NZTC empowers teachers to grow and nurture te reo Māori

NZTC empowers teachers to grow and nurture te reo Māori

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He Taonga contributor and NZTC lecturer Ra Keelan

With the proportion of Māori able to hold a conversation in the language dropping from 25% to 21.3% between 1996 and 2013 according to the Statistics New Zealand Census, the importance of teaching te reo Māori to younger generations has never been greater.

New Zealand’s largest provider of early childhood education, NZTC created Māori language resources to provide practical support to students engaging with te reo Māori.

Te Reo Māori: He taonga mō ā tātou mokopuna (He Taonga) is a 118 page colour coded Māori language resource offering fresh ideas for teachers to weave te reo Māori into children’s everyday learning in authentic ways.

The book’s practical lessons and range of complexity make it a great resource not just for early childhood education but also Primary School teachers or parents wanting to incorporate te reo into the home.

Giving NZTC students a te reo teaching tool was the main inspiration for He Taonga editor and NZTC lecturer Roimata Rokx (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa).

“I really heard the need... the cry for help in terms of Māori language in practice,” Roimata said.

He Taonga contributor and NZTC lecturer Ra Keelan (Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau ā Apanui) sees early childhood education as a great opportunity to challenge children’s brains through learning a new language.

“Learning te reo requires the activation of both the brain’s hemispheres, meaning the entire brain is developing as they learn,” he said.

“In a world where bilingualism is the norm, educators have to prepare children as global citizens, and giving them as much exposure to language as possible is part of that responsibility.

“He Taonga has a wider social impact as it can change an ECE practitioner’s attitude towards te reo to be more positive, where they’re using te reo more fluidly in their practice. As a result it will change the attitude of children and parents.”

To find out more or to purchase He Taonga or the Learning and Teaching guide, please visit