Te Arapiki Ako
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Greeting, meeting and parting

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Last updated 26 October 2012 15:30 by NZTecAdmin
Greeting, meeting and parting (PDF, 36 KB)

The purpose of the activity

Managing simple and more complex social, community and workplace exchanges usually starts and finishes with socially-prescribed interactions. The purpose of this activity is to give learners choices and to practise commonly used ways of greeting, introducing and farewelling people. Customary practices such as whaikōrero can also be included in this scope.

This activity can be used at different and/or multiple levels according to learners’ needs. It can also be used as the basis for establishing shared routines within an organisation. The mother tongue languages of learners can be used as well to help build a sense of community.

The teaching points

  • Learners share their experiences of using greetings, introductions and farewells in familiar situations including the marae.
  • Variations and new ways of carrying out these interactions are discussed and practised to enable learners to develop their own style.
  • Discourse markers are commonly used in greetings, introductions and farewells.
  • Learners are able to extend their repertoire and feel comfortable in a variety of different situations.


  • No resources are required.

The guided teaching and learning sequence

1. As you meet each learner at the start of this session, use a variety of greetings suitable for the situation, for example, “Hi George, nice to see you”, “Good morning Ms Smith, how are you today?”, “Kia ora, Huhana, how’s it going?”

2. Explain that the purpose of this activity is to share what we know about greetings and similar social practices, and to extend the choices we have.

3. Discuss the greetings with the group to elicit their responses to the expressions you used. Talk about other ways to greet people and, as new expressions are shared, talk about the kinds of people and places you might use them.

4. Have learners work in pairs to try out a greeting they have not used before. Ask for feedback when they have done this.

5. In the same way, discuss the different ways we might introduce a new person to the group, to an elder of the community, or to a new boss. How do these vary? Again allow time for learners to try out several different ways of introducing their partner to a new person: for each different example, they need to say what the situation is.

6. Discuss the experience and share understandings about how to introduce people in different situations. This may include the ways we make connections with and between people, for example, the whakapapa in a mihi, or the naming of people and places to help strangers make connections with each other. (“Mere, this is my friend Sue. She used to work with your cousin Harry at…”)

7. Repeat the activity, this time with a focus on saying goodbye in different ways. Discuss options first then have pairs try out several variations before coming back together to discuss the experience. Record discourse markers as before.

8. Bring the activity to a close by having the learners review what they have learned, clarifying any misunderstandings. Review the lists of discourse markers: learners whose mother tongue is not English may like to share any commonalities with their own language in the context of their own customary practice.

Follow-up activities

  • Help learners who require more practice to work with a more-skilled buddy for a few days then check on progress.
  • Suggest to the learners that they listen for greetings, introductions and farewells as they watch a variety of different TV programmes as well as in their day-to-day lives.
  • Spend time examining the words used to signal greetings, introductions and farewells (“Kia ora!”, “Hello”, “Yeah, gidday”; “I’d like you to meet…,” “Have you met…?”, This is…”, “Well, I’d better get going”, “Ok, see you later”. These words are discourse markers (see the activity Signpost words) and are helpful signposts in social, work and other interactions.
  • Ask the learners to spend time observing body language as people enter a room, greet friends or strangers, or meet people in different contexts. They can discuss how the ways in which we sit, stand, move, dress or use our bodies (including gestures) all communicate information. This is an important aspect of communication and is often overlooked. If learners agree, it would be useful for them to film each other then discuss the unspoken messages they are conveying.

Associated activities


Icebreakers are activities designed to help a group of strangers (or people who do not know each other well), learn something about each other and feel comfortable together. Try this icebreaker:

Ask group members to turn to a person and find out something about them, using one or more of these topics:

  • The culture they grew up in.
  • What matters most to them in their lives.
  • A time when they overcame a fear.

Allow a few minutes for sharing in pairs, then ask each person to use what they have learned to introduce their partner to the group.


Pōwhiri is a common process within Te Ao Māori and also in New Zealand society at large. Find out if group members (or the group as a whole) have been involved in pōwhiri from a traditional context at a marae, or in a contemporary setting such as a polytechnic, school, university, conference or other setting.

Ask learners to reflect on each step of the process.

  • What happened?
  • How did it happen?
  • Who was involved?
  • What kinds of speaking and listening skills were required?
  • Does this vary, for example from one occasion (such as hui) to another (such as tangi)?

Ask learners to discuss the listening and speaking that occurs in this process.


Pepeha refers to the process of self-introduction. This activity can be used to highlight the listening and speaking requirements when introducing yourself in the Māori language.

The minimum requirement is to give your name:

Ko__________ ahau. (I am__________ .)

A fuller pepeha would include more details:

Ko__________ taku waka (__________ is my canoe.)

Ko__________ taku maunga (__________ is my mountain.)

Ko__________ taku awa/moana (__________ is my river/lake etc.)

Ko__________ te Iwi (__________ is my (tribe) name of my people.)

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