Reading, pukapuka, and resources for Māori Language Week / Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is 10 to 16 September. To celebrate and acknowledge the beauty and importance of te reo Māori, here are a few books and resources selected from our school lending service and other digital services.

Included is the 2018 winner of the Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award for te Reo Māori at the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, Tu Meke Tui. We've also included the shortlisted titles Hineahuone and Te Tamaiti me te Aihe.

5 versions of the 3D printed word 'tūmeke' in white, purple, black, red and blue
Tūmeke x4 by Moata Tamaira, Christchurch City Libraries. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Recent and recommended books in te reo Māori

Tu Meke Tūī! Koni atu kē ngā āhua o te manu rērere, ko Malcolm Clarke te kaituhituhi, ko Flox te kaiwhakaahua, te ringatoi whakairoiro, 2017.
Tere the tui loves to flit in the sky while Taitu the takahe prefers to be on the ground amongst the undergrowth. This is a story of courage and friendship between Tere and Taitu despite their differences. An ideal story to expose young readers (years 1 and 2) to New Zealand’s natural world.

Of Course You Can! Ka Taea Tonu e Koe! nā Karen Hinge, illustrated by Nicky Sievert, and translated by Ngaere Roberts, 2018. One version with both te reo and English text.
Jeremy is starting a new school. He is in a wheelchair, so is not too sure how he will fit in. However, his classmates are quick to put him at ease. 'Of course you can!' when he comes up against an obstacle. A lively picture book for early primary years.

Hineahuone. He mea whatu, whakatauira hoki e Xoë Hall, nā Sian Montgomery-Neutze i whakamāori, 2017.
A retelling of the traditional creation story in which Tāne Māhuta sculpts the first woman, Hineahuone, from the sacred red earth of Papatūānuku, the Earth Mother. Ideal for all primary-aged children.

Te Tamaiti me te Aihe, nā Robyn Kahukiwa te pakiwaitara me ngā pikitia nā Kiwa Hammond te whakamāoritanga, 2017.
When a boy helps free a dolphin tangled in a discarded fishing net, they develop an unexpected friendship. For 5 to 10 year olds, to encourage care of the sea and environment.

Ngā Whetū Matariki i Whānakotia, nā Miriama Kamo, rāua ko Zak Waipara, nā Ngaere Roberts ngā korero i whakamāori, 2018.
When Grandma and Poua take the children eeling one starry night, they discover two stars missing from the Matariki cluster.

'Pai kare!' she exclaimed. 'What's happened to Matariki? There are normally nine stars, but tonight I see only seven. What's happened to Pohutukawa and Hiwa-i-te-Rangi?'

Suitable for years 1 and 2, particularly as a read aloud.

Digital resources in te reo Māori

If you're looking for digital resources in or on te reo Māori, Topic Explorer is a good place to start. Look at these topics;

DigitalNZ has some video and audio content in or about te reo Māori:

There's also Te Upoko o Te Ika — Māori radio collection on the National Library website. Listen to a number of kaumātua, kuia, and prominent people talking about politics, national affairs, the language and culture, women’s issues, and Treaty matters.

Many Answers also has some resources Māori language (te reo) for years 7 to 10.


For a historical perspective on how te reo Māori was used and produced by the government, churches, and Māori and Pākehā from 1842 to the 1930s, check out the digital Niupepa Māori (Māori language newspapers).

Niupepa Māori were a key communication tool for Māori communities. Through them, Māori were able to converse and comment on the political, social, and economic issues affecting Aotearoa in the day.

The full-text digital Niupepa Collection is available on the Papers Past website (look for the list of titles under the sub-heading 'Māori newspapers').

Kia kaha te reo Māori

Don’t forget the opportunity to promote te reo Māori through the 2018 Maori language parades.

You can find venues, dates, and days on the Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori / Māori Language Commission website.

Kia kaha te reo Māori!

By Julie Wright

Julie Wright is Services to Schools' Collection Development Specialist.

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