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Maori words and expressions in New Zealand

Maori words and expressions in New Zealand

  • Kia Ora - Hello, welcome, literally good health. Often used as an utterance of agreement, especially during speaking at a hui.
  • Haere Mai - A greeting to a person arriving, while Haere Ra is a salutation to one leaving.
  • Hui - A meeting or gathering to discuss and debate issues in traditional Maori fashion.
  • Iwi - A Maori tribe or people, sometimes known as a Waka (canoe), as some iwi are named after the ocean going canoes that brought their ancestors to New Zealand.
  • Koha - A Maori term for gifts or donations. Often an exchange of gifts takes place. (Sometimes the admission signs say, "Entry Koha", meaning gold coin or what you feel like donating.)
  • Kai - Food. Common with both Maori and European.
  • Marae - A traditional Maori meeting or gathering place. Also a community centre.
  • Pakeha - The Maori word for New Zealanders of non-Maori descent, generally thought to have arisen from a Maori story about white creatures called 'pakepakeha'. Many New Zealanders do not refer to themselves as Pakeha with some finding it offensive, others however see the name as part of their unique identity.
  • Powhiri - A Maori ceremonial welcome. Especially to a marae, but now also may take place at the start of a conference or similar large meeting in New Zealand.
  • Whanau - A Maori (extended) family. Kinfolk.
  • Wharenui - literally big house, is the meeting house on a marae. Used often in advertising to alliterate with friends such as 'friends and whanau'.
  • Wharekai - literally food house, is the dining room and/or kitchen on a marae.
  • Wharepaku - literally Small house or more tongue in cheek "Explode House", - Toilet

  • The Most Frequently Asked Travel Questions about New Zealand

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    New Zealand Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.

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