Whakamātauria Tō Reo Māori is the National Māori Language Proficiency Examinations administered by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.  There are currently two exams available: the Level Finder Examination (LFE) and the Public Sector Māori (PSM). The examinations are open to individuals and organisations who wish to test their Māori Language Proficiency against the Whakamātauria Tō Reo Māori framework.

Level Finder Examination (LFE)

The LFE provides a general indicator of a candidates’ ability to aurally recognise words and their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.

The examination is a written test only and takes 1 hour and ten minutes including ten minutes reading time. An optional survey is the concluding section of the LFE examination and asks candidates to provide information about their Māori language experience.

The three sections that constitute the examination are:

  • aural recognition (dictation)
  • vocabulary (close reading and multi-choice answer options)
  • grammar (close reading and multi-choice answer options)

The LFE examination marks are reported in levels ranging from 1 – 5, 5 being higher proficiency.

LFE Handbook [PDF, 625 KB]

Level Finder Examination Public Sitting


23rd November 2018
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa
Ōtautahi - Te Mouri,
348 Manchester Street
Christchurch Central


6th December 2018
LFE Public Sitting New Plymouth,
Spotswood College
129 South Road
New Plymouth

Registration opens 1 November-16 November 2018

Examination dates and venues are subject to change. In the event circumstances change, full information will be communicated to registered candidates and posted on the Māori Language Commission website.

Is there a cost to sit exams?

Whakamātauria Tō Reo Māori examinations do not carry a sitting fee. Anyone who wishes to sit the examination may do so at their own cost to attend (i.e. travel).

Information, registration and enquiries

For registration forms, candidate handbooks and enquiries about the examinations contact matapuna@tetaurawhiri.govt.nz

LFE Registration Form  (external link) 


Public Sector Māori (PSM)

The PSM is designed specifically for people who use Māori language in the public sector workplace.

The examination is both a written and oral test. The written part of the examination takes 1 hour and ten minutes including ten minutes reading time. The oral part of the examination takes approximately 20 – 30 minutes and is conducted in groups of no more than three candidates at a time. An examiner facilitates conversations relating to public sector ‘situations’ posing hypothetical circumstances.

The PSM examination has a pre-requisite of a minimum LFE Level 3 attainment.

PSM Handbook [PDF, 519 KB]

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