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Te Aho Arataki Marau mō te Ako i Te Reo Māori - Kura Auraki

Curriculum Guidelines for Teaching and Learning Te Reo Māori in English-medium Schools: Years 1-13

Te arapū reo Māori
Features of the written code

Image of two students.

The code that the missionaries constructed includes ten consonants (p, t, k, m, n, ng, wh, r, h, w) and five vowels (a, e, i, o, u).

Each symbol corresponds to one single sound or phoneme. However, all five vowels in Māori can be pronounced as either long or short vowels, and these variations in pronunciation reflect differences in the meanings of words.

For example, depending on whether the speaker uses a long or short vowel sound,"keke" can refer to a cake but kēkē can mean someone’s armpit.

In 1917, the fifth edition of H. W. Williams’s Dictionary of the Māori Language included the use of the macron (tohutō). This print convention consists of a line placed over a long vowel to indicate to the reader that the vowel is pronounced as long.

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori encourages people writing in te reo Māori to adopt this convention, and educational institutions follow it.

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