know all about eating in the Māori culture. Our Hangi feasts, where we cook food in a heated earthen pit, are legendary (you’ll get to indulge in one if you come and visit the village!)