Our work 

We provide independent advice to the Minister for Māori Development about issues affecting the Māori language.Our independence enables us to work comfortably between language stakeholders and the government to ensure government priorities and resources are aligned with stakeholder aspirations.

We undertake the following specific duties:

  • establishing a research centre to support the development of a national Māori language research agenda
  • training and certifying Māori language translators and interpreters
  • testing the proficiency level of Māori language speakers through level finding examinations
  • ensuring that the linguistic and cultural integrity of the Māori language is preserved by maintaining robust quality standards and technical language support provided to stakeholders
  • supporting key national events – Te Wiki o te Reo Māori and Ngā Tohu Reo Māori – and promoting the use and acquisition of te reo Māori, and identifying issues associated with the language.

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori works to support the development of a high-quality Māori language workforce that is valued by employers in both the public and private sectors..

We are unique in our national role and singular focus and so provide a critical point of reference and support for Māori language revitalisation and regeneration efforts in New Zealand.


The Board 

Board members of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori The Māori Language Commission October 2016
Charisma Rangipunga (Toihau Tuarua), Wayne Panapa, Wayne Ngata (Toihau), Charlie Tepana, Hinerangi Edwards

We have a board of five members and a chief executive who reports to the board. Our board and chief executive are:


Dr Wayne Ngata

Board member 

Charisma Rangipunga

Board member 

Charlie Tepana

Board member 

Hinerangi Edwards

Board member

Wayne Panapa

Chief Executive Officer 

Ngahiwi Apanui

The Commissioners are based regionally throughout the country which ensures local and community based thinking are taken into consideration when considering issues that affect the Māori language.

Our operations

Our operations are divided into the following operational groups:

Te Reo Hapori – Māori Language Community Initiatives

The Community Initiatives team manages a range of community funds and programmes and distributes funding to support community-based Māori language initiatives.

Te Toko Reo – Partnerships and Promotions

The Partnerships and Promotions team is responsible for all promotions and communications, and for organising our involvement in events such as Te Wiki o te reo Māori and Ngā Tohu Reo Maori. This team also provides language planning services and supports to public sector and private sector organisations.

He Puna Whakarauora – Research and Development

The Research and Development team funds research, development and innovations that support the revitalisation of the Māori language it also provides technical Māori language advice to the Minister, state sector agencies and educational institutes including coining of new vocabulary. This team is responsible for training and certifying translators and interpreters and developing and administering sector-specific proficiency examinations.

Te Hāpai Ō – Corporate Services

The Corporate Services team provides services in finance and accounting, office administration, planning and reporting, and information technology.

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