Te Reo

Home/Te Reo
  • English
  • Title: Te Reo Kapekape: Māori Wit and Humour Author: Hona Black ISBN: 978-1-99-004237-9 RRP: $45.00 Specs: PB, 210 x 148 mm portrait, 308 pp, b&w Published: 1 September 2023

    Following on from the successful He Iti te Kupu: Māori Metaphors and Similes, Hona Black's new book explores the rich vein of humour in Māori life.

    Want to know how to call a silly person a ‘roro hipi / sheep’s brain’, or tell someone to get stuffed in te reo Māori? The answers are all in Te Reo Kapekape (literally, ‘the language of poking fun’), with more than 130 humorous and unique phrases in te reo and English that can be used to describe people, events and actions.

    The sayings are divided into four chapters — above the hip, below the hip, other phrases, and idioms. Using a cast of characters and dramatised dialogue, Hona explains each phrase and gives examples and suggestions for use — whether to tease, crack a joke or just add some flair to your daily use.

    This book is a valuable resource for anyone wanting to spice up their te reo or English with some fun and cheeky sayings, and will appeal to both language learners and fluent speakers of Māori.

    E-book Available from

  • Title: He Iti te Kupu: Māori Metaphors and Similes Author: Hona Black ISBN: 978-0-947506-91-9 RRP: $39.99 Specs: 210 x 148 mm portrait, PB, 232 pp Published: 4 February 2021 WINNER: NZSA New Zealand Literary Heritage Awards 2021, Te Reo Māori section The Book: He Iti te Kupu contains nearly 500 sayings that draw a comparison between something (often the natural world) and people, events or contexts. Written in Māori and English, this accessible guide explains the use, meaning and context of a host of the principal figures of speech in te Reo.

    Divided into themes, including birds of the land and sea, parts of the body, acknowledgements, animals and insects.

    The title derives from the proverb, ‘The words are small, yet their meanings are substantial,’ highlighting the importance of these sayings in the landscape of Māori language learning and speaking.

    This volume will prove to be an invaluable resource for beginning and advanced learners of te Reo Māori.

    E-book Available from

  • Title: Illustrated Māori Dictionary Māori–English Essentials Author: A.W. Reed Illustrated by Roger Hart ISBN: 978-1-99-004213-3 RRP: $34.99 Specs: 210 x 148 mm portrait, PB, 144 pp, b/w Published: 16 August 2022 In compiling this dictionary A.W. Reed set out to entertain as well as educate. Its succinct entries encompass modern and traditional Māori language and customs, as do the fine illustrations by Roger Hart. These Māori to English definitions delve into a variety of associated meanings and derivations — providing interest for either beginning or more advanced speakers of te reo. The new Illustrated Māori Dictionary preserves the retro feel of the 1965 original — including its early adoption of macrons to mark long vowels, and indication of transliterated words. The text has been updated to reflect modern scholarship and language use. Not only a handy reference work, this corrected facsimile edition represents a classic of Kiwi publishing.
  • Title: Te Reo Māori: The Basics Explained Author: David Kārena-Holmes ISBN: 978-0-947506-69-8 RRP: $34.99 Specs: 210 x 148 mm portrait, PB, 168 pp, b&w Published: 5 February 2020 The Book: The use of te reo Māori in daily New Zealand life is snowballing, as is demand for resources to make learning the language efficient and enjoyable. This book helps answer that demand. Here in simple terms is a thorough guide to the building blocks of grammar in te reo, showing how to create phrases, sentences and paragraphs. After an introductory chapter on pronunciation and written forms of the language, 17 chapters introduce the main base words, particles and determiners that guide their use. The book employs real-life examples to illustrate how Māori grammar works day to day. Te Reo Māori: The Basics Explained draws on David Karena-Holmes’ decades of experience teaching and writing about Māori language. Building on his previous works, this updated and expanded approach will be an essential companion for speakers at any level.

