Maori Phrases and Greetings for Home, School and Workplace

Learning te reo Māori is becoming more popular. Te Wiki o te reo Māori is a week assigned to highlighting Aotearoa’s important taonga, te reo Māori.

Here are some resources and ideas to help you use more te reo during this week. As a result, you could  increase your use of te reo permanently.



Firstly, here is an awesome freebie for adults or tamariki. Firstly, these kīwaha are positive affirmations to give and say to others.

“Kāore te kūmara e kōrero mō tōna ake reka” The kūmara doesn’t tell of its own sweetness.

Above all, encouraging others rather than highlighting your own deeds and characteristics is a preferred Māori way.

These kīwaha watches will be right on “hand” so that the phrase is readily seen until memorised.

These are the kīwaha on the watches.

*You’re awesome

*Koia kei a koe


*Tau kē

*Well done

*Tino kino te pai

*Give it heaps



*Ka mau te wehi

These are also part of the Door hanger resource below.



Kīwaha are colloquialisms or idioms. An idiom is ” a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words” (set phrase, expression e.g far out!)

It’s meaning can’t be taken word for word.  A few words are packed with so much meaning! This is why they are so useful to learn.

You can slip them into a conversation rather easily. As with whakataukī, karakia, waiata and pepeha, they are great scaffolded building blocks for language learning and easily memorised.

Te Reo Door Hangers

In order to commit these to memory, we need to be repeating these over and over again. “BUT WE ARE SO BUSY! and our brains are full” you say. I agree. Sometimes remembering new learning can be difficult.

Enter door hangers. Very simply you can hand these on any hooks, handles, knobs to remind you of the phrases.

Five of these are the same as the watches so there is double the opportunity for your learners to remember these.

Furthermore, there are unillustrated templates where your tamariki can draw their own pictures.

These are best laminated for durability and also so they can “hang”. However, if that’s not an option in a classroom setting you can add some card/cardstock in between layers and glue. This will make the hanger strong enough to”hang”. You may be lucky enough to have a printer that prints on card.

You never give up

Kāore koe mō te tuohu

You’re (3 or more) the best!

Kei runga noa atu koutou

*You’re awesome

*Koia kei a koe

Y.O.L.O (You only live once)

Ehara i te tī

Keep giving it heaps

Kia kaha tonu rā

*Well done

*Tino kino te pai

*Give it heaps



*Ka mau te wehi

You bet

E mea ana koe


*Tau kē

In addition, for practicality and economy they can also be printed back to back, that is, two together.

One suggestion in a classroom setting would be to:

  • choose a kīwaha
  • discuss the meaning and when you would use it
  • hang the door handle up in as many places around the room as possible
  • give out the kīwaha watch for tamariki to make their own
  • tell them to listen out for others using the kīwaha during the day
  • discus usage at the end of the day
  • offer to teach another class the meaning and give them a watch and door hanger
  • choose another kīwaha the following day
  • repeat 🙂

Te Reo Phrases

Included are 12 other great usable phrases-

Kia ora


Kei te pēhea koe?

How are you?

Nau mai haere mai


Kuhu mai

Enter-come in

Kaua e whakapōrearea mai.

Don’t disturb.

Pātōtō mai, ka kuhu mai ai.

Knock and come in.

Kei te pukumahi mātou i roto nei.

We are working hard in here.

Hoki mai anō. Ka wātea ahau hei te rima meneti.

Come back. I’ll be available in 5 minutes.

Tangohia ō hū.

Take your shoes off.

Pātōtō mai, kāore au e roa.

Knock, I’ll be right with you.

Kuhu mai me he whakaaro pai tōu.

Come in if you have a good idea.

Home School and Workplace door hangers are available here.


Te Reo in the Home Door Hangers

Oh yes! They are HERE! I have wanted to make these conversations for the home for ages.

Having tried using posters, strips of paper and flash cards I have found door hangers to be the most useful. These are GOLD.


  • they can be hung in the appropriate room (bedroom, bathroom) or anywhere
  • when laminated they are durable
  • can be read easily by tamariki
  • can even be hung in the car
  • small enough that they aren’t intrusive
  • finally, they can be hung on a hook, knob, handle, draw handle, bathroom rail (I bought removable small hooks in case I needed to put them somewhere else.)

Conversation Phrases

There are 10 hooks with phrases on both sides. Here are the topics.

Breakfast time

In the bathroom

Washing dishes

Snack time

Before school

Bath time

In the bedroom

Toilet time

These would also be excellent te reo phrases for Early Childhood settings.

The Te Reo in the Home Hangers are available here.



Again, these watches are a way to spread positive affirmations around the workplace or school.

DOWNLOAD your watches H E R E.

If you are a teacher looking or an economical bundle look no further than this wonderful display of sooooo many useful words and phrases.

Check out Te Wiki o te reo Māori bundle here.