Whaikōrero is formal speech making and is normally performed by men on the marae and at social gatherings. The speakers and order is pre-determined by seniority or the protocol of the area.

The speaker normally opens with a tauparapara (chant), and is followed by mihimihi (the traditional greetings)acknowledging the:

  • Land
  • Wharenui (ancestral meeting house)
  • The dead (our ancestors)
  • The people present
  • The reason for gathering.

Depending on the area, the whaikōrero will follow one of two styles - Pāeke or Tauutuutu. Pāeke - all tangata whenua (local people) speak first, then all the manuhiri (visitors) speak with the last speaker being tangata whenua. Tauutuutu - the speakers alternate from tangata whenua to manuhiri with speakers from the tangata whenua being the first and last to speak.

Here is a simple Whaikōrero

Tihe mauri ora!
E te Atua, nāu te korōria
Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe
Te papa i waho nei, tēnā koe
Te mana whenua o tēnei rohe,
tēnā koutou
Te hunga mate ki te hunga mate, haere
haere haere
Te hunga ora ki a tātou te hunga ora
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou,
tēnā tatou katoa

Let there be life!
Glory be to the Lord
I greet the house we stand in
I greet the land outside
I greet the local people
I pay tribute to our ancestors/to the dead
I give thanks for those of us living
Greetings to you all

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