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Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

Friday 22/09/2023

One week is hardly enough to celebrate what is both a taonga and a national language of Aotearoa, but it's an opportunity to celebrate the movements that have allowed the Māori language to not only survive but to flourish.

For some, it's easy to take for granted the ability to learn and to speak te reo, but use of te reo Māori was banned in many schools from the early 1900s and was brought to the brink of extinction. People were not only discouraged from but actively punished for speaking the language. Around the 1970's, a so-called Māori renaissance began to unfold, and with that came a grassroots push to revive te reo Māori. 

When you already have the value of language in your head and heart, there's no question as to its significance. If you don't view language as a treasure, and not everyone does, here's another way of thinking about te Wiki o te reo Māori...

The word Māori simply means 'normal', or 'ordinary'. Before Māori people were made a minority in their own land, te reo was the normal and ordinary language spoken here. Mainstream, you might say! And by celebrating and encouraging its use now, we can restore that normalcy that was lost.

If you or your friends and whānau haven’t committed to improving your reo yet... Karawhiua! Give it heaps.


There are a range of Māori language apps, here are just a few:

Kupu uses the camera in your phone to instantly translate objects into te reo Māori. 

Kōrerorero is an interactive learning tool developed to teach te reo Māori through listening, repetition and learning vocabulary and phrases that can be easily introduced into real life situations.

Drops teaches practical vocabulary is bound to your memories through beautiful graphics and quick mini-games.

And other ways to improve your reo...

Māori language courses are in hot demand across the country, and many can be done online. You can find a heap of suggestions at, but if study isn’t the best option for you your local library has great resources for all ages and stages, and you can always check out Whakaata Māori for a wonderful range of comedy, drama, documentaries and kids’ programmes for both beginners, fluent speakers, and everyone in between.

Taringa is a bilingual podcast produced by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, cover a range of concepts within te reo and tikanga Māori. Taringa airs on 104.6 Planet FM every Friday at 3.50pm.

Visit Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori/ the Māori Language Commission for a range of resources and activities and remember: the only way to improve your skills is through practice, so don’t be shy…

 Kaua e Whakamā! Kia Kaha!

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