Te Reo Glossary

Suggested Glossary of Te Reo Māori words for delegates:

kia ora                                hello (informal)

mōrena                              morning (used as a greeting as in ‘good morning’)


kia ora e hoa                     greetings friend


tēnā koutou                       hello (to 3 or more people)

haere mai                          welcome

haere rā                             goodbye (to someone leaving)

e pēhea koe                      how are you? (to one person)

e pai ana                            I am good

mihi whakatau                   speech of greeting, welcome speech

karakia                               prayer/grace/blessing

marae                                the open area in front of the wharenui where official greetings take place

wharenui                            meeting house

pōwhiri                               welcome ceremony on a marae

te reo                                  the language

kōrero                                  talk

hui                                       to gather, congregate (as a verb) / gathering, meeting (as a noun)

ka pai                                  good

waiata                                 to sing (as a verb) / song (as a noun)

kaumātua                            elder

wāhine                                woman

tāne                                     man

tumuaki                               principal

tamariki                               child/children

rangatahi                             young people/youth

tangata whenua                  local, indigenous people

manuhiri                              visitor/s, guest/s

whanau                               family

whare                                  house/building

e tū                                      stand up

e noho                                 sit down

manaakitanga                     hospitality/kindness/generosity/support

tautoko                               to support                                       


Te Aka Māori Dictionary has sound recordings of the pronunciation of each word.


Guide to pronunciation

·        All Māori words end with a vowel.

·        No two consonants appear together in te reo Māori except for the digraphs ‘ng’ and ‘wh’. Note - In the south island ‘ng’ is pronounced ‘k’. ‘wh’ is pronounced ‘f’.

·        If unsure of how to pronounce a Māori word, break it up by vowels, as all vowels are spoken.

·        Macrons (ā, ē, ī, ō, ū, Ā, Ē, Ī, Ō, Ū) are placed above vowels to signal they are pronounced longer.

Vowel Pronunciation

         •a as in aloud

e as in entry

i as in eat

o as in ordinary

u as in to 

         •ā as in car

ē as in led

ī as in peep

ō as in pork

ū as in loot