Te reo Māori

Learning te reo Māori

Auckland Libraries has a wide variety of language courses and resources for students of te reo Māori. Borrow books, CDs, DVDs, videos or tapes to help you learn te reo Māori. 

Learning Māori, like learning any second language, requires a combination of hard work, motivation and persistence. The most practical way is to learn the basics of pronunciation with the advice of a native speaker or with the help of multimedia, to acquire a basic vocabulary, then to study the essentials of grammar, all the while taking every opportunity to read, speak and listen to the language in a variety of situations.

The rewards of learning the Māori language will include access to a rich heritage of oral and written literature, and a deeper understanding of both Māori culture and the history of New Zealand.

Search the catalogue for Māori language courses or browse our recommendations below.



Nga huihuinga ako i te reo Māori (courses in Māori)

Let’s learn Māori
Bruce Biggs
An advanced course in the Māori language. The articulation of the spoken Māori examples is clear and precise, but a normal conversation speed is maintained reflecting a contemporary style of speech such as may be heard in Māori speaking communities. Comes with CD.

Te hikuwai: launch yourself into te reo Māori
Ian Cormack  
Te Hikuwai (the stream) is the first of two levels in a foundation course. It is designed for learners with little or no previous experience of Māori, and aims to equip them with the basics of the language.

Te mātāpuna: the source
Ian and Shirley Cormack
This is the first of a planned five-level language course aimed at use by secondary school students in the classroom.

Te wahapū: launch yourself into te reo Māori
Ian Cormack
Te Wahapū is the second book in this comprehensive and self-tuition course for Māori language. It is designed for learners of all backgrounds in today’s world and offers a bilingual approach to mastering te reo Māori. The book contains a reference text, workbook and audio CD all in one. Each unit opens with a dialogue and followed by explanations of works, expressions and language patterns. There are exercises and activities.

He whakamārama: a full self-help course in Māori
John Foster 
This is designed for adult students who are willing to work on their own. It gives straight forward explanations of grammatical usage accompanied by a series of exercises and answers. It contains a logical sequence to allow rapid progress, and revision exercises to reinforce understanding. Comes with CD.

Making Māori sentences
Lyndsay Head
This is a practical guide to sentence formation for secondary school and adult students learning to write Māori.

He kohinga kīwaha
He kohinga kīwaha is a comprehensive, fun guide to modern Māori idioms. Designed for the intermediate to advanced speaker of te reo Māori. Each of the ten chapters in the book introduces idioms that are used for specific situations - at work, in different social situations, among friends and family.

Q’s course in Māori
Quinton Hita
The easy way to start out in Māori, tailored more towards primary school children. Comes with CD.



Mai i te kākano
Heni Jacob
This book aims to help Māori language speakers and learners sustain more animated, in-depth conversations in Māori. It gives examples of alternative and fun ways to say things in everyday situations. Included are sections on Māori idiom and metaphor, common errors, useful phrases, and examples of language in use in a variety of settings, including in the home, at the supermarket, at the beach, and on the sports field.

Matariki: a Māori language programme for primary schools
A great resource for primary school aged children. Designed to help teachers in classrooms, but also good for teaching tamariki at home using everyday language.

Te Kākano
John Moorfield
Te Kākano is the first of four textbooks in the Te Whanake series of resources for learning Māori. Te Kakano is the beginner level text designed for adults and teenagers.

Pictures that talk Māori
This is a fun interactive CD-ROM suitable for all ages. 

Korero Māori mai: speak to me in Māori
Jenny Pyatt
Each of the four books in this series contains dialogue cards that provide the basis for children to converse in Māori using familiar words and simple phrases. It is structured thematically, with themes relating to children’s everyday experiences. The book will also introduce some aspects of Māori protocol.

Reo Māori o nāianei modern Māori : a beginner’s course
Peter Ryan 
This book is aimed at students at secondary school, in night classes or undertaking self-study. The course progresses from simple building blocks of the language (nouns, articles, adjectives, simple questions) to more complex structures, conversational language and formal speeches. Illustrations, crosswords and quizzes keep the text lively and fun for students of all ages, and an audio-CD improves pronunciation for listeners and speakers.

Akona te reo Māori: learn Māori
Brenda Taitoko
This workbook has been designed to support the Akona te reo CD-ROM developed by Kaitoro Publishers. The aim of the workbook is to provide activities that will support, enhance and reinforce the language structures learnt in ‘Akona te Reo’.

Tōku reo tōku ohooho (DVD)
Cushla Tangaera-Manuel
This DVD is for beginners and learners of te reo. It is aimed at teenagers but it can also be helpful to anyone fluent in te reo.

Te rangatahi: a Māori language course
Hoani Waititi
This series of 5 volumes was initially designed for use in schools, and includes graded exercises and texts, and explanatory pictures. Still one of the best resources for learning Māori. The ‘kupu hou’ at the end of each chapter should be learnt first before proceeding with each chapter.

Te reo taketake: ko te pū: a Māori language course for beginners
Rāpata Wiri
Te reo taketake may be used as a selfdirected course book or as a teaching resource in te reo Māori. Students will develop a sound knowledge of grammar and sentence structures through written and oral exercises. Contemporary language and real-life situations, and bold illustrations by Zak Waipara, make this an ideal book for adult and younger students.


Nga pukapuka rarangi kupu (dictionaries)

English-Māori dictionaryEnglish-Māori dictionary
H. M. Ngata 
The most comprehensive English to Māori dictionary used today. The Ngata dictionary is also available online.



The Raupō dictionary of modern Māori / The Raupō dictionary of modern Māori  
P. M. Ryan  
This is a revised and updated edition of the dictionary with over 50,000 entries. It includes both traditional and contemporary Māori words (English to Māori and Māori to English).


The Raupō essential Māori dictionary. The Raupō essential Māori dictionary
Margaret Sinclair & Ross Calman
This is an invaluable introductory dictionary for students of te reo Māori. It features: clear, easy-to-follow Māori-English and English-Māori sections, with the Māori and English alphabets at the top of each page, all the words a learner is likely to encounter, including contemporary usage and modern terms, a section of themed word lists, including days of the week, months of the year, numbers, cities of New Zealand, colours, emotions, actions, parts of the body, in the classroom and on the marae.

He pātaka kupu : te kai a te rangatira. He pātaka kupu: te kai a te rangatira
Te Taura Whiri  
Contains over 20,000 entries, and is a comprehensive and authoritative dictionary for a general audience. Each entry gives the Atua category, parts of speech, definitions, examples of the word used in context, and an etymology of the word, drawing on a wide corpus of written material in Te Reo.

First words in Māori = Ngā kupu tuatahi ki te reo Māori. First words in Māori
Paul Tilling
This is a junior book that includes colour illustrations, which depict common Māori words.



Tirohia kimihia : a Māori learner dictionary. Tirohia kimihia: Māori learner dictionary  
This is the first dictionary to be written all in Māori and has been developed as part of Huia’s ongoing linguistic research programme. There are approximately 3500 headwords in Tirohia Kimihia, and more than 6000 meanings are defined. The focus of the dictionary is on content words, so the headwords are mostly verbs, nouns and adjectives.

A dictionary of the Māori language
Herbert Williams
This is a comprehensive Māori to English dictionary. Well used by many studying te reo Māori at all levels.

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