Māori Language Week begins September 11 2023 Te Wiki o te Reo Māori


Every year since 1975, New Zealand has marked Māori Language Week, and te reo Māori became an official language of Aotearoa in 1987.

Read a message from the Moderator for 2023 Māori Language Week - Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

"....Where do we Presbyterian Christians fit in all this? I think we are well placed to celebrate the richness that languages bring to culture, identity and collective meaning. Each week we dig into the beautiful richness of the biblical languages and reflect on the nuanced influences of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin and English as they come down to us through the history of script and translation. This is a beautiful and time-honoured part of who we are as church. We Presbyterians love to learn and ‘fill the basket of knowledge’ - whaowhia te kete mātauranga..." Download the message from the Moderator or read it in full here.

What can you do to encourage te reo Māori?

In the last 200 years the usage of the Māori language (te reo Māori) has had its ups and downs, and major initiatives from the 1980s onwards have seen a revival of te reo. Learn more about the history of te reo Māori

The good news is that everyone can contribute to te reo Māori revitalisation:

  • Make te reo Māori welcome at work, in church and in the community
  • Encourage others to use and learn te reo Māori; welcome te reo Māori language into your life
  • Pronounce te reo Māori  words correctly when speaking English
  • Learn a little, use a little
  • Learn more, and use what you know
  • Keep improving your language, and share what you know

Here are some resources to support parishes and individuals to increase their usage of te reo Māori.

Beginner te reo Māori resources

  • Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Māori | Māori Language Commission resources
  • Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education resources
  • Massey University Toro Mai – two free introductory online courses on te reo Māori and tikanga Māori.
  • 365 common Māori words – this page includes the Māori translation for everyday words - everything from food and drink to sports and holidays. It includes audio file of each word to support pronunciation.
  • Online Māori lessons - take lessons online using these 5-minute podcasts that demonstrate the basics of grammar and vocabulary, as well as how to use te reo in common conversational situations. Learn at your own pace, and take the test after each episode to see how you are going.

There are plenty more resources on the Reo Maori website

Presbyterian te reo Māori worship resources

Other Presbyterian resources

  • Te reo resources from Presbyterian Church Schools Office.
  • Watch a video of former Moderator of Te Aka Puaho, Rev Dr Wayne Te Kaawa, exploring images of Jesus in traditional and contemporary Māori  art. 
  • Mahi Tahi – This is book five of Mahi Tahi published in 1992, which illustrates the Presbyterian Church’s efforts to move towards bi-culturalism. Download Mahi Tahi.

Other Christian te reo Māori resources