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Māori Made Easy Pocket Guide by Scotty Morrison

You can easily carry this little book with you and refer to it wherever you go. It will build your confidence to speak Māori and grow your understanding of the Māori world.

Scotty Morrison, who wrote it, is the bestselling author of the Māori Made Easy series.

Part One contains words and phrases which you can use in many everyday situations, as well as a sentence or two about their historical or cultural significance.

I found these sections especially useful:

He Mihi. Greetings: We all know how to say Kia Ora but here, Scotty takes us to the next level by providing us with many more ways of greeting someone, asking them how they are and initiating a conversation.

Ngā Hui. Meetings. In this section we take a look at how to run a meeting or hui guided by Māori protocols or tikanga. Included are an appropriate karakia to begin a meeting, a basic mihi, a pepeha which non-Māori can use to introduce themselves, and a closing karakia.

The Ao Matahiki: As the world changes te reo Māori is changing with it. New words and handy phrases relating to the digital world are introduced here.

Emails and Letters: The formal way you address a person in authority like your boss and the informal way in which you write to a friend or relative are quite different and it is important to get this right!

Whaikōrero. Speeches.

Here you get the chance to build your own speech to use in formal occasions. I especially like the way Scotty has scaffolded it so you can choose whether to use short sentences or longer more complicated ones depending on your proficiency level.

Part Two: Te Ao Māori. The Māori World covers Ngā Powhiri, Ngā Tikangi Māori, Te Tiriti O Waitangi and Matariki.

Ngā Powhiri (formal welcome ceremony)

If you are invited to attend a formal welcome ceremony on a marae understanding the process and the meanings behind the pōwhiri will make your visit so much more enjoyable and meaningful.

Customary Concepts is an introduction to the deeper meanings of words including tapu, manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, whakapapa and kaitiakitanga and how they are informed by ancient knowledge.

Te Tiriti O Watangi

Scotty comments that the Tiriti O Waitangi will likely always be a point of discussion and debate. In his very brief introduction, he describes the difference between the Treaty itself and the Principles which is a useful starting point. He does recommend that we dive in and read, listen, and watch heaps of quality material about the Treaty. This is particularly important this year when the Treaty Principles are to be debated in Parliament.


When Matariki, the Māori New Year, comes round again, the information in here will help us to reflect on its origins, the Māori lunar calendar, what each star symbolizes, and how to find Matariki when it rises in the midwinter months of June and July.

I am full of admiration for Scotty. He has had, and continues to have, a huge impact on the revival of the Māori language.

In his afterword he reminds us that every time you use te reo Māori you are making a positive contribution to the normalization and continued survival of this beautiful language.

He exhorts us to be strong and determined: Kia Kaha, Kia Manawanui on our language journey, but most of all have to have fun! So do hop on the waka and join in!

Reviewer: Lyn Potter

Penguin Books


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