Story: Te reo Māori – the Māori language

Māori and Tahitian words according to Banks

This table shows words from te reo Māori (as used in the north of New Zealand) and Tahitian recorded in the journal of Joseph Banks, a naturalist who accompanied British explorer James Cook on his journey to the Pacific in 1768–71. The two columns on the right give the contemporary spelling for these words. The similarities between the two languages – both from the Tahitic branch of the Austronesian language family – are apparent.

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How to cite this page:

Rawinia Higgins and Basil Keane, 'Te reo Māori – the Māori language - Pākehā engagement with te reo, 1769 to 1840s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/41065/maori-and-tahitian-words-according-to-banks (accessed 25 April 2019)

Story by Rawinia Higgins and Basil Keane, published 5 Sep 2013, updated 1 Sep 2015