Learning Maori? Here Are The Books I Recommend

avatarSarah K. β€’
4 mins read
best books to learn Maori

What are the best books for learning to speak Maori?

Maori is so beautiful and an incredibly underrated language.

It's the main indigenous language of New Zealand, an Austronesian descendant which means it's remotely related to languages like Indonesian and Malaysian. It's spoken natively by only around 3-4% of the New Zealand population today.

With such a rich cultural history, Maori is totally worth learning.

And if you're looking for quality books to learn Maori then you're in luck!

Some fantastic books exist for the language. 😊

Today I'm going to share my own personal favorite books with you for Maori (ones that I love).

If you know of others that aren't on my list, please send me a message and let me know!

1. Let's Learn Maori

Author: Bruce Biggs

Biggs has done a phenomenal job with Let's Learn Maori. 😍

It takes you right through from the basics up to intermediate-advanced level content. Concepts are laid out and explained in a simple yet detailed manner.

This is one resource that I wish existed for other Polynesian language resources.

I highly recommend using the optional audio component with the book if you can get it.

2. Beginner's Maori

Author: K. T. Harawira

As the name suggests, this is a book aimed at beginners and in particular, people who are traveling to New Zealand for a short trip.

It covers a lot of tourism-related conversation topics.

The only minor issue with some of the topics is that they are unlikely to be useful - e.g. going through customs and checking into hotels (you'll only ever need English for this in reality).

Other than that, it's a terrific and very handy little Maori resource to have at your disposal.

3. Maori Made Easy: For Everyday Learners of the Maori Language

Author: Scotty Morrison

Morrison is actually both a professor of Maori and a TV presenter of two popular TV shows in New Zealand: Te Karare and Marae.

His books are amazing and Maori Made Easy may actually be my favorite.

It's definitely aimed at complete beginners and has a unique approach that some may not appreciate, but I can't recommend it enough.

Get this one.

4. Maori At Home

Publisher: Scotty Morrison

A second resource by Scotty Morrison!

This one is focused solely on the family and household - it's aimed at getting New Zealanders using the language around the house and for family matters.

It's a terrific idea, in my opinion.

Great for language revival as it gets people using the language in their day-to-day life.

But also incredibly valuable to non-New Zealanders who are learning Maori as the topics are so relevant and useful.

5. A Māori Reference Grammar

Author: Ray Harlow

Here's one for the Intermediate to Advanced Maori learner.

Definitely not suitable for a brand new learner, but I would say that it's a good one to have at your disposal early on anyway.

It's an incredibly comprehensive grammar for Maori and one that you'll eventually get plenty of use out of.

Hang on to it until you reach a higher level in Maori and you won't be disappointed.

Summary: When learning Maori, then are some great books to choose from

Honestly, I probably could have added a few more books but the ones I've listed here for Maori are definitely the best.

Maori's a beautiful, underrated language that deserves more attention.

And with increasing efforts to bring more attention to indigenous languages and educating New Zealanders to appreciate Maori more, its popularity is rising.

I'll be sure to share more on Maori soon so subscribe below.

Are there any Maori resources I missed that you'd recommend? Please let me know!

Kira ora! 😊