Did you know that despite being one of the official languages of New Zealand since 1987, less than 4% of the general population speak Māori?

We’d like that to change for a number of reasons.

Among them, the simple fact that tikanga Māori is an important part of New Zealand’s history and identity, and knowing a little bit about – and using – the language is one way to make sure it stays important. (Also, studies have shown that employees who feel their own languages and cultures are actively embedded in workplace practices and organisational culture have greater job satisfaction.)

So, here are a few phrases you can start using in your workplace today. (Pro tip: if you need help with pronunciation, there’s a link below each one!)

10 things to say at work in te reo Māori

1. Kia pai mai!

Kia pai mai
How to pronounce it.

2. Aua.


How to pronounce it.

3. Āe.


How to pronounce it.

4. Kāo.


How to pronounce it.

5. He tika tāu.


How to pronounce it.

6. Mō taku hē.


How to pronounce it.

7. He meka.


How to pronounce it.

8. Engari…


How to pronounce it.

9. Tino!


How to pronounce it.

10. Nō reira…


How to pronounce it.

That should get you started – share them round your colleagues!