Maori Phrases you can use everyday

Learning simple Maori phrases that you can integrate into daily activities is an easy start on learning Maori.

There are plenty of phrases in Maori that you've likely learned already, others, will be totally new to you.

What are the most common Maori phrases?

We recommend starting off with the most common Maori phrases.

Greetings in Maori

Whether you’re meeting someone for the first time, greeting some in an email or looking to make a culturally thoughtful impression, any of these Maori greetings are a fantastic way to start.

Greetings to one person: Tēnā koe (formal), Kia ora (informal)
Greetings to two persons: Tēnā kōrua (formal), Kia ora kōrua (informal)
Greetings to three or more: Tēnā koutou (formal), Kia ora koutou (informal)
Greetings to a friend: Tēnā koe e hoa (formal), Kia ora e hoa (informal)
Dear Sir/Madam: Kei te rangatira, tēnā koe (very formal)
Dear [insert name]: Tēnā koe Mikaere

Day to day phrases in Maori

These are a few of the day to day phrases you could use in Maori. You could try using these in the office, at home or your work site.

Good morning: Ata mārie, mōrena
Would you like a coffee? He kawhe māu?
Would you like a tea? He tī māu?
Would you like a water? He wai māu?
Sugar? Milk? He huka? He miraka?
Is (name) there (telephone): Kei konā a (name)?
Yes, one moment please: Āe, taihoa ake nei
Is (name) in (office) Kei konei a (name)?
Sorry s/he is in a meeting: Kāo, kei te hui ia.
Sorry s/he is in a class: Kāo, kei te whakaako ia.
Yes, but unfortunately s/he is busy at the moment: Āe, engari kāore ia i te wātea i tēnei wā.
Send him/her an email: Tukuna he īmera ki a ia.
I would like to meet with you: Me hui tahi tāua.
I would like to meet with you all: Me hui tahi tātou.
Shall I meet you (one person) for lunch? Me haere tāua ki te tina?
Shall we (more than one person) meet for lunch? Me haere tātou ki te tina?
Where? Ki hea?
At the marae? Ki te marae?
I will call past your office: Ka peka au ki tō tari.
Meet me at the Library: Me tūtaki tāua ki Te Pātaka Kōrero.
I am teaching until 1pm: Kei te whakaako au ki te kotahi karaka.
My computer is broken: Kua te pakaru taku rorohiko.
The internet is slow today: He pōturi rawa te ipurangi i tēnei rā.
The printer is out of paper: Kua pau te pepa i te mīhini tā.
Do you have a pen I can borrow? He pene tāhau?
Yes, I have a pen: Āe, he pene āku.

Saying goodbye in Maori

When it’s time to say goodbye, for a short time or a long time, many of these Maori phrases will come in handy. Remember, simply adding them into your email is an easy way to start using them every day!

Yours sincerely (one signatory) Nāku noa, nā
Yours sincerely (two signatories) Nā māua noa, nā
Yours sincerely (three signatories) Nā mātou noa, nā
Yours faithfully (one signatory) Nāku, nā
That is all for now: Heoi anō tāku mō nāianei
See you (again) Ka kite (anō)
With best wishes: Ngā manaakitanga
Regards: Ngā mihi
Thanks: Kia ora
Many thanks: Kia ora rawa atu
All the best: Noho ora mai
See you tomorrow: Hei āpōpō
See you on Monday: Hei te Rāhina

That's our comprehensive list of phrases in Maori to get you started. Want to learn more Maori phrases? Maori Television uses a ton of Maori phrases in their broadcasting! You can check out their schedule here and see which shows you might like to watch soon.

What's even better is that Maori Television is totally free to air, so anyone can watch it!

Ka pai!