Te Reo Māori Classes 2021


Certificate in Te Reo Māori [Level 2]

– Full time day class OR part time night class with wananga.  February – July. 

This course provides you with the language skills required to communicate and feel comfortable in everyday contexts and in Māori environments. 

  • Fee Free

NZ Certificate in Te Reo me Ngā Tikanga [Level 4]

Full time day class or part time night class with wananga. February – November

For those who already have a general understanding of the Māori language and want to progress further. You will cover Māori language, marae customs and practices and focus on applying te reo Māori to everyday life.

  • Fee Free

Certificate in Tikanga (Waka Ama) [Level 3]  – Wananga based, from February to July.

With a waka ama focus, you will learn about, and be immersed in waka ama. The programme covers subjects like fitness and wellbeing for all ages, for whānau, hapū, iwi and local communities as well as health and safety. You will study the history of waka ama, its national significance today.

  • Fee Free

NZ Diploma in Te Reo Māori (Immersion) [Level 5]  – Full time day class, February – November

The NZ Diploma is designed to provide intermediate skills in te reo tikanga Māori, develop academic writing and research skills, provide an option of Māturanga Māori courses as well as expand on activities that enhance teaching te reo Māori such as Māori stone tool technology, Māori performing arts, and Māori society.

Cost: Approx $5,600 for the first year.

Bachelor of Arts (Māori) [Level 5-7] – Offered as a full time day class. Part time may be considered. Three years full time study

Piki mai, kake mai rā ki Te Aho ā Māui. If you want to play a part in shaping a positive social, political and economic future for Aotearoa New Zealand, a thorough understanding of Te Reo Māori and tikanga is essential as a special taonga, to be shared with all New Zealanders. With the Bachelor of Arts (Māori) you’ll enhance your career prospects and social standing within the community, while contributing to the ongoing drive to revitalise the culture and language of indigenous New Zealand.

Cost: $700 / $1400 per course

Go here for more information on all of these classes.

* * *


Te Ha O Te Reo offers 10 different packages including Pepeha for beginners – 1 hr a week via Zoom for 20 weeks, All levels are welcome, as are groups.

Riria Haturini has spent the last 35 years developing and facilitating a learning system that embraces different learning styles, abilities and goals. In Te Ha O Te Reo Riria has created a space without judgement to allow people to flourish in the Te Reo journey; here, mistakes are welcome, differences are embraced and achievements are celebrated.

Costs $35 per hr/pp for a total of $700. Sign up before February 6 for a discounted rate..

Head here for more information.

Or check out this podcast to meet Riria and hear more about her mahi.

* * * 


Learn to speak Māori – Te Ara Reo Māori

– From March, 2021, 38 weeks made up of 1 x 3-hour class per week, 2 x noho marae, 4 x one-day wānanga 

If you want to learn some basic Māori language, this is the perfect place to start. Whether you want to use te reo Māori at home with the kids or in the workplace, this interactive programme will have you speaking with confidence in no time.

You’ll start with how to correctly pronounce Māori words, names and place names. You will learn basic greetings and how to introduce yourself, as well as how to understand and follow tikanga (protocols). The kaiako are experienced with teaching beginners, and you’ll be with other tauira (students) who have the same aspirations to learn our indigenous language.

  • Fee Free

Te Pūtaketanga o te Reo – Full Immersion – Full time study over 40 weeks.

Want to speak te reo Māori? There’s no better way than to immerse yourself in the language. Learn in a calm and encouraging environment that also challenges you to speak and think in the reo. Our experienced and fluent kaiako understand what it takes to help you progress to a conversational ability. You’ll learn with others who want to improve their te reo Māori capability, and you’ll get more confident by the day. Kia kaha!

  • Fee Free

Te Rōnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi – Intermediate Full Immersion [Level 5] – From March over 40 weeks.

Do you want to make a meaningful commitment to your Māori language development? Go well past the basics and focus on your grammar and conversational ability.

Start to learn about regional variations of language and how you’ll understand different dialects. Continue in our fun and inclusive learning environment, and make te reo Māori a language you can confidently function in from day to day.

  • Fees Free

Diploma in Te Aupikitanga ki te Reo Kairangi – Advanced Full Immersion – 40 weeks from March 2020.

Continue your immersion journey in te reo Māori and lead the way for your whānau, hapū and iwi. Function confidently in most situations using only te reo Māori. Learn to articulate your ideas and hold meaningful dialogues using metaphors and whakaaro Māori. Develop a translation skill set, and learn in an encouraging environment that also challenges you to speak and think in te reo.

