Home > Research Centre > Labour Market and Skills > Research Programme > Māori > Maori Business Korero > Making a speech

Māori Business Korero

Making a speech - He Kōrero

When standing to make a speech it is customary to introduce yourself. It may also be appropriate to acknowledge key people. Māori often also greet and welcome the meeting place - whether on a marae or not. Greeting to a non-marae venue generally consists of acknowledgement of the building (whare) and the land (papatūānuku).

On a marae, the wharenui (or meeting house) is greeted because it often personifies a significant ancestor of the local people. The structure of the meeting house for example, represents the ancestor's body and the carved posts within the house represent figures in tribal history. It is also usual to greet the dead, who are present in spirit or physical form, brought to the marae by visitors and the tangata whenua.

Examples of a range of mihi are provided. Each mihi differs in relation to particular occasions or events - select the one that is most appropriate to you.

Mihi to welcome Department of Labour staff to a hui:- including acknowledgement to senior staff

Tuia i runga, tuia i raro
Bind it above, bind it below

Tuia i roto, tuia i waho
Bind it inside, bind it outside

Tuia i te herenga tangata
Bind us where people meet

Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe
The house that stands here, greetings

Tū tonu, tū tonu
Stand forever

E ngā rangatira
To the Leaders

E ngā kaitiaki o Te Tari Mahi
Guardians of the Department of Labour

Ki te whānau Te Tari Mahi e huihui nei
To the whānau of the Department of Labour gathered here

Tēnā koutou
Greetings

Tēnā koutou
Greetings

Tēnā koutou katoa
Greetings to you all

Mihi to acknowledge guests and the venue (non-Marae)

Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe
To this house standing here, greetings

Te papa i waho, tēnā koe
To the sacred earth outside, greetings

Ki te whānau e huihui nei
To the whānau gathered here

Tēnā koutou,
Greetings

Tēnā koutou,
Greetings

Tēnā tātou katoa
Greetings one and all

Mihi to acknowledge important dignitaries / guests

Tihēi Mauri ora
Behold the breath of life

E ngā mana
To the important ones

E ngā reo
To the speakers

Rau rangatira mā
The many respected people

Tēnā koutou
Greetings

Tēnā koutou
Greetings

Tēnā koutou katoa
Greetings to you all

Mihi to guests at a non-Marae venue: - including acknowledgement to those who have passed away

Tēnā koutou katoa
Greetings to you all

E ngā mate, haere, haere
To the dead

Hoki atu ra ki te pō
Be at peace

E te whare e tū mai nei
The house that stands here

E ngā mana,
To those people of note,

e ngā iwi,
the iwi,

e ngā reo
the voices

Tēnā koutou katoa
Greetings to you all

Mihi to guests on a Marae

Tēnā koutou katoa
Greetings to you all

E te whare e tū nei
The house standing here

E te marae e takoto mai
The Marae lying there

Tēnā kōrua
Greetings to you both

E ngā hau e whā
People of the four winds

E ngā iwi e tau nei
People gathered here

Tēnā koutou katoa
Greetings to you all

Mihi to acknowledge the Marae, the whānau of the Marae and to those who have passed away

Tihēi Mauri ora
Behold the breath of life

E te whare e tū nei
The house that stands here

E te marae e takoto nei
The Marae that lies here

Tēnā kōrua, tēnā kōrua, tēnā kōrua
Greetings, greetings, greetings to you both

E ngā mate haere, haere, haere
The deceased - go, go, farewell

E ngā rangatira e te iwi kāinga
The esteemed one - the home people

Tēnā koutou
Greetings

Tēnā koutou
Greetings

Tēnā koutou katoa
Greetings to you all

Immediately following the conclusion of the mihi it is important to finish your speech by introducing yourself.

This can be done by providing whakapapa detail through a 'Pepeha', using the following format:

Nō ............... ahau
I am from ...............

Ko ............... te maunga
My mountain is ...............

Ko ............... te waka
My waka is ...............

Ko ............... te awa / moana
My river / waterway is ...............

Ko ............... te iwi
My tribe is ...............

Ko ............... tōku marae
My marae is ...............

Ko ............... tōku ingoa
My name is ...............

Followed by an introduction of your position as a Department of Labour employee:

He kaimahi ahau
I work

mō Te Tari Mahi
for the Department of Labour

Nō reira, Tēnā koutou
Therefore, Greetings

Tēnā koutou,
Greetings

Tēnā koutou katoa
Greetings to you all

NB: If you do not wish to include a 'Pepeha' you can conclude by introducing your name and position only.

It is important to close any mihi with an introduction of yourself.

An example of a full mihi, including personal introduction and pepeha could look like this:

Tēnā koutou katoa
Greetings to you all

E te whare e tū nei
The house standing here

E te marae e takoto mai
The Marae lying there

Tēnā kōrua
Greetings to you both

E ngā hau e wha
People of the four winds

E ngā iwi e tau nei
People gathered here

Tēnā koutou katoa
Greetings to you all

Nō ............... ahau
I am from ...............

Ko ............... te maunga
My mountain is ...............

Ko ............... te waka
My waka is ...............

Ko ............... te awa / moana
My river is ...............

Ko ............... te iwi
My tribe is ...............

Ko ............... tōku marae
My marae is ...............

Ko ............... tōku ingoa
My name is ...............

He kaimahi ahau
I work

mō Te Tari Mahi
for the Department of Labour

Nō reira, Tēnā koutou,
Therefore, Greetings

Tēnā koutou,
Greetings

Tēnā koutou katoa
Greetings to you all