Maori proverbs

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No thoroughly occupied man was ever yet very miserable.
Letitia Elizabeth Landon
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Translations of Maori proverbs

  • Ui mai koe ki ahau he aha te mea nui o te ao, Māku e kī atu he tangata, he tangata, he tangata!
    • Translation: "Ask me what is the greatest thing in the world, I will reply: It is people, it is people, it is people!


  • The kumara nevers talks about how sweet it is.
    • Translation: Do not boast of your own endeavours.


  • E iti noa ana, na te aroha
    • Translation: Though my present be small, my love goes with it


  • Toitü he whenua, whatungarongaro he tangata
    • Translation: Land is permanent, man disappears.


  • He iti wai köwhao waka e tahuri te waka
    • It may only be a small storm yet a successful outcome is imminent.


  • He mahi kai te taonga
    • Survival is the treasured goal.


  • Ka mate käinga tahi, ka ora käinga rua
    • There is more than one way to achieve an objective.


  • Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa
    • Let us keep close together, not far apart.


  • He tini nga whetu e ngaro I te kapua iti
    • Translation: Many stars cannot be concealed by a small cloud.


  • He taonga nō te whenua me hoki anō ki te whenua
    • Translation: What is given by the land should return to the land


  • Whaia te iti Kahurangi-ki te tuohu koe, me he maunga teitei
    • Pursue excellence-should you stumble, let it be to a lofty mountain.


  • Kia mate ururoa, kei mate wheke
    • Fight like a shark, don't give in like an octopus.