Workplace Māori


Ko taku reo taku ohooho, ko taku reo taku mapihi mauria.
My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul.

In this eight-week introductory course, you will learn basic Māori language skills for communicating at work, and gain an understanding of Maori cultural concepts and protocols as they relate to the workplace. Join us if you wish to start learning and using te reo Māori at work and in your everyday life.

Required materials:
A course workbook is provided.

Target audience:
This course is suitable for all, but is designed particularly for professionals with little or no experience of te reo Māori.

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

  • greet, acknowledge and farewell people in both informal and formal settings
  • introduce yourself with a simple mihimihi (introduction)
  • ask and answer questions relating to:
    • name
    • tribal affiliations
    • whānau and relationships
    • name of organisation
    • workplace roles and responsibilities
    • wellbeing of another person and their family, friends and colleagues
  • introduce yourself when answering the telephone
  • begin to understand Māori cultural concepts as they influence the workplace.

Course outline:
The course covers the following topics:

  •  Week 1: Whakahua kupu – pronunciation
    • Karakia
    • Arapū – alphabet
    • OrokatiI – consonants
    • Oro puare – vowels
  • Week 2: Whakawhanaunga – getting aquainted
    • He kōrero whakamōhio - meeting & introducing other people
    • Mihi ōpaki - informal greetings
    • Poroporoaki - farewells
  • 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?
  • 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
    • Kei te pēhea…? - Asking how someone is?
  • Week 6: Kei te tari? kei te mahi – At the office/at work
    • Te waea - On the phone
    • Tuhi reta - Letter and email writing
    • Advocacy for Māori language in your workplace
    • Whakamahi i te reo - Using the language
    • Kei te kihini - In the kitchen
  • Week 7: Tikanga tari - Office tikanga
    • Tikanga Māori in the formal Pōwhiri
    • Tikanga Māori in informal marae or meeting settings
    • Using Tikanga Māori in the workplace
  • Week 8: Aromatawai
    • Mihimihi
    • Where to from here?

Learning activities focus on listening, speaking, reading and writing te reo Māori. To reinforce your learning homework is encouraged. There is no formal assessment.

Tea, coffee and a light snack will be provided. You are welcome to bring further refreshments if you wish.

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

Marama Te Kira
has 15 years’ experience teaching te reo Māori and tikanga Māori short courses for New Zealand Qualifications Authority, the Department of Corrections and the Ministry of Education. She also delivers programmes about the Treaty of Waitangi, colonisation, Māori Land Wars, literacy and numeracy. Marama has previously worked in Kōhanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa Māori, total immersion Māori language units within mainstream schools, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, community classes, and one-to-one tutoring.

Relevant links:
Te Kawa a Māui
Everyday Māori for Beginners
Everyday Māori for Beginners - Level 2
Language Learning Centre

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

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.