Let’s learn Te Reo Maori.

29 05 2009


Nau mai, haere mai, piki mai.

Kia ora tamariki  me pakeke ma, and viewers of the greater global community. Our class decided to have a blog for learning more Te Reo Maori at home.

Our focus for Te Reo this term is ‘Te Marae’. As an added bonus our Kauri team and a small group of Puriri team will be travelling to Hoani Waititi marae, for a visit.

We will be learning about:

  • Waiata (songs) and haka
  • raranga – flax weaving
  • mau rakau and other stick games to increase hand and eye coordination.
  • and will be apart of a formal powhiri

Notices will be going home this week.

A marae is (in New Zealand Māori, Cook Islands Maori, Tahitian) malaʻe (in Tongan), malae (in Samoan and Hawaiian), is a sacred place which served both religious and social purposes in pre-Christian Polynesian societies. In all these languages, the word also means “cleared, free of weeds, trees, etc.” It generally consists of an area of cleared land roughly rectangular (the marae itself), bordered with stones or wooden posts (called au in Tahitian and Cook Islands Māori) perhaps with terraces (paepae) which were used in olden times for ceremonial purposes; and with a central stone ahu or a’u (sometimes as in the Rapanui culture’s ahu on Easter Island “ahu” becomes a synonym for the whole marae complex).

Nevertheless, the place where the marae were built are still considered as tapu in most islands and nobody would dare build anything on it. In the Cook Islands, a few marae (Arai-te-Tonga, Vaerota, Taputapuātea[1]) are still maintained, and are quickly tidied up before the investiture of a new ariki.


Kupu hou – New vocabulary

wharenui = meeting house                              powhiri = a maori ceremony of welcome

kaumatua = elderly people                             karanga = call of welcome ( by kuia/elderly women)

koroua – elderly man                                         hongi = pressing noses – maori greeting

hakari = feast                                                        marae atea =  the space in front of the marae

waiata = song                                                        whaikorero = speech

For more learning on this topic go to – Kupu of the Ra

Try a podcast from the new weekly new TV show called Toku reo.


1. What is the name of this marae?

2. Where is this marae found in Aotearoa?

3. Research about this marae. Why is it different to other marae?

More information to come.

Naku noa,

Mrs Karaka

hongi1 hongi




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