Related Content
Kaupapa Whaipānga

Whakamahia te Reo - Using Reo

There are many ways Māori language could be incorporated into the day to day business environment.

Here are a few basic suggestions for using Māori when when writing a letter of on the telephone . If you want to look at options in greater detail we suggest you consult Māori for the Office, Te Reo Māori mō te Tari, a publication written by Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori – the Māori Language Commission – and published by Oxford University Press.

Writing letters

If your letter is more formal you might begin with the greeting, Tēnā koe (name) where in English you would write Dear (name).

If you were writing a general greeting such a Dear Sir/Madam you could use a form such as – E te rangatira, tēnā koe. In that case rangatira (chief) may refer to a man or a woman in the way that Sir or Madam is used in English.

Note: If your letter is to two people you should use the form – Tēnā kōrua, and if to three or more people – Tēnā koutou.

A more informal letter might begin with Kia Ora – a phrase which can refer to any number of people.

To end your letter you may finish with an expression such as Hei konā mai (Goodbye for now); Hei konā mai me te aroha (With Love); or Kia rongo kōrero anō au i a koe (Until I hear from you again).

To sign off you can use the following phrases:

- Nāku, nā (Yours faithfully)
- Nāku noa, nā (Yours sincerely)
- If the letter is being signed by two people use Nā māua (noa), nā
- And if by three or more people use Nā mātou (noa), nā

If you want your sign off to be more expressive of gratitude you could use an expression such as Nāku i runga i aku mihi ki a koe (Yours with thanks)

The examples above give basic letter openings and endings. If you want to take your business’s letter writing further in cultural terms there are other forms to consider and you should seek more advice or consult the book mentioned above.

On the telephone

As with letters there is the same distinction between the more formal Tēnā koe and the less formal Kia ora when you are answering the phone.

For some examples of other kinds of greetings and farewells check out the Meet and Greet section in the Interactive Conversations on this site.