    E-book Available from

  • Title: The Book that Wouldn’t Read Author: Tim Tipene Illustrator: Nicoletta Benella ISBN: 978-1-99-004231-7 RRP: $25.99 Specs:  HB, 270 x 210 mm portrait, 32 pp, colour Published: 1 September 2023 For Teacher Resource: click here

    The boy at the centre of Tim Tipene’s striking new story doesn’t like reading, until one day in the school library he picks up The Book that Wouldn’t Read. Suddenly the book takes on a life of its own — with sentences moving up and down, words changing colour and disappearing, and strange fonts and characters that get the reader jumping around, even burping. His appeals to the teacher and friends get hushed because ‘it’s reading time,’ and before he knows it, he’s finished the book. ‘What should I read next?’

    The Book that Wouldn't Read takes the viewpoint of children who have reading struggles, with design guided by educators for appeal to reluctant or even dyslexic readers

    This inspirational story is available in English (in this hardback edition) as well as in Māori (paperback).

  • Whakarongo ki ō Tūpuna Listen to your Ancestors Author: Darryn Joseph Illustrator: Munro Te Whata ISBN: 978-0-947506-62-9 RRP: $25.99 Specs: 270 x 210 mm portrait, HB, 32 pp, colour Published: 10 September 2019 WINNER: NZSA New Zealand Literary Heritage Awards 2020, Te Reo Māori section The Book: One night in June 2016, Massey University language lecturer Darryn Joseph sat in a hospital room minding a teacher who had become a dear friend and mentor to him. Darryn wrote her a poem of appreciation, kissed her hand and said goodbye; the next day she passed away. That poem is contained in Whakarongo ki ō Tūpuna/Listen to your Ancestors, which is written in te Reo Māori with English translation. The story follows a beloved teacher giving her pupils and grand-daughter guidance by directing them to follow the examples of Māori gods and ancestors. The book is illustrated by emerging artist Munro Te Whata, who has vividly brought to life settings in a school, the outdoors and a rest home in a colourful and fun style. Whakarongo ki ō Tūpuna teaches the values represented by Māori gods and ancestors, and provides a much-needed tool for reading in te Reo. And at its heart this is a story of love and respect, harking back to the friendship that inspired its writing.
  • Whakarongo ki ō Tūpuna Listen to your ancestors Author: Darryn Joseph Illustrator: Munro Te Whata ISBN: 978-0-947506-67-4 RRP: $22.99 Specs: 270 x 210 mm portrait, PB, 32 pp, colour Published: 5 March 2024 WINNER: NZSA New Zealand Literary Heritage Awards 2020, Te Reo Māori section
    Kia toa, e hine mā, e tama mā, kia kaua hoki koutou e whakamā. Me waiata koutou ki ngā manu o tō koutou tūpuna, o Tāne-mahuta. Be bold now, girls and boys, it’s no time to be shy. Sing to the birds of your ancestor, The Great Forest. This poignant story is set in a school and then rest home environment, following the life lessons passed from a teacher to her pupils, and aligning these with the example set by Māori gods and ancestors. As the story unfolds the teacher ages and retires, and we see the beautiful and caring relationship between ‘Nan’ and her granddaughter. Nan passes away; we are reminded of the circular nature of life as her granddaughter begins to teach her own pupils lessons from the ancestors.
  • Title: Rere Atu Taku Poi! Let My Poi Fly! Author: Tangaroa Paul Illustrator: Rebecca Gibbs ISBN: 978-1-99-004248-5 RRP: $22.99 Specs:  PB, 270 x 210 mm portrait, 32 pp, colour Publishing: 8 February 2024 For Teacher Resource: click here
    Written in te reo Māori and translated by the author, Rere Atu Taku Poi! is a beautifully illustrated story about gender fluidity in a school setting. Rangi loves doing haka but performing poi is his favourite — even though his classmates say it’s just for girls. When the lead poi performer falls sick before a school performance, Rangi has to take her place. How will the other students and audience react – ‘Surely a boy can’t lead the poi?’
    As Rangi steps on stage, the familiar movements of poi take him from scared and unsure to standing as his authentic self.