Story: Te reo Māori – the Māori language

Austronesian languages

Austronesian languages

This map shows the five Austronesian language families of Polynesia. Te reo Māori is most closely related to Cook Islands Māori, Tahitian and Tuamotuan. This is why the Tahitian speaker Tupaia was able to communicate with Māori on James Cook's first voyage in 1769–70.

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Source: K. R. Howe, ed., Vaka moana: voyages of the ancestors: the discovery and settlement of the Pacific. Auckland: David Bateman; Auckland Museum, 2006

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How to cite this page:

Rawinia Higgins and Basil Keane, 'Te reo Māori – the Māori language - The Māori language', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 April 2024)

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