Careers that use te reo Māori

Two men and a woman sitting at a table looking at documents

Te reo Māori is an important language for jobs across many sectors.

As one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s official languages, te reo Māori is useful across a range of careers. Many New Zealand employers want to hire people who have at least some knowledge of te reo Māori. Māori and iwi organisations rely on fluent te reo Māori writers and speakers.  

Learning te reo Māori gives you access to te ao Māori (the Māori world) and tiro ā-Māori ki tōna ake ao (the Māori world view), which many employers value.

Working for Māori and iwi organisations

Māori and iwi organisations represent the interests of Māori and often need employees who can communicate using te reo Māori. These organisations include businesses, government organisations, law offices and Māori land corporations.

Māori organisations include:

  • Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, principal southern iwi
  • Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Auckland-based hapū
  • Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, Māori Centre of Research Excellence
  • Te Puni Kōkiri, Ministry of Māori Development
  • Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori
  • Te Tumu Paeroa, Māori land trustees
  • Waikato-Tainui, central North Island iwi organisation. 

Working in health and social services

Hospitals, health care clinics and social service centres all benefit when employees have some knowledge of te reo Māori. Doctors and nurses can provide better treatment for Māori patients if they are familiar with te reo Māori. Social workers and police officers have an advantage if they can communicate in te reo Māori.

Health and services roles that use te reo Māori include:

Working in education

Te reo Māori educators teach students at early childhood centres, primary schools, secondary schools and tertiary institutions. Educators also run te reo Māori classes for workers and other people interested in learning the language.

Education roles that use te reo Māori include:

Working in communications and information

Communications and information careers increasingly use te reo Māori to appeal to diverse audiences. Te reo Māori use in communications also promotes the cultural heritage of Māori in New Zealand and strengthens our national identity.

Communications and information roles that use te reo Māori include:

Working in culture and heritage

Te reo Māori ability is needed to research, preserve and promote the history of New Zealand.

Culture and heritage roles that use te reo Māori include:

Working in government

All government organisations have a te reo Māori version of their name as they represent the interests of all our people, including the original Māori iwi of Aotearoa New Zealand. Some government organisations specifically represent the interests of Māori. For example, Māori Television, funded by the Government, broadcasts programmes that promote Māori language and culture.

Government jobs that use te reo Māori include:

Find out more

Sources

  • Anderson, Paul, ‘Te Reo Has Helped My Life and My Career’, 14 September 2018, (www.stuff.co.nz).
  • E-Tangata, ‘Te Reo Māori: A Key to Our Future’, 23 January 2016, (www.e-tangata.co.nz).
  • University of Canterbury, ‘What Can I Do With a Degree in Te Reo Māori’, accessed September 2019, (www.canterbury.ac.nz).
  • Williams, Katarina, ‘Government Launches $12.2m Programme to Bolster Te Reo Māori in Classrooms’, 15 April 2019, (www.stuff.co.nz).

Updated 11 Sep 2020