Maori Language Terms
New Zealand is a bilingual country and Te Reo is our other national language. It's not as widely spoken as English but you might hear some of these words come up in conversation...
Kia Ora (key-or-a) – hello, goodbye, thank you.
Haere Mai (high-reh-my) – welcome
Haere Ra (high-reh-rah) – goodbye
Whanau (far-no) – family
Whare – house
Ai – Yes
Kau – No
Kai – Food
Kai moana – Seafood
Kia ora tatou — Hello everyone
Tena koe — Greetings to you (said to one person)
Tena koutou — Greeting to you all
Kei te pehea koe? — How’s it going?
Kei te pai — Good
Tino pai — Really good
Ka kite ano — Until I see you again (Bye)
Hei konei ra — See you later
Mana – respect, status earned through actions
Ka Pai! - Good Work!
Try these out for yourself on an epic adventure around New Zealand!
Kiwi Language Terms
In order to relate to the locals you will have to be able to communicate, so here’s a few Kiwi terms to get you started...
Eh/Aye – compulsory addition to the end of a rhetorical question... "Last night was bloody good, eh"
"ie" – often found at the end of shortened words, e.g. pressie (present), hottie (hot person), tantie (tantrum), cuzzie (cousin)
"As" - also added to the end of words: "cold as", "fun as", "drunk as", "mean as" -used to place emphasis on the word preceding 'as'.
Sweet as – great, as in "sweet as pie"... "That bungy was sweet as!"
Heaps - used instead of "lots"... "We saw heaps of dolphins in Kaikoura."
"Gap it" - to leave/exit the situation
Hard case – someone who has a big personality, may do unusual things but basically is a real laugh... "Our bus driver's hard case!"
No worries/No wakas! – no problem!
Dairy - a corner shop or news agent that sells milk, icec reams, newspapers etc
Bro – friend or brother
Cuz – friend or cousin
Chur bro – "cheers, thanks" or "that’s cool, my friend"
Good on ya mate -well done
She’ll be right mate – it’ll be OK
Not even – "no, it’s not" or "that’s not true"
Ta – thanks
True? – surprised question, as in "is that true?"
Togs – swimsuit
Jandals – flip-flops
Sunnies – sunglasses
Suss – to figure out
Wop-wops – out in the back country (middle of nowhere)
Piker – someone who backs out of doing something
Tiki Tour – to drive around casually taking the scenic route
Gawk – to stare
Pack a sad – to get upset and sulk
Back in the day - an undetermined amount of time in the past
Nek Minute - "next" minute - used to create suspense when telling a great story.
Get on a tiki tour and chat to the locals.
Sam Berwick gives you a lesson on common Kiwi lingo and how to really pronounce those crazy New Zealand place names.