Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2023

Nau mai ki te Wiki o Te Reo Māori!

Welcome to Māori Language Week!

Today we will be sharing a few ways that you can kōrero (speak), waiata (sing) and pānui (read) in Te Reo Māori with Wellington City Libraries, Te Matapihi ki te o Ao Nui.

Click the button below to get more celebration ideas from  Te Rangaihi Reo Māori, the Māori Language Movement! You can sign up for updates and opportunities to get inspired and learn more. Be sure to register to take part in the Māori Language Moment on Thursday 14 September! Symbol of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori

Here’s a few of our special Wellington City Libraries events for the whole whānau this week, but you can read a full list of events over on our news blog!

Nohinohi Reorua 

This week, join us for extra special sessions of our bilingual programme Nohinohi Reorua.

Nohinohi Reorua: whāngaia tō Tama Toa ki te pānui pukapuka! E toru tekau meneti pakiwaitara, rotarota, waiata hoki i roto i te reo Māori me te reo Ingarihi, nō ngā kōhungahunga me ō rātou mātua kaitiaki.

Get your superhero hooked on books with our special bilingual storytimes! Featuring stories, rhymes, and songs in te reo Māori and English, these 30-minute sessions are open to anyone, whether you’re fluent in te reo Māori or just starting out.

Recommended for tamariki aged 2-6 with their caregivers.

Taniwha Tinker Time (STEAM-based play)Taniwha Tinker Time (STEAM-based play)

This week, we have special Tinker Times at the ARTS stage of our STEAM journey, and we’ll be exploring collage… with a Te Reo twist! We will kōrero and learn more about the taniwha in this week’s special session of Tinker Time. This is an event for older preschoolers.

Recommended for children aged 2 – 5 years with their caregivers.

More special events!   

CRAFTerschool Te Ao Māori Special – Tuesday 12 September, 3:30-4:30pm — Waitohi | Johnsonville Library 

Enjoy a te Ao Māori focus on today’s craft activities for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori!  All tamariki are welcome with their mātua (parents) or kaitiaki (caregiver).

CRAFTerschool is a free art and craft session aimed at school aged children. Join us for a different project every week during term time! Crafting starts at 3.30pm, please arrive by 4pm so you have time to complete the craft.

  • Suitable for children age 5+
  • Caregivers must remain onsite during sessions

Te Reo Baby Rock and Rhyme – Wednesday 13 September, 10:30-11am — Waitohi | Johnsonville Library

Nau mai hoki mai. Join us in Waitohi Library for a special morning celebrating te reo Māori for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. A fun and free programme for parents and caregivers to interact with their pēpē through waiata, huariti, and pukapuka.

Recommended for children aged 0 – 2 years and their caregivers.

Kēmu, Kai, Kōrero, Saturday, 16 September 2023, 11am-12pm— Waitohi | Johnsonville Library

Join us for an hour of fun and sharing as part of Celebrating Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori . Let’s learn and build our te reo Māori skills together. Wherever you are in your te reo journey, come to this event for a friendly kōrero and kai!

FREE, no bookings required!

Award Winning Pukapuka in Te Reo Māori 

Last month, we celebrated the 2023 NZCYA Book Awards, so we thought we could take a moment this week to look back on the last five books that won the Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award for Te Reo Māori.

2023 Winner

Kua whetūrangitia a koro / Te Paa, Brianne

“A young boy learns about the customs around celebrating Matariki from his grandfather. They watch the stars from the top of a mountain, prepare their offering of food for the gods, and the boy learns about Te Waka o Rangi and the tradition of calling out the names of loved ones who have passed away so that they can become stars. Just before Matariki the following year, the boy’s Koro suddenly dies. The boy gathers and prepares the food offering and asks each family member to come with him up the mountain when Matariki is due to rise, but they all make excuses, and he is disheartened. But when he tells them what Koro taught him, they all climb the mountain before sunrise, follow the rituals Koro carried out and call out Koro’s name so that he can become a star”–Publisher information. (Catalogue).

2022 Winner

I waho, i te moana / Morrison, Yvonne
“Out in the moana, underneath the sparkling sun, lived a mother sea lion and her little pup one … A playful retelling of the much-loved traditional story, Over in the Meadow. This companion title to Morrison’s Down in the Forest features fascinating and lovable creatures from the seas that surround these islands of ours”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)


2021 Winner

Ngake me Whātaitai / Ngaia, Ben
“A traditional story told in te reo Māori from the perspective of the Kāhui Maunga people about Ngake and Whātaitai. These two taniwha inhabited Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington Harbour, long before the ancestral migrations. The story tells how the shape and landscape of Wellington, its harbour and the Lower Hutt area came about because of the actions of Ngake and Whātaitai”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

2020 Winner

Tio Tiamu / Kurahau
“Gentle, clever Toe Jam grows to be huge, and this causes a problem because his feet smell. The bigger he gets the worse the smell. Toe Jam is kind, but the people tease him and avoid him, and finally, they make him leave and live far away. Toe Jam never loses his kind heart, and when there are floods, wild winds and droughts, he returns to help his people. But afterwards, the people always send him away again. Until, one day, when Toe Jam saves the people from an eruption, they finally see Toe Jam’s goodness”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

2019 Winner

Te Haka a Tānerore / Kahukiwa, Reina
“A story about the first haka. Long ago, a boy named Tanerore loved to dance every day. See what happens when Tanerore dances his special dance for his mother.” (Adapted from catalogue)
Kia kaha Te Reo Māori! 



