• Posted on: 31/03/2021
  • 2 minutes to read

Learning a language is about starting out small and taking that first step.

This year Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori has a new challenge for New Zealanders: learn how to introduce yourself in te reo Māori by saying your name, where your ancestors come from - if you want to or can - and where you live.

A mihi (or mihimihi) is an introduction which can take place at the beginning of a gathering or meeting. It is used to establish links with other people present and let people know who you are, and where you come from.

Being able to introduce yourself in te reo Māori is a helpful tool that we can all use at work or in our everyday lives.

Step 1: Your name

My name is ____
Ko ____ tōku ingoa

Tip: You can use your first name only or your full name. It's up to you! 

Step 2: Where your ancestors come from (if you know)

My ancestors are from ____
Nō ____ ōku tīpuna

Tip: Tīpuna (ancestors) is eastern dialect and tūpuna (ancestors) is western dialect. Kei a koe te whiringa - it's up to you which one you use. 

If you want to say more than one place name just add 'me' ('and') right before the final place name eg Nō place #1 me place #2 ōku tīpuna (2 places) or Nō place #1 , place #2 me place #3 ōku tīpuna (3+).

Step 3: Where you live now

I live in ____
Kei te noho au ki ____

Tip: It’s important to know your history. You can research and find the Māori place name for your town, city or country at www.maoridictionary.co.nz.

And don't forget the macrons - they can change the meaning of a word!

Karawhiua whānau!