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Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Greetings to you all. 

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is in Hepetema (September) annually. The campaign is an essential part of achieving the goal of 1 million speakers of te reo Māori in 2040.

About Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 

Te Puia, Rotorua

Māori Language Week has been celebrated in Aotearoa since 1975. This special week is an opportunity for the concentrated celebration and promotion of te reo Māori, helping to secure its future as a living, dynamic, and rich language. 

In the mid-20th century, there were concerns that the Māori language was dying out. The future of te reo Māori was the subject of a Waitangi Tribunal claim in 1985. The tribunal’s recommendations led to far-reaching legislative and policy changes. Māori became an official language of New Zealand in 1987. Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori was established in the same year to promote te reo. 

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is part of a broad Māori language revival programme and raises public awareness for Māori language learning and public usage. Mahuru Māori is an initiative begun in 2017 to promote the use of te reo Māori throughout September. 

This resource page offers ideas, links, and stories to support the learning of te reo Māori in schools and at home. 

Curriculum connections

NZC Curriculum icon.

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori supports a number of curriculum principles, including Treaty of Waitangi, cultural diversity, and inclusion. This special week provides students with the opportunity to explore the values of equity and diversity and learn one of our country's official languages. Students who learn te reo Māori and te ao Māori can make use of key competencies and achieve learning outcomes described in the learning languages and social sciences learning areas. 

How can you get involved?

Grow stronger connections with your Māori communities
Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is an ideal opportunity to grow stronger partnerships with your Māori whānau, hapū, and iwi. Invite local speakers of te reo Māori into school to share their language, knowledge, and stories with your students. Alternatively, you could see if your local iwi can host your school for a noho marae. By forming close relationships with mana whenua you can work with them to learn more about te ao Māori and develop a place-based curriculum that acknowledges the stories and histories relating to your school’s geographic location.

Connecting with Māori Communities: Whānau, Hapū and Iwi (PDF)
This resource outlines key messages from research and literature that relate to schools connecting with their Māori communities.


Learn a Māori kupu or phrase each day
Teach your students a new kupu or phrase each day during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, throughout the entire month of September, or across the school year. Te Kupu o te Rā offers a word or phrase each day. The NZ History website provides a list of 100 Māori words every New Zealander should know and 365 useful words and phrases in te reo Māori

There is a high chance that some of your students and their whānau will be fluent in te reo Māori. Encourage these reo speakers to be experts during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, and validate their knowledge in front of other students. 

Pages from Tōku Pepeha.

Support your students to create and share their pepeha 
Pepeha is a way of introducing yourself in Māori. A pepeha describes your identity and heritage by telling a story of the places and people you are connected to. You could support your students to write and share their own pepeha during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

The Pepeha website offers information about pepeha and helps users write their own. Pepeha and Tōku Pepeha are texts from the Instructional Series that also provide guidance around pepeha. 

Sing waiata
This collection of waiata and haka includes mp3 recordings, a songbook with lyrics, song sheets, curriculum achievement objectives, and suggestions for activities. You could share this resource with parents and whānau and encourage them to learn songs that can be sung together at home and at school.

Explore Māori placenames
Work with your students to investigate your local Māori place names. Learn the meaning behind the names and how to pronounce them correctly. You could ask your community language experts to support this learning. See The National Library | Te Puna Mātauranga for further guidance.

Read Māori myths and legends 
This collection of well-known stories is based on Māori oral traditions and has been handed down through the generations. You could promote storytelling in your school community by sharing this resource with students, parents, families, and whānau.

Organise a school or community event 
You could organise a special assembly, kapa haka concert, community hangi, or Māori language exhibition to celebrate te reo Māori. Students can demonstrate the principle of ako as they share their language learning with their whānau and wider community.  

Instructional series

Another great way to get your students involved in Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is to incorporate it into your reading and writing programme. The Instructional Series on Tāhūrangi offers several texts about te ao Māori (Māori worldview) and te reo Māori (Māori language). Here are our top picks:

Taonga, Ready to Read, Level 1, Orange, 2019
When Mahi and her cousin Hani go to Nan’s house after school, they tell her about their school project – to write about something that is a taonga to them. After talking with Nan, both children realise what they will write about.

Rongoā Māori, Junior Journal 48, Level 2, 2014
This story has a strong theme of the value of rongoā Māori, traditional Māori medicine. It provides opportunities for students who are familiar with te reo and rongoā Māori to share their knowledge.

