Raising Tamariki with Reo Māori

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As parents and caregivers, you have a big effect on how well your child speaks. You are the first and most important language teacher your baby will have.

Language learning is important to your baby’s development. Children who speak well and have good language skills will learn other things more easily.

All parents want their babies to develop to their full potential, so it is worthwhile taking the time to think about your baby’s language development. Not only how your baby will learn to speak or how you can help, but also how many languages your baby will learn and what those languages will be.

Māori language is a key part of being Māori and an important part of New Zealand culture. If the Māori language is to flourish it needs to be spoken by as many people as possible.

Deciding that you want your child to be bilingual is an important step. Once you’ve made the choice, the next thing to think about is how you can make it happen. You’ll need a long-term plan. Remember, learning two languages might not happen overnight, but with perseverance and commitment it will happen.
It doesn’t really matter where you are in the world, you and your baby can still learn and speak Māori.

Raising your child with reo Māori will help them: learning tips

    •   be comfortable in two cultures
    •   be open to other cultures
    •   be able to mix easily with other kids
    •   have good problem-solving skills
    •   have good thinking skills
    •   be a creative thinker
    •   learn other languages easily
    •   enjoy other cultures
    •   feel a strong sense of belonging in their own country and culture?


You can download the handbook here:

Foreword & introduction (PDF 801 KB)
Languages around the world (PDF 298 KB)
Building language bonds (PDF 438 KB)
Myths (PDF 328 KB)
Scenarios and strategies (PDF 328 KB)
Overcoming barriers (PDF 328 KB)
Issues and questions (PDF 328 KB)
Profiles, resources and information (PDF 328 KB)