Kīwaha: Te reo Māori phrases

For Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori we've been suggesting ways to help improve your te reo Māori skills.

Learning kupu (words) and wetereo (grammar) are obviously quite important if you're trying to strengthen your reo. But phrases (idioms or colloquial sayings) can also be really helpful and add a bit of flourish to your conversations.

Try out some of the these:

tapatapahi ana

Meaning: Flash, stylie, stylish, smart, with-it, outstanding, remarkable, inspired, creative, primo
- An idiom to express appreciation of attractiveness of something that has been created.

Everyday use:
Damien: Tapatapahi ana! Those are mean sunglasses Kat, where did you get them?

kei runga noa atu [koe]

Meaning: [You're] top-notch! [You're] great! [You're] too much! [You're] outstanding! [You're] on to it! [You're] the bomb!
- An idiom praising someone for his/her outstanding work.

Everyday use:
Denise: Man, I just cleaned up the worst mess in the public toilet!
Maatakiwi: auē, kei runga noa atu koe e hine! Far out that’s gross, but you’re really on to it Denise, awesome work!

me rawa ake

Meaning: Very soon, next minute

Everyday use:
Rochelle: Left my scooter outside the Dairy, mea rawa ake, someone stole it!

paia!

Meaning: Awesome

Everyday use:
Tania: Paia! Tūranga, the new central library opens on Friday 12th October, can’t wait!

āna

Meaning: (Interjection) yes, yes indeed, just so! Yes it is! Yeah, agreed
- a supportive response to a statement or question.

Everyday use:
Damien: Did you see the game on Saturday, man Joe Moody was on fire!
Kate: Āna! He was spectacular.

he raru kei te haere

Meaning: trouble is on the horizon / trouble is brewing
- an expression indicating a problem is about to occur.

Everyday use:
Alan: Oh heck, he raru kei te haere, look at Kim’s face.
Fiona: True! Might be a good time to go for a coffee.

me noa ake au!

Meaning: Just saying / my suggestion

Everyday use:
Julia: Bronwyn makes the best sausage rolls ever, me noa ake au!

Find out more

Throughout Te Wiki o te Reo Māori we'll be blogging about ways you can help strengthen the reo.

In the library collection

Collated by Damien Taylor for Ngā Kaiāwhina 

Kōrerorero mai - Join the conversation

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Christchurch City Libraries