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Te reo Māori

Ways to help show respect for and normalise the use of te reo Māori when using it in an English context in government content.

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Te reo Māori is an official language and is important to the identity of Aotearoa New Zealand. Maihi Karauna, the Crown’s Māori language strategy’s main goal is to help revitalise te reo and to make it part of everyday life.

One step in this journey is to use te reo Māori in government content in an appropriate and consistent way.

Kia māhorahora te reo

Every day, by everyone, every way, everywhere

The vision of the Maihi Karauna strategy

Writing in te reo Māori

Show respect when using te reo Māori words by:

  • getting Māori words right, spelling them correctly, and making sure they have Māori language attributes applied for screen readers
  • using macrons correctly, or double vowels instead of macrons in some words, for example ‘manaakitanga’ (hospitality), and to respect dialectal differences — for example, the Waikato-Tainui iwi use double vowels instead of macrons in words such as ‘roopuu’ (group) and ‘Maaori
  • avoiding adding an ‘s’ to Māori words to show plurals or possessives
  • referring to a Māori dictionary, technical language advisors and specialists when required, for example Kaumātua and translators of te reo Māori.

Read more about how to write and style content in te reo Māori.

Use Māori words in the right context

It is important to understand the context, meaning and use of a te reo Māori word before using it in your own writing.

The meaning of te reo words and the concepts they refer to should be respected when these words are used in English.

Avoid using te reo words as a simple substitution for English words and concepts unless you are familiar with the meaning and use of the te reo word and are confident its meaning in te reo aligns with the meaning intended in English.


Wānanga is a hui or meeting that enables meaningful engagement and normally takes place before a decision is made.

If you are going out to consult with people after a decision has been made then the advice is not to call your consultation a wānanga.

If you’re not sure te reo Māori is being used appropriately, get your content checked by a professional translator.

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