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Things to Consider When Teaching Te Reo Māori

Key content


Key content

Teachers discuss ways they could integrate te reo Māori into their classroom programmes, and we explore things that need to be considered when teaching te reo – specifically regional variations and the use of synonyms.

Things to think about


Things to think about

  • What are some ways that I could engage whānau in students’ learning?
  • Who can I go to in my school/community to provide advice on what kupu to use – and how to pronounce them?




Tame Kuka - Te Reo Māori Advisor, School Support Services, Waikato University:
Just to point out that Māori has so many different faces.

[On screen]

Te Reo me ōna āhuatanga
Ngā reo ā-iwi – some examples

  • Ngāpuhi
  • Tūhoe
  • Taranaki
  • Kāi Tahu

And we spoke about reo-ā-iwi, Ngāpuhi has its own vernacular, Tūhoe, Taranaki, Kāi Tahu. Can anyone give me an example of a Ngāpuhi phrase, kīwaha, vernacular, word.

Unknown student:
Āe mārika.

Āe mārika. 

Āe mārika. That’s a little phrase, okay, once people say that, "Oh from the north, from up there, from Ngāpuhi".

Tūhoe, how can you tell a Tūhoe person? Can anyone tell me?

They don’t say “ng”, they say “n”, so "tangata" they say, "tanata". Okay, and they say it all the time.

Taranaki they drops their h’s – "aere mai" instead of "haere mai".

Kāi Tahu, they’ve got no ”ng” at all. They use a “k”. See, in most caces it would be "Ngāi Tahu"; they say "Kāi Tahu". There’s no “ng”. "Aorangi", which is Mt Cook, "Aoraki". Okay ... tangata, no “ng” ... takata.

Traditional or modern – which to use?

Dee Reid - Te Reo Māori Advisor, School Support Services, University of Waikato:
Do we use the traditional alongside the modern? This is in terms of reo, and I know what this teacher means because it’s things like do we say "Mane" or do we say "Rāhina" or do we say "Rātahi"?

I’d do what my parents or my whānau want me to do. What they suggest is the most appropriate one.

Matua Tuteira Pohatu - Kaumātua, Te Reo Māori in English-medium Schools:
Know where you are at, the area that you’re in. You have to look at learners within your area.

And the other thing is that you teach the way ... you want to get the best out of those kids.

If you use "Mane", use it.

There’ll be knockers out there, they’re already knocking me ... that’s alright, I’m just about gone.

But those are the sort of things, where you are at ... for the benefit of our students, we have to take the risk sometimes to get outside the square. And we’ve got to take those risks – if it’s a risk. Don’t see that everything is a risk because it’s not.

My advice –whether it’s any good or not – is to do what you are able to do.

That’s why I say, "Matua mōhio ki a koe":know yourself well.

Tame Kuka - Te Reo Māori Advisor, School Support Services, Waikato University:
I’m like Papa Black here, I only know Mane, Turei, Wenerei. I don’t know the new names for the days of the week or the months, and I don’t know where they came from. And I don’t know the concepts behind them.

But kids use them a lot now, and kōhanga reo uses them, so I suppose I’ve got to be aware that if they’re using them there, then I have a responsibility, probably, to get to know them and continue.

But in personal use, I still use the old ones because it’s what I know. So , koe anō. I suppose, it’s up to you.

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