Karakia (prayer) are the ritual chants of Māori and are an important part of Māori culture. Poetic imagery and metaphor are used to call upon and recognise the influence of atua (spiritual or supernatural beings/gods), our ancestors, and other aspects of the environment and our whakapapa (lineage/history).

Many karakia in common use today can be traced back to the 19th century following the introduction of Christianity. New karakia were written or adapted to include Christian symbolism and acknowledge the Christian God and Jesus Christ. Others have been passed down from pre-colonial times or otherwise follow a more ancient or traditional format.

Those participating in karakia can generally safely use either format, but should also always try to be aware of the purpose, context, and audience of the occasion and the tikanga (protocols) of the venue.

Following are some karakia recommended for use at MIT. Audio of most of these karakia is available in our mobile app - Kia Mataara

Karakia timatanga - opening/general purpose prayer (MIT Karakia)

Me inoi tātou

Kia tūturu tātou
Kia manaaki tātou
Kia whai hiranga tātou
Kia tūhonohono tātou

Whano! Whano!
Haramai te toki!
Haumi ē! Hui ē!
Taiki ē!


Let us pray

Let's be real
Let's be caring|
Let's pursue excellence
Let's connect

Join together
and affirm our agreement
We are united in purpose and ready to proceed
[everyone joins speaker in saying Taiki ē]

Karakia timatanga - opening prayer

He Hōnore
He korōria ki te Atua
He maungārongo ki te whenua
He whakaaro pai ki nga tāngata katoa


and glory to God
Peace to the earth
and good will to all people
Amen / agreed

Karakia whakamutunga - closing prayer

Kia tau
Ki a tātou katoa
Te atawhai ō tō tātou ariki a Īhu Karaiti
Me te aroha o te Atua
me te whiwhinga tahitanga ki te Wairua Tapu
Ake, ake, ake


[To you
and to us all]
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
Be with you always
Amen / agreed

Karakia mō te kai - prayer for food

E te Atua
Whakapainga ēnei kai
Hei oranga mō ō mātou tinana
Whāngaia hoki ō mātou wairua
ki te taro o te ora
Ko Ihu Karaiti tō mātou Ariki
Ake ake ake,


Lord God
Bless this food
to strengthen our bodies
and nourish our spirits
with the bread of life
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord
Forever and ever
Amen / agreed


[traditional/secular version]
Whakapainga ēnei kai
Hei oranga mō ō mātou tinana
Whāngaia hoki ō mātou wairua


Karakia mō te kai (traditional)

Tenei te whakamoemiti
Mō ngā ringawera
i whakaritea i ēnei kai
- mai te rangi
- mai i te whenua
- mai i te taiao
Mauri ora!


We give thanks
to the hands
that prepared this food
- from the sky
- from the land
- from the environment
Good health!

Karakia kaupapa maha (multipurpose prayer)

Tūtawa mai i runga
Tūtawa mai i raro
Tūtawa mai i roto
Tūtawa mai i waho
Kia tau ai
Te mauri tū
Te mauri ora
Ki te katoa
Haumi ē! Hui ē!
Taiki ē!


Come forth from above,
and from the environment
and well being,
for all
Strengthened in unity.

[everyone joins speaker in saying Taiki ē]