Kia ora e te whānau.

Two days down and the challenge of dropping reo into each conversation is still going ka pai (good).

One of the main reasons for taking on the challenge was to increase the presence of te reo in my life, thus normalising it – part of the concept whakamāori tō ao, making your worldview Māori.


Even a few simple phrases can go a long way in making people feel more comfortable using te reo.

The simplest of introductions is obviously kia ora. But if you want to step it up a notch, throw in a tēnā koe instead.

This can be expanded to tēnā korua if you are speaking to two people, and tēnā koutou if there are more than two. For example walking into your office this morning how about throwing out a "Tēnā koutou!"

Alternatively another nice way to say hi to a large group of people is, "Kia ora e te whānau."

In the morning a simple mōrena, or ata mārie is a nice way to kick things off too.

The next basic phrase you might come across is the classic Kiwi small talk line of, how are you? Or, what's up? In te reo you can try, kei te pēhea koe?

Or a little more casual (or if you are in the Ngāti Porou rohe) try, kei te aha koe? Which translates literally to what are you doing, but on the East Coast can also mean how are you.

The simplest response is kei te pai ahau – I am good.


But if you want to impress your hoamahi (workmates), substitute the pai for words like ngenge – tired, matekai – hungry, or even pukumahi – busy.

The next stage is the send off.

Again the simplest form is a ka kite – see you, or ka kite anō – see you again.

The more formal versions are e noho rā – goodbye said by a person leaving, or haere rā – goodbye from a person staying.

To fancy it up, try mā te wā – until next time, hei konā rā or hei āpōpō – until tomorrow, or hei tēnei pō – until tonight.

Tomorrow we'll get into some sayings that will really impress your hoa (mates) – kīwaha.

But more on that āpōpō. Mā te wā!