Māori language for beginners

Papa Reo (Online)

  • Level 1
  • Home-based Learning
  • 12 months - part-time
  • No fees

Programme overview:

Have you always wanted to learn the Māori language but didn't know where to start? Take the first step in learning te reo Māori with Papa Reo (Online). This beginner's programme will teach you the basics in pronunciation and simple sentence structures. You'll be able to use formal and informal greetings, introduce yourself and recite your whakapapa (genealogy).

Important Information: Papa Reo (Online) is an online programme. You'll need access to a computer or laptop and the internet to study. You'll need to be proactive in your learning as the content is largely self-directed. This means you'll need to regularly login to our learning platform Akorau to complete interactive workbooks and assessments.

Before you start your online studies, you can attend an online induction via a video call on Zoom. In this session, you'll learn about:

  • expectations of the programme
  • where to get help
  • how to use Akorau


You'll receive the details for the video call ahead of time.  Beside the online learning, you can attend fortnightly online tutorials on Zoom where you will be able to ask questions and get support from your kaiaromatawai (support person).

When you pass this programme, you'll get this qualification:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Te Pōkaitahi Reo (Reo Rua) Te Kaupae 1

You'll learn about:

  • pronunciation of Māori words
  • greetings, introductions and farewells
  • different parts of the body
  • numbers and colours
  • basic instructions
  • time, dates, days of the week, and seasons

You'll be able to:

  • use te reo Māori vocabulary and grammatical structures at a basic level, as an expression of mana tangata
  • use te reo at a basic level to talk about themselves and their own connections to the land and the environment, as an expression of mana whenua
  • apply technical knowledge of basic reo to everyday use, and develop respect for te reo, as an expression of mana reo
  • use te reo at a basic level to achieve tasks in familiar contexts, as an expression of mana ao tūroa

This foundation qualification is intended for learners who have minimal command of te reo, as an additional language. It is also intended for those who have a desire to contribute positively to the development of te reo kia tika, kia rere, kia Māori (the language needs to be correct, heard far and wide, and to be Māori in ethos), or who have a personal and/or professional interest in te reo Māori.

Graduates will have the basic language skills required to communicate in te reo, with support, in familiar everyday contexts.

Entry criteria

To enrol in this programme, a potential student must:

  • be at least 16 years of age
  • be a New Zealand citizen (or citizen of Australia, Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands) or permanent resident
  • reside in New Zealand

How you’ll study:

This is a part-time programme that consists of 60 credits delivered over 52 weeks. Throughout the programme you will be required to complete set activities each week online. These activities will require at least 12 hours of learning per week and include:

  • scheduled webinars 
  • online activities in Akorau (student learning platform)
  • online tutorials
  • check-ins with your kaiaromatawai (support person)
  • applying your learning in your own environment


Assessments will be completed online and you'll need to have access to an internet connected device for this programme.

You’ll also receive one kete (pack) that contains some additional resources in August/September 2024.

How to apply

Please read carefully to make sure you apply for the correct programme.

  1. Click on the apply now button at the top or bottom of this page
  2. Enter your details
  3. Verify your email address 
  4. At question 1 - What would you like to study? Select ‘Papa Reo – Level 1 Online’
  5. Learning method? e-Learning
  6. Where would you like to study? No need to fill out this field.
  7. Preferred semester? No need to fill out this field.
  8. Preferred start day and time? No need to fill out this field.
  9. Complete the rest of the application form and submit

Where will this take me?

I want to keep studying

You'll be ready to enrol on our Level 2 Te Ara Reo Māori programme or advance to one of our Level 3 tikanga programmes that teach you about Māori customs and protocols.

I want to use my qualification

You'll have an understanding and awareness of te reo Māori that can be used to support and enhance your current employment and knowledge.

Konae ako

Ko Wai Ahau? | 15 Credits

Introduction to pronunciation, greetings and farewells.

Ko Tōku Whare | 15 Credits

Introduction to telling the time, days of the week, months of the year, location of people and objects.

Ko Tōku Whānau | 15 Credits

Introduction to family relationships, colours and numbers.

Ko Tōku Ora | 15 Credits

How to give and follow basic instructions around the home. How to identify parts of the body and its function.

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