Te Wiki o te Reo Māori: Celebrate with Baby Rock and Rhyme

Kia ora, e te whānau! Te Wiki o te reo Māori is just around the corner — there are just three days to go (kia toru ngā rā e toe ana) before the celebrations begin!

This year is extra special because 14 September marks the 50th anniversary of the Māori Language Petition, an event that led to many of the kaupapa we have today, including Te Wiki o te Reo Māori!

Click the button below to get more celebration ideas from the Te Rangaihi Reo Māori, the movement! You can sign up for updates and opportunities to get inspired and learn more.

Te Rangaihi Reo Māori The Movement

Baby Rock & Rhyme – Te Reo Māori Sessions 

During Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, at a number of our libraries, you can join us for special reorua/bilingual Baby Rock and Rhyme sessions!

This is a free session for parents and carers to interact with their pēpē through waiata, rhyme, rhythm and music. Recommended for children aged 0 – 2 years and their caregivers.

Johnsonville Library, 34 Moorefield Road, Johnsonville, Wellington 6037

  • Monday, 12 September, 10:30 – 11AM
  • Wednesday, 14 September, 10:30 – 11AM

Newtown Library, 13 Constable Street, Newtown, Wellington 6021

  • Tuesday, 13 September, 10:30 – 11AM

Cummings Park Library, 1 Ottawa Road, Ngaio, Wellington 6035

  • Tuesday, 13 September, 10:30 – 11AM

Karori Library, 247 Karori Road, Karori, Wellington 6012

  • Thursday, 15 September, 10:30 – 11AM
  • Friday, 16 September, 10:30 – 11AM

To help you get ready for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, here are some pukapuka (books) for pēpē & whānau!

Ngā tae = Colours / Brown, Kitty
Presenting the beautiful and important bilingual Reo Pēpi series, from Kitty Brown and Kirsten Parkinson at Reo Pēpi Tāpui in Dunedin. The six board books in this series intended for babies and early readers use simple, formulaic language and gorgeous illustrations to gradually introduce the reader to new words and concepts. A must-have for any parent who wants their child to grow up immersed in te reo (Stephen’s summary)

Mihi / Bishop, Gavin
This beautiful baby book introduces ideas of me and my place in the world in the shape of a simple mihi or pepeha Mihi / mihimihi / pepeha: introducing yourself and making connections to other people and placesMihi is a simple book to share with babies and talk about their whanau and place in the world. Repeating colours and shapes show the connections between waka, mountain, iwi through to mama, papa and the baby reader. (Catalogue)

Kei hea a Spot / Hill, Eric
“Join Sally, Spot’s mum, on her search to find where the mischievous puppy is hiding. A lift-the-flap story. Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue)




Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2021

Kia ora e te whānau! Te Wiki o te reo Māori is here! This year, we want as many people as possible to take part in the Māori Language Moment, a special time at 12pm on Tuesday 14 September where we can all come together to kōrero (speak), whakarongo (listen), ako (learn), tākaro (play), pānui (read) and waiata (sing) in te reo Māori with our friends, whānau, and community. Make sure you check out some of the awesome ideas from Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission), and get yourself signed up to take part!

Wellington City Libraries has heaps of resources that can help you take part in your own Māori Language Moment. Here are just a few of them! You might be wondering where all the books are — don’t worry, we’ll get to recommending some awesome books in and about te reo Māori a little later in the week!


Did you know that there are books that can help you learn te reo Māori on OverDrive and Libby? There are a whole range of different books to choose from, including some books that are more meant for grown-ups, and others meant for kids. Here are a few of our favourites for you to check out:

Overdrive cover At the Beach te reo Maori – Ki Te Tahuna, Pam Holden (ebook)

“He pai ki te nuinga o nga tangata te toro atu ki te tahuna, te mahahoki o nga mea hei kite, hei mahi kei reira. He aha nga mea pai ki akoe ki te tahuna?” Kupu Aronga (Sight Words) ki | kite | maua | te

Most people like to visit the beach. There are so many different things to see and do there. What do you like to do at the beach? (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Awatea and the Kawa Gang, Fraser Smith (ebook)

