Everyday Maori for Beginners


This eight-week course for absolute beginners will start you on the journey to learn Māori tikanga (culture) and introductory te reo (language) at a steady, comfortable pace.  You will learn useful vocabulary to use in your home and everyday life and gain an understanding of the Maori world view through the learning medium of te reo.

Required materials:
A course workbook is provided.

Target audience:
Everyday Māori is suitable for everyone.

Learning objectives:
By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • correct pronunciation
  • greetings and farewells for friends and family
  • how to introduce themselves and their family
  • how to acknowledge others using te reo; and  
  • useful vocabulary for everyday life.tion

Course outline:
The course covers the following topics:

  •  Week 1: Whakawhanaunga – getting aquainted
    • Karakia
    • He kōrero whakamōhio - meeting & introducing other people
    • Mihi Ōpaki - informal greetings
    • Poroporoaki - farewells
  • Week 2: Whakahua kupu – pronunciation
    • Arapū – alphabet
    • OrokatiI – consonant
    • Oro puare – vowels
  • Week 3: Whanau (family)
    • Ētahi kupu whānau - family relationships
    • Tōku whānau – my family
  • Week 4: Tūrangawaewae - A place to stand
    • Nō hea koe? – Where are you from?
    • E noho ana koe ki hea? - Where do you live?
    • E mahi ana koe ki hea? - Where do you work?
    • Kei te pēhea…? - Asking how someone is?
  • Week 5: Ngā rā o te wiki – days of the week
    • Ngā tatau: numbers
    • Ngā rā o te wiki: days of the week
    • Ngā marama o te tau: months of the year
  • Week 6: Kei te Kāinga – at home
    •  Kei te Kāinga – In the home 
    • Tuhi Reta – letter writing
    • Kei te Rūma Noho – in the dining room
    • Kei te Papa Takaro - At the sports field
  • Week 6: Kei te tari – at work
    • Writing greetings on letters and emails
    • Advocacy for Māori language in your workplace
    • Staff tea room
    • Whakamahi i te reo - using the language
  • Week 7: Tikanga okawa Māori (Māori customs)
    • Tikanga Māori in the formal Pōwhiri
    • Tikanga Māori in informal marae or meeting settings
    • Using Tikanga Māori 
  • Week 8: Aromatawai
    • Mihimihi

In addition, self-directed learning of two hours a week is expected with homework activities to facilitate self-directed learning. Learning activities focus on listening, speaking, reading and writing te reo Māori. There is no formal assessment.

There is a short break half-way through each session, and tea/coffee is provided.  You are welcome to bring your own refreshments if you wish.

Class limit:
This course is limited to a maximum of 20 participants, so please enrol early.

Ko Ruapehu te Maunga,
Ko Whanganui te Awa,
Ko Aotea te Waka,
Ko Te Atihaunui-a-paparangi te Iwi.

Kealyn Te Amotahi Marshall-Nyman is studying towards a Bachelor of Arts in Te Reo Māori and Māori studies and a Bachelor of Teaching at Victoria University. He has a passion for Te Reo Māori and Māori culture and enjoys sharing his knowledge with others through education. 

E rere kau mai te awa nui
Mai i te kāhui maunga ki Tangaroa
Ko au te awa
Ko te awa, ko au


Kuratapirirangi Martina Rose Marsha Higgins (Ngāi Tūhoe) recently graduated from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Arts in Māori Studies and Māori Resource Management as well as a minor in Italian. Kura is passionate about languages and enjoys helping others in learning te reo Māori by imparting her own knowledge. She has past experience tutoring te reo Māori at Victoria University.

Relevant links:
Workplace Maori
Language Learning Centre

For further information:
Continuing Education, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140.
Phone 04 463 6556,  Email: conted@vuw.ac.nz

Please note: Courses need a minimum number of enrolments to go ahead. If your course doesn’t reach the number required, we’ll have to cancel it. If this happens, we’ll contact you by phone or email about a week before the scheduled start date and arrange a full refund. Please check your emails regularly.