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  • Maori Words and Phrases in New Zealand

Maori Words and Phrases in New Zealand

Maori Words and Phrases in New Zealand

Maori performance at Waitangi Photo taken by: (Flying Kiwi Traveller)

Maori Words and Phrases in New Zealand

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Here you are going to find a list of Maori Words and Phrases in New Zealand: the Maori language, known as "Te Reo" is still used in places throughout the country. It's not a language that every New Zealander knows or needs to know to get by but it is definitely becoming more and more influenced in certain areas - Rotorua for example, is the first city in New Zealand to have all its street signs changed to display in English and then displaying the Maori version underneath. 

Growing up in New Zealand, throughout primary and high school, everything is taught in English and that will always be the first language here, but there is still an option to do all your learning in Te Reo, which is pretty neat. 

Throughout our tour we teach our passengers a little bit about the Maori history, we have the option of visiting Tamaki Village in Rotorua for a full cultural experience and we even teach our crew a few common words and phrases that is used a lot around New Zealand.

You can visit the Tamaki Village on the following tours: 




You are about to hear this word definitely 2 times a day and possibly more! Kia Ora is the Maori word for: hello, thank you, cheers, welcome, an a lot more. It is used widely across New Zealand by locals, especially in the Tourism Industry. It is also used a lot by us, your guides! It's one of the first things you will learn when joining your Flying Kiwi trip, and it is probably one of the easier phrases too.


Aotearoa is the Maori word for New Zealand, translating to, 'The Land Of The Long White Cloud', and named after Kupe's wife, Kuramārōtini, when she first set eyes on the North Island.



A very important word for everyone, I'm sure!

'Kai' is the Maori word for 'food'


A Hangi is a traditional feast from the Maori which is cooked in the earth. A pit is dug and a fire to be lit creating burning hot coals. A woven basket form flax is then lowered into the pit containing meat and vegetables, then covered over by layers and layers of flax and then left for several hours. If you are joining the tour at Tamaki Village in Rotorua, you will be treated to experience a Hangi for your dinner!


A Marae is a communal or sacred place that serves religious and social purposes, especially in a social or ceremonial forum. It is respectful when visiting a Marae to remove your shoes before entering.


'Maunga' is the Maori word for 'Mountain'. You will endeavor a lot of Maunga on your travels here in New Zealand.


'Tapu' is the Maori word for sacred. Meaning something is not to be touched, to be avoided because it is Tapu/bad luck/against religion.


Whanau - your peers on the Flying Kiwi bus. Translating to - 'extended family'


Important to know that Wharepaku is the Maori word for toilet!


'See you later" for us, a way of saying that this is not goodbye, but see you soon.