Uira, Junior Journal 48, Level 2, 2012
This short, dramatic poem is in te reo Māori with an accompanying English interpretation. It describes the sights and sounds of lightning as Tāwhirimātea performs a haka.

Pepeha, Junior Journal 53, Level 2, 2016
This article explains what a pepeha is and why it is important in Māori culture.

Tōku Pepeha, Junior Journal 53, Level 2, 2016
This text follows on from the article “Pepeha” in this journal. The author, Pareraukawa Moore, describes her own pepeha and what each element means to her.

Tarakura of the Rangitāiki Plains, School Journal Level 3, 2012
This exciting, fast-paced myth retells a traditional story from Ngāti Awa. It portrays one chief’s courageous actions to protect his iwi from the taniwha Tarakura.

Awarua, the Taniwha of Porirua, School Journal Level 2, May 2016
Rereroa the albatross teaches her friend Awarua, the taniwha, how to fly. In the process, Awarua creates some of the geographical features around the Porirua area. 

Kia Māia, School Journal Level 3, May 2020
Jayson has just arrived in New Zealand to stay with his nan. He is staying at her marae preparing for an unveiling but is feeling out of his depth. With help from his younger cousin, Nikora, Jayson slowly feels his way, learning about tikanga Māori and how he, too, belongs.

Useful resources

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori Facebook community
If you are a Facebook user, you might like to join the Te Wiki o te Reo Māori Facebook community to keep up to date with resources, teaching ideas, and events. 

Digital tools for teaching and learning te reo Māori
This page provides an overview of technologies and apps that can be used to build students' capability in te reo Māori.

What is your school doing? 
In this clip, we hear teachers discuss some of the exciting things that are happening in their schools, in terms of Māori language teaching and learning. This clip could be shared with your parent community and used as a springboard to collectively evaluate and enhance your te reo Māori programme.

Curriculum Guidelines for Teaching and Learning Te Reo Māori in English-medium Schools: Years 1–13
These guidelines are intended to help every English-medium school in New Zealand to design and shape a curriculum that includes te reo Māori, alongside other learning areas, and to acknowledge its value. The document describes the knowledge and understandings that students need to acquire and the levels of proficiency that they are expected to achieve as they progress through the eight levels of the curriculum.

Te reo Māori in English-medium schools
This website provides information and resources relevant to the teaching and learning of te reo Māori in English-medium schools. It offers lesson plans and a storehouse of teacher resources.

Ka mau te wehi!
This resource for year 7 and 8 teachers and students supports Māori language in schools. Ka Mau te Wehi! is an expression meaning awesome or fantastic. It is used in this context to acknowledge and celebrate all achievements, large or small, that are made by the teacher and learner as they learn te reo Māori together.

He reo tupu he reo ora
This is an online multimedia resource for teaching and learning te reo Māori. The primary audience is students in years 1–6 learning at levels 1–2 of Te Aro Arataki Marau (the curriculum guidelines for te reo Māori). It contains eight units of work with reomations (animations in te reo Māori) and videos on how the resource can be used.

EDtalk - Nourishing Te Reo Māori in our schools
Janelle Riki-Waaka, CORE Education, talks about te reo Māori as a beautiful taonga for all kiwis – and keeping it preserved for future generations means ensuring that it becomes a language of our communities and of our schools. 

EDtalk – Te reo Māori in English-medium schools
Tamara Bell challenges teachers in English-medium schools to increase achievement for Māori students by teaching te reo Māori. She also emphasises the importance of valuing students' cultural identities and establishing close connections with students and their whānau.

Teaching te reo Maori
This blog post highlights resources, tools, and school stories to help you carry the momentum of language learning during Te Wiki o te reo Māori into the rest of the school year.

MASAM spotlight
Use this spotlight to engage in professional learning about Māori achieving success as Māori. Explore what MASAM means to you and work together with your staff to devise ways to be more culturally responsive.

Inclusive Education Guides for Schools – Supporting ākonga Māori
Culturally responsive strategies to meet the needs of ākonga Māori who require additional support.

You might like ... 

Student from Hukanui School.

The staff and board of Hukanui School decided that they would like to focus on te reo Māori development within their school. This series of three videos explains their journey.

Updated on: 12 Sep 2022