Te Wiki o te reo Māori - Maori Language Week 14-20 September

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

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. In 2001, about 42% of Māori adults indicated that they could speak more than a few words or phrases in the language, and now that number sits around 55%, and while the increased capability is a positive sign, there is still much work to do to secure te reo Māori for future generations of Kiwis. 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 welcome at work, in church and in the community
  • Encourage others to use and learn te reo Māori; welcome Māori language into your life
  • Pronounce 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

  • 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.
  • Phrase card – print this hand resource to keep with you or hand out at church. It contains common greetings and responses and a host of other common phrases.

There are plenty more ideas and resources on the Te Wiki o te reo Maori website

Presbyterian te reo Maori worship resources

Other Christian te reo Maori resources

  • Read the Bible in Maori - Te Paipera Tapu (the Holy Bible in Māori  ) has come a long way since the very first publication of the full Bible in Māori  in 1868. Download the Bible Society app which features two English translations – the Good News Bible and the Contemporary English Version – alongside the Māori, so you can compare the same passage in Māori  and English.

Other Presbyterian resources

  • Watch a video of former Moderator of Te Aka Puaho, Rev 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.