Te reo

Te Reo Māori – Māori language

Te reo Māori. Aotearoa, land of the long white cloud, New Zealand. Māori language is very descriptive. We always loved the word ‘Aotearoa’, land of the long white cloud. The Māori name given to New Zealand.

Rangitoto sunrise

50 Māori words you might be interested to know too.

Here are the 50 Māori words every New Zealander should know. They are more commonly used now than ever before so it might be fun to learn these Māori words.


Aihe (dolphin)
Aotearoa (New Zealand, long white cloud)
aroha (love)
awa (river)

Aotearoa sign


haka (generic term for Māori dance)
hangi (traditional feast prepared in earth oven)
hapu (clan, sub-tribe; to be born)
hīkoi (walk)
hui (gathering, meeting)


iti (small)
iwi (tribe)


kai (food)
karakia (prayer)
kaumatua (elder)
kauri (large native conifer)
kiwi (native flightless bird)
koha (gift, present (usually money, can be food or precious items, given by guest to hosts) )
kōhanga reo (language nest, Maori immersion pre-school (0 to 4 years)

Corrugated iron sawblade kiwi
Corrugated iron sawblade kiwi. Corrugated iron copper kiwi


mahi (work or activity)
mana (prestige, reputation)
manuhiri (guests, visitors)
Māori (indigenous inhabitants of New Zealand, the language of the indigenous inhabitants of New Zealand)
marae (the area for formal discourse in front of a meeting house, or applied to a whole marae complex)
maunga (mountain)
moa (extinct large flightless bird)
moana (sea)
motu (island)


nui (large, many, big)


pā (hill fort)
Pākehā (New Zealander of non-Māori descent, usually European)
pounamu (greenstone, jade)
puku (belly, stomach)

Toki with koru design


rangatira (person of chiefly rank, boss )


taihoa (to delay, to wait, to hold off to allow maturation of plans etc.)
tama (son, young man, youth)
tamāhine (daughter)
tamariki (children)
tāne (man, husband, men, husbands)
tangi (funeral)
taonga (treasured possessions or cultural items, anything precious)
tapu (sacred, not to be touched, to be avoided because sacred, taboo)
te reo Māori (the Māori Language)
tipuna/ tupuna (ancestor)
tuatara (reptiles endemic to New Zealand and which, although resembling most lizards, are part of a distinct lineage, the order Rhynchocephalia)



wahine (woman, wife)
wai (water)
waiata (song or chant)
waka (canoe, canoe group)
whaikōrero (the art and practise of speech-making)
whakapapa (genealogy, to recite genealogy)
whānau (extended family)
whenua (land, homeland)

Source: © Maori language net

Links to some of our gifts:

Cool signs in te reo Maori >>>
Aotearoa – Aroha – Arohanui – Haere Mai – Kia Kaha – Kia ora – Whanau

Maori waka, glass>>>

Maori waka, wood >>>