New Zealand Maori Word Encyclopedia

A book from 2007 in our own library

Fluency isn’t and shouldn’t be an objective; like any language, achieving that requires a big commitment of time and practice; rather it’s about acquiring a basic vocabulary and a few phrases.

When we were in Juneau, Alaska, we watched a 20-minute history of the indigenous Tlingit people designed for visitors. Before the screening the presenters distributed a leaflet containing some phrases in the native language and got the audience to repeat them.

Here are some Māori words relevant to Waikanae:

Physical features

Awa — river, stream

Hōiho — horse

Maunga — hill, mountain

Manu — bird

Ngahere — forest

Kāri — garden

Kuri  – dog

Ngeru — cat

Ngohi — fish

Putiputi — flower

Rakau — tree

Tahatai — beach

Tarutaru — grass

Tipu — shrub

Wai — water

Whare — house


Aroha — love

Ataahua — beauty

Atawhaitanga — courtesy

Te ata noho — quietness

Mana — dignity

Pāroretanga — relaxation

Rangamārie — peace

Rerehua — beauty

Whakarerenga — relaxation

Whakaute — respect