Kupu Kāuta – Te Reo Māori Kitchen Terms

It’s Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week – in New Zealand, which is as good a time as any to learn some useful words and phrases for your favourite kitchen activities. My te reo skills have not advanced since I was about seven years old (kia ora Miss Jones, you were SO ahead of your time), so thanks to the excellent team at Good Bitches Baking for the following handy list.

Kupu Kāuta – Kitchen Terms

Baking – Pēkena

Baking tin – Tini keke

Biscuit – Pihikete

Butter – Pata

Bowls – Rīhi

Bread – Parāoa

Cake – Keke

Cocoa – Kōkō

Cups – Kapu

Egg – Hēki

Electric hand beaters – Kōheri

Flour – Puehu parāoa

Food processor – Nakunaku kai

Icing sugar – Huka puehu

Measuring cups – Kapu ine

Spatula – Pātura

Sugar – Huka

Tihi – Cheese

Personally, I’m tickled at the realisation that the word for spatula, pātura, probably comes from the word patu – which is either used as a verb meaning to strike or beat, or as a noun meaning club or weapon. But that’s just me. If you’re new to te reo, check out this list of 50 Māori words that every New Zealander should know (they’re not related to cooking, but they’re very useful to know!)

Because cooking is rarely a solo activity, these phrases might also come in handy for you and your helpers:

Be careful – Kia tūpato

Clean the bench – Horoia te raumanga

Do you need help? – He āwhina māu?

How is it going? – E pēhea ana te haere?

How long is that going to take? – E hia te roa o tēnā mahi?

I need some help – Homai koa he āwhina

It needs more flavour – Me whakareka ake

That looks great – He āhua teka tēnā

That smells great – He kakara tēnā

That tastes great – He reka tēnā



  1. Judy Hawkins
    April 11, 2018 / 9:06 pm

    Love this – I home-school my 8 year old grandson, so this will be a fun way to teach him (well, both of us really) his reo.

  2. August 8, 2018 / 11:25 pm

    I don’t like this website you should be a shame of yourself

    • jo hammond
      June 7, 2019 / 11:14 pm

      Currently doing a 400 word essay on kia thanks for your help. keep up the good work

    • Kahurangi
      October 8, 2021 / 12:55 am

      kaua e korero pena…. You don’t like the use of te reo Maori on this website then go elsewhere. No one is forcing you to stay here. Kia pai te ra Miss Julia.

  3. jo hammond
    June 7, 2019 / 11:15 pm

    Currently doing a 400 word essay on kia thanks for your help. keep up the good work

  4. Chuck
    January 22, 2023 / 7:52 am

    I am sticking some reo kitchen labels up for my flatmates while we are learning! Tino pai !!

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