Kia Kaha Kia Māia Kia Manawanui
Check out our Kia Kaha Sticker here.
To provide an outsider's summary as a non-Maori myself, Kia Kaha Kia Maia Kia Manawanui is a Maori language (Te Reo Maori) phrase that acts as a Maori Proverb and translates roughly to "Be strong, be brave, be steadfast". This Maori phrase was used, for example, in the aftermath of the Christchurch, New Zealand attacks to express love and give courage to the whanau affected in Aotearoa New Zealand and throughout the world.
Notably, the expression was also used by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in an open letter to New Zealand during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown of 2020.
Kia Kaha was the motto of the famous 28th Maori Battalion who marched to the song "Ake Ake Kia Kaha", or "Forever Strong", during WWII and the expression has entered the common dialect alongside the likes of Kia Ora.
It is important to remember that translations of Maori words can only ever be approximate because there are often different layers of meaning to the language. It is possible to consult a Maori dictionary for more information on the subtleties of the language and culture. Another organisation offering useful online activities is Te Whanake with its Te Whanake textbooks and other useful resources.
In modern New Zealand, the phrase Kia Kaha, Kia Māia, Kia Manawanui has also become a popular kiwi choice for greeting cards or other types of gift giving such as unique designs to hang on the wall, with many independent artists getting involved in this trend and bringing colour and cultural diversity into people's homes from Auckland to Invercargill.