Te Tai – Treaty Settlement Stories

Story: Te Mana o te Reo Māori

Emeritus Professor Ray Harlow

An academic who treasures te reo Māori.
Photo of Ray Harlow.
A portrait of Dr Ray Harlow.
Huia Publishing

Dr Ray Harlow is a linguist who specialises in Polynesian languages and helped the University of Waikato become a leader in te reo Māori studies.

He was a foundation member of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, the Māori Language Commission (1987–93), and remains the only Pākehā to have been appointed to this role. He is the author of a number of Māori-language reference works, including the monumental, A Māori Reference Grammar.

His research recognises the dynamic nature of te reo Māori and has attracted interest around the world. His work supports the MAONZE (Māori and New Zealand English) database, which holds recordings of the Māori and English speech of nearly 70 male and female speakers of different age groups from a range of tribal areas. The database includes recordings of the speech of 18 men and women born in the late 19th century which were made in the mid to late 20th century.