It’s the holidays, and Awatea is staying with his grandparents at the beach. He’s got lots of time and freedom to explore, visit the treehut and have adventures with Carrot, the talking parrot. Awatea catches fish, cooks over a campfire and spends a stormy night in the treehut with Carrot for company. When fending off some territorial magpies and keeping an eye on a pair of leopard seals, Awatea and Carrot notice signs of poachers. So Awatea and his friends at the beachwork out a plan to stop them. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Quick Picnic te reo Maori – He Haerenga Whanau, Pam Holden (ebook)

“Kua haere koe mo tetahi haerenga? He aha nga taputapu paimo te haerenga? Kei tenei whanau nga mea tika mo te haerenga. Panuitia tenei e pa ana ki o ratou harenga.” Kupu Aronga (Sight Words) Anei | kino | pai | te

Have you had a picnic? What things do you need for a picnic? The people in this family have everything that they need for a good picnic. Read about what happens at their picnic. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Maori Word a Day, Hemi Kelly (ebook)

A Maori Word a Day offers an easy, instant and motivating entry into the Maori language. Through its 365 Maori words, you will learn the following: – English translations – Word category, notes and background information – Sample sentences, in both te reo Maori and English Exploring the most common, modern and colloquial words in Maori today, A Maori Word a Day is the perfect way to kickstart your te reo! (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover My First 300 Words in Maori, Stephanie Collins (ebook)

Learn your first 300 words in Māori in this colourful book for children. This book introduces children to their first words in Māori. Learn the Māori vocabulary for animals, fruit and vegetables, everyday things, nature, colours, shapes, greetings, and much more, all with beautiful colour photos and illustrations throughout. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Learn te reo Māori with Language Nut

Your library card gives you access to a whole range of resources to help you learn languages, and one of them, Language Nut, is meant just for kids! It includes a course in te reo Māori that is aimed at absolute beginners, featuring simple songs, stories, and games as well as some more traditional lessons so that you can learn on your own, or with an adult or friend to help you! You also earn points as you go, so you can put yourself against other learners from all over the world! It’s heaps of fun. Just visit this link and put in your library card number to get started!

A screenshot of the first stage in the Language Nut te reo Māori course, featuring simple greetings in both written and audio form.

Visit Language Nut with your library card to get started on your journey to ako reo Māori!

So what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to get started — or continue — on your journey in te reo Māori! Karawhiua atu!


Te Reo Māori Challenge

The Māori language is known as te reo Māori or simply te reo (the language). Te reo Māori is an official language in New Zealand, along with English and New Zealand Sign Language. It was made official in 1987.
Have you thought about reading and speaking more te reo Māori in your day, or maybe you’d like to read to your younger brothers and sisters in te reo? Wellington City Libraries have got loads of first reader resources, translated picture books and online resources to get you started. 

Have you tried…

Kōhunga Kōrero

Kōhunga KōreroThese 30 minute immersive storytimes in te reo Māori are offered on a weekly basis at a number of our branch libraries. They are free to attend and you don’t need to have any former understanding of  te reo.


Bilingual books in Te Reo and English

Wellington City Libraries have lots to choose from. Here’s just a small taster:

Kuwi & friends Māori picture dictionary / Merewether, Katherine Q.
“From the #1 bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator of the Kuwi the Kiwi series, Kat Merewether, comes a large scale, stunningly illustrated visual dictionary. Full of over 1000 basic words in te reo Maori and English, perfect for every New Zealander.” (Catalogue)

Nana’s veggie garden = Te māra kai a Kui / Munro, Marie
“This summer, Bella/Ngāpera, Jacob/Hākopa and Lucas help Nana/Kui grow, harvest and eat an amazing garden, and fill every day with heaps of fun, te reo Māori learning and bunches of awesome memories” (Catalogue)

Mahi = actions / Brown, Kitty
“Meet some of our favourite kiwi kararehe and find out what they like to do best! Learn to introduce yourself and your favourite activities too.” (Catalogue)

Kararehe = Animals / Brown, Kitty
“Beautiful bilingual board book about animals in Te Reo Māori and English.” (Catalogue)

The singing dolphin = Te aihe i waiata / Whaanga, Mere
“Every once in a while, a dolphin will come to the island beside The Pathway of the Whales. It will leap and play with people, bring gifts and sing songs. Award-winning author Mere Whaanga tells a story of land, sea and seasons; of living creatures and family ties, and the songs that connect us all.” (Catalogue)

Challenge yourself!


Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) is held every year. This year’s date is 13 – 19 Mahuru (September), 2021.

Challenge yourself to learn a new te reo word a day. You can do this easily through this website: Kupu o te Rā

Or maybe you could challenge yourself to learn 100 words in te reo: 100 Māori words

“Poipoia te kākano kia puāwai.”

Nurture the seed and it will grow.