A mihimihi is a basic introduction to let people know a little bit about yourself. It tells people where you are from and who you are, linking you to the land (and mountain), river, sea, tribe, sub-tribe, whakapapa (genealogy) and marae (sacred meeting place). Non-Māori might identify places that are significant to them and the country they are from.

Dancers performing the Maori Poi dance

James Heremaia

Here is a simple mihimihi

Tihe mauri ora!
Ko (name of your waka) te waka
Ko (name of your mountain) te maunga
Ko (name of your river) te awa
Ko (name of your tribe) te iwi
Ko (name of your sub tribe) te hapū
Ko (your name) ahau
Let there be life!
My canoe is (name of your canoe)
My mountain is (name of your mountain)
My river is (name of your river)
My tribe is (name of your tribe)
My sub-tribe is (name of your sub-tribe)
I am (your name)

Meet and Greet

Kia ora Hello/Thank you
Kei te pēhea koe? How are you?
Kei te pai Good
Ka nui te pai Very well
Mōrena e Hone Good morning, John
Kuhu mai e Pita Come in, Peter
Aroha mai I'm sorry/ Excuse me
Kia kaha Be strong/Give it heaps
Ka pai Well done
Ka pai tō mahi You're doing well
Kia ora tātou Hello everybody/everyone
Ko (name) ahau I'm (name)
Nō Te Whanganui a Tara ahau I'm from Wellington
He Pākehā ahau I'm a Pākehā
Kei (organisation) ahau e mahi ana I work at (organisation)
Tēnā koutou katoa Greetings to you all

Tips

  • When welcoming Māori delegations, understand who is visiting and manage their expectations around protocol ahead of time. Let them know who will conduct the welcome, and the number, names, and title of speakers.
  • Welcome them in Māori where possible, and follow pōwhiri (welcome) protocols. In strict Māori protocol males speak first, but defer to Māori speakers or those with knowledge of pōwhiri. Don't be shy to seek advice. It is better to give a warm, hearty "Tēnā koutou katoa" (Greetings to you all!), than to stumble through a mihi (introduction) awkwardly.
  • Remember: We are extremely proud of our Wāhine Toa (women leaders), but some traditional cultural protocols set out roles for women and for men, and we should respect these. For example karanga (call) represents women's knowledge.
  • Meeting etiquette: Normal good manners apply. If you are hosting, welcome guests warmly, give your whaikōrero and mihimihi (introductions), introduce your team, then invite visitors to respond. Once introductions are complete, turn to the agenda.
  • Treat people like they are your grandparents: with respect and care.
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