Nga whakaaro mo Te Wiki o te Reo Maori
Ideas for Maori Language Week

Mo nga kura
For schools


Aside from students taking Maori language as part of their studies, children at school in Aotearoa may only get limited exposure to Maori language. However, as changes to support Maori language occur this exposure will increase.

To support this, many schools have a Maori name alongside an English one. They may also use bi-lingual signage, and weave Maori words and concepts into the school curriculum. This opens up a window to a better understanding of New Zealand's place names, traditions and  bi-cultural heritage.

There is a growing public pride in te reo Maori, a language that is unique to New Zealand, an icon alongside the haka, the silver fern, the pohutukawa. While there are a growing number of businesses with Maori signage, the majority of shopping malls, supermarkets, offices, offices and sports centres communicate with the public in English. In general only public sector facilities -libraries, councils and hospitals - have some signage in Maori, but even there it is often only sparsely used.

There is a growing connection for children between what they learn at school and what they see in the public e.g. the national anthem being played at national sporting fixtures; increased Maori language programming on television and in conversation. New Zealand society is becoming more accepting and supportive of Maori language.

The whole community has an important role to play in the regeneration of Maori language: students, parents, caregivers and teachers. Here are some simple ideas for the school community. Of course, you can try these suggestions all year round, but Maori Language Week is a great time to start!

  • Teachers can show the way. Pronounce Maori words correctly - particularly student's names or names of towns or cities. Ask your students if you're unsure.

  • 'Kia ora' is unique to Aotearoa. Use and teach 'kia ora' as the New Zealand way to greet people.

  • Where are we again? Find out the Maori name for the area your school is in. Use it in school signage, newsletters, memo's and class work.
  • Haere mai! Put up a Maori language welcome sign in your reception area, classrooms and meeting rooms.

  • What's in a name? Talk to the local iwi about adopting a local place name for your school. Add it to the welcome sign and all other school signage, letterheads etc.

  • Waiata! Learn the words of the Maori and English versions of the national anthem. Sing them occasionally at assembly or in class.

  • Poster promotion. Have students design Maori Language Week posters for the shops and businesses in your area. Ask them to display them during the week - and beyond!


Te reo Maori is something we can all be proud of. By using it just a little more in public we encourage our children and improve relationships between Maori and other New Zealanders. Kia Kaha Ake - Give it a Go!

Maori Language Week is made possible through the support and co-operation of:
Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori – Maori Language Commission
Te Puni Kokiri – Ministry of Maori Development
Te Kahui Tika Tangata – Human Rights Commission