For over 25 years Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori has supported marae-based Māori language immersion courses through the Mā te Reo fund.

Kura Reo Whakapakari Reo

The Kura Reo Whakapakari Reo (Kura Reo) programme is a nationally focused community development model previously developed and delivered by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori. The Kura Reo were established to provide a series of total immersion Māori language learning opportunities for learners who are confident enough to communicate and learn only in te reo Māori. The major focus of the Kura Reo programme is on attaining excellence in the use of the Māori language through the provision of intensive five-day total immersion courses, which are currently held annually in five sites throughout New Zealand.

The Kura Reo programme is open to those who intend to use the Māori language as an everyday medium of tuition and/or communication. The main aim of the Kura Reo programme is to increase the use and proficiency levels of Māori language speakers. Kura Reo usually begin with a pōwhiri on the Sunday afternoon, followed by the registration process. Classes commence on the Monday morning and conclude on the Thursday afternoon followed by kai hākari.

As the Kura Reo programme is conducted in a Māori language only environment, it is expected that participants must already have a reasonable grasp of the language in order to fully participate. Courses cater to as many as 120 people and will assist participants to:

  • use the Māori language more confidently, effectively and appropriately in everyday social and cultural contexts
  • negotiate the subtleties of the Māori language, for example, the use of proverbs and idioms.

Kura Reo participants receive a student resource workbook and are grouped according to fluency levels. In the evenings there are large group sessions with speakers who discuss issues or teach waiata, as well as entertaining activities. The Kura Reo programme has a set number of classes, each focusing on different aspects of language acquisition, and involving small group sessions and language-based activities in:

  • grammar
  • comprehension
  • translation
  • the expression ideas in Māori
  • the use of idioms and colloquial expressions
  • storytelling
  • speaking exercises
  • the meanings and application of proverbs.

The Kura Reo programme has a pool of Māori language experts including:

  • Dr Tīmoti Kāretu – Ngāi Tūhoe
  • Dr Wharehuia Milroy – Ngāi Tūhoe
  • Paraone Gloyne – Ngāti Raukawa
  • Jarred Boon – Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Raukawa
  • Ngāringi Kātipa – Waikato
  • Pānia Papa – Waikato
  • Pakake Winiata – Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Awa
  • Leon Blake – Tūhoe, Te Arawa, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Whāwhākia, Ngāti Kahungunu, Taranaki, Te Whānau-a-Apanui
  • Charlie Tepana – Ngāti Raukawa

What to take

Participants need to bring personal belongings sufficient for five days. We strongly recommend you bring pens, paper, or laptops, as well as these dictionaries:

  • A Dictionary of the Māori Language by Herbert Williams
  • Complete English-Māori Dictionary by Bruce Biggs.


For registration fees per Kura Reo participant, please contact the five Kura Reo providers directly as Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori does not facilitate the programmes.

Note:  The registration fee only covers food, accommodation, course content and student resource book. Travel is not included in the registration fee.


The following table outlines the five Kura Reo providers and the annual cycle proposed for 2015/16. Please note that Kura Reo usually take place during the school holidays.

Kura Reo Regions

Regional Provider Contacts*

2017 Dates


Leon Blake – Kounga Ltd


9-13 July


Maru Maniapoto

Register(external link)

01 - 05 October


Jeremy MacLeod – The Waimārama Māori Committee


8-12 January

Te Waipounamu

Paulette Tamati-Elliffe – Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

18-22 April


Charlie (Tiare) Tepana

23 - 27 April

*For further information please contact the Regional Provider directly. 

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