  • Fees Free

Learning the Language

Since arriving in New Zealand, I’ve been fascinated with Māori culture. And my experience working for a local healthcare provider highlighted the importance of traditional customs and practices associated with Māoridom being incorporated in healthcare and wider society. But, while most of the Tikanga seemed like common sense to me, what did it all mean? Where did it come from? And why? 

Skip ahead to six months ago, having recently moved from Mōrere to the bright lights of Gisborne, and finally cancelling my neglected gym membership, I ran out of excuses to put off undertaking some study about Māori culture.

The search begins…and ends

One Winter evening in July, I opened Google and began looking for a course. A few hours later, I had well and truly fallen down the rabbit hole. The internet was flush with educational options to study at home or at a number of courses around town, but where to begin? After a full-blown scientific analysis (I composed a note in my phone) of all the courses that met my criteria of part-time, not too advanced, and with a focus on culture, rather than language I hit a wall. Before long, it all got a bit too overwhelming and hard. 

The bright idea that had once enthused me, was now firmly in the ‘too-hard’ box stowed away on the top shelf of my brain. 

That was until… Kopu called.

It turns out, one of the many enrolment information forms I filled out had my correct phone number on it *facepalm* and detective inspector Kopu tracked me down.

Kopuroa Haiwaikirangi is the tutor of Level 3 qualification in Te Whāinga o te Ao Tikanga (Māori culture and protocols) at the Wānanga O Te Aotearoa, Gisborne. He also just happens to be one of the most special humans I have evet met. Kopu spoke to me about the course and what it involved… it was a perfect fit. There was just one problem…it was full time. 

However, after a quick face-to-face interview with Kopu, it became apparent that East-Coast time applies to education as well, and a ‘full-time’ course was more that do-able for me, in addition to a 40-hour work week.

Class is in session

It was “a lolly scramble of personalities” as Kopu described our class. Full-time mums, retired entrepreneurs, local business owners, healthcare staff, council workers and various curious minds looking for ways to connect with Tairāwhiti’s rich heritage – there were even a couple of tutors and staff from the Wananga.

The in-class commitment was two four-hour classes a week. You can choose to attend a day class or a night class, or one of each. Then, once a month we went on Noho – a weekend-long festival of learning. Or as I like to call it…the cheapest possible way to experience a cultural tour of our slice of paradise. 

Honestly – I’m convinced that tourists would pay $500 per person to ride along in the Wananga minivan, and listen to Kopu and our class yarn about the significance of the area and their memories of growing up in Te Tairāwhiti.

It’s time to act on good intentions

Since embarking on the course, nearly everyone that I have told about it has been really enthusiastic. In fact, I would say that 90% of people have commented that they have “always wanted to do it, but…(insert excuse here)…”

Well, I’m here to tell you that you can, and should, do it! 

The past six months have been amazing, I have met people that I would have NEVER come across in day-to-day life. I’ve been inspired, educated and motivated to continue on my learning journey. 

I was delighted to find that while I had a heap of awkward questions, there was no awkward moments in class. Instead we had some meaningful discussions about Tikanga and what made something the ‘right’ way of doing things.

I found some of the answers I was seeking, I understand the ‘why’ behind basic Tikanga, and when at work, I have a deeper understanding of Māori culture, which is enabling me to communicate better, and work more respectfully with Iwi groups.

In short, this course has given me a new appreciation for the place I call home, answered some burning questions, taught me fantastic new things (homemade fry bread recipe, anyone?) and empowered me at work. All for the bargain price of $0! Yep, that’s right, absolutely free!

A gift from me to you

In the interest of streamlining your journey towards some further education, and avoid wasting a solid two hours of data scrolling the internet for courses, this is my gift to you, a one-stop-shop of free Māori Tikanga and language courses in Gizzy. 

Merry Christmas!

Story by Katherine Evett

There a heaps of other free courses out there, including more opportunities from the below providers but here’s a starter pack of some basic language and tikanga classes that are available right here in Tūranga.

Te Wānanga O Aotearoa Whirikoka campus – 630 Childers Road, Gisborne


NZ Certificate in Tikanga (Level 3)

Te Ara Reo Māori (He Pī ka Pao) Learn to speak Māori, Level 2

Toi Maruata Certificate in Māori and Indigenous Art, Level 3

EIT Gisborne Campus – 290 Palmerston Road, Gisborne