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Te wā kai (Lunchtime)


It’s lunchtime at school. The children are asking about the contents of each other’s lunch boxes – and swapping food accordingly.

Te Awarangi surprises (and frightens) two children when he reveals what he has for lunch. So scared are his friends that they run off dropping their food, which he promptly adds to his lunch box, alongside a large orange crayfish! Unfazed, he continues to eat his (and their) lunch!

Language Focus

You will meet the question starter ‘He aha...’ (What). You will also encounter the preposition/locative ‘ kei roto’ (inside).

You will learn how to:

  • ask about two choices of food (using ‘rānei’ meaning ‘or’)
  • politely request something to be passed (using ‘koa’ which literally means ‘gladly’)
  • use the singular possessive pronoun ‘taku’ (my)
  • tell someone to wait (using ‘Taihoa’).

More difficult is the word ‘māu’ (for you). This is sometimes written as ‘māhau’.

Transcript and Translation

Speaker Māori English
Rōpū tamariki (off-screen) Te wā kai Lunchtime
Piripi He aha kei roto i tō pouaka kai? What’s in your lunch box?
Mere He huarākau. He ārani māu? He āporo rānei? Some fruit. Do you want an orange? Or an apple?
Piripi Homai koa te āporo. He aha māhau? He hanawiti? Give me an apple please. What do you want? A sandwich?
Mere Āe... anei te āporo. Yes... here’s the apple.
Piripi Anei te hanawiti.Te Awarangi, he aha kei roto i tō pouaka kai? Here’s the sandwich. Te Awarangi, what’s in your lunch box?
Te Awarangi He kaimoana. Seafood.
Piripi and Mere He kaimoana?!! Mmmmmmm... Seafood?!! Mmmmmmm...
Te Awarangi Āe, he kaimoana! Taihoa... Yes, seafood! Wait...
Te Awarangi Anei taku kai – he kōura!! Here’s my food – a crayfish!!
Piripi and Mere Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!! Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!


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