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The Māori language

Māori or te reo Māori, commonly te reo ("the language"), is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand. Linguists classify it within the Eastern Polynesian languages as being closely related to Cook Islands Māori, Tuamotuan and Tahitian; somewhat less closely to Hawaiian and Marquesan; and more distantly to the languages of Western Polynesia, including Samoan, Tokelauan, Niuean and Tongan.

According to legend, Māori came to New Zealand from the mythical Hawaiki. Current anthropological thinking places their origin in tropical eastern Polynesia, mostly likely from the Southern Cook or Society Islands region, and that they arrived by deliberate voyages in seagoing canoes – possibly double-hulled and probably sail-rigged. These settlers probably arrived by about AD 1280.Their language and its dialects developed in isolation until the 19th century.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Māori_language

To recognise some words that you may hear or see written down, or signposted, in this and coming news items we will give you some of the more commonly used Māori words.

Ako Aotearoa    Study New Zealand

Tēnā koe!           Hello!
Haere mai!         Welcome!
Kia ora                Hi!, G'day! (general informal greeting)
Nau mai              Welcome! Come!
E noho rā            Goodbye (from a person leaving)
E haere rā           Goodbye (from a person staying)
Tēnā koe             formal greeting to one person
Tēnā kōrua          formal greeting to two people
Tēnā koutou        formal greeting to many people
Tēnā tātou katoa  formal inclusive greeting to everybody present,
                          including oneself
Source: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/tereo-100words#greeting