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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Teaching of the Maori Language

Since 1930 Maori studies, which include Maori history, arts, music, games, and other elements of Maori culture, have been growing in importance as an essential part of the curriculum in several subjects both for Maori and for European pupils. The Maori language itself is being taught today in nearly all Maori district high schools and in some State and private secondary schools; tuition is also available from the Correspondence School as far as staffing allows.

Maori is accepted as a subject for School Certificate and University Entrance, and Maori Studies (Stage I and II) is accepted as a subject for an arts degree in two universities. A 1965 estimate implies that over 2,000 pupils were being taught Maori. It would appear that since English is the language of the community at large, it is essential for the Maori primary pupils to master English as a basic subject. Maori can at best be but a second language for the vast majority.

by Ihakara Porutu Puketapu, B.A., Administration Officer, Department of Maori Affairs, Wellington.

  • A Grammar and Vocabulary of the Language of New Zealand, Kendall, T., and Lee, S. (1820)
  • Grammar of the New Zealand Language, Maunsell, R. (1894)
  • Complete Manual of Maori Grammar and Conversation, Ngata, A. T. (1948)
  • Te Reo Maori – a Guide to the Study of the Maori Language, Smyth, P. (1943)
  • The Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary, Tregear, E. (1891)
  • A Dictionary of the Maori Language, Williams, H. W. (1957)
  • First Lessons in Maori, Williams, H. W. (ed.) (1940)
  • Journal of the Polynesian Society, Vol. 64 (1955), “The Compound Possessives in Maori”, Biggs, B.