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What does Little Koha mean?

Written by Chloe Johnson

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Posted on September 10 2022

This week we're celebrating one of our official languages, te Reo Māori, as part of a nation-wide initiative called Te Wiki o te Reo Māori which was created to raise awareness and revitalise our language. 

Te Reo Māori is embraced every day at Little Koha from outward facing elements such as our business name and products to more internal measures such as a key strategic priority to support more Māori-owned businesses. Next year, I'm excited to attend a te Reo Māori course too. 

A question I'm often asked is, why did we call our business Little Koha?

Let me start by answering that with my Pepeha (introduction):

Kia ora tātou
Ko Chloe tōku ingoa
Nō Ahuriri ahau
Ko Tukituki te awa
Ko Te Mata te maunga
Ko Ngāti Porou a Ngāti Kahungunu te iwi

Little Koha is a hybrid of English and te Reo Māori, and that reflects our family dynamics too. 

I am of Māori and English descent and Mr Koha is Māori, Samoan and Cook Island Māori. And, of course, our beautiful 4-year-old daughter has been blessed with all those ethnicities. 

the family who own Little Koha gift hampers

So when it came to naming our business, we wanted to honour our heritage and ensure the name reflected our key focus on supporting New Zealand made products.

The word Koha means ‘gift’ in te Reo Māori and it’s an important part of tikanga Māori.

What I love most about the word Koha is that it goes beyond a physical gift. It symbolises the mana between the giver and the receiver and it's truly about about establishing and nurturing relationships. And that’s what I hope Little Koha can do for our customers.

We only scratch the surface of including te Reo Māori in our business and I'm excited to learn and celebrate this beautiful language more. 

Whether you already incorporate te Reo Māori into your everyday life or are wanting to improve your knowledge, this week is all about learning something new and celebrating our rich Aotearoa culture.

From picking up a new word, to greeting your colleagues, or sharing a story about your te Reo Māori journey with friends and whānau, we encourage you to take part in this celebration.

In recognition of this year's special 50th anniversary of the Māori Language Petition, we have translated our website menu to te Reo Māori.

So take a look and learn how to say some new words!

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