Ngā Tohu Reo Māori

The date for the Māori Language Commission’s Māori Language Awards 2018 has been confirmed.

The awards will be held at Te Papa, Wellington on the 23 November 2018.

Nominations for all categories (excluding the 'Māori Language Week' category) opened on 10 July 2018 and close on 12 October 2018.

The Māori Language Week category will open on 10 September 2018 and close 12 October 2018.

Award Categories

Takitahi | Individual

A person who has made a difference on their own

Ngā Hapori Katoa | Community - Any NZ Community

For any community group, Māori or not, making a contribution to revitalisation

Ngā Hapori Māori | Community - Māori Community

For revitalisation within a Māori community not restricted to a particular iwi or hapū

Rangatahi | Youth

For action by or for young people

Te Mahi Toi, Mahi Whakangahau | Arts & Entertainment

Any art, any entertainment

Te Mātauranga – Whānui | Education - Open

For any educational activity, whether for Maori or Māori medium, or not

Te Mātauranga – Māori | Education - Māori Medium

For Kōhanga Kura and Wānanga


For revitalisation in a particular iwi or hapū

Te Pakihi | Business

For initiatives associated with for-profit enterprises

Ngā Mahi Pāpāho | Broadcasting & Media

Newspapers, radio, TV

Kāwanatanga | Government

Local or state sector

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

For Te Wiki o te Reo Māori | Māori Language Week 2018


For whānau revitalisation

Te Tohu Kairangi | Special Commendation

For those who have not achieved first place in one of the other categories but who are thought by judges and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori to deserve recognition in Ngā Tohu Reo Māori this year.

Te Tohu Huia i te Reo

This is the most prestigious national award for an individual or group for their contribution to the wellbeing of our country’s indigenous language. These are the heavy hitters who live and breathe te reo Māori and inspire others to do the same. The Aotearoa Te Reo Māori Champion of the Year will be selected from the 14 category award winners.

Te Tohu Oranga Angitu | Lifetime Achievement

Nominations of those who have made major contributions to te reo Māori are sought from iwi, hapū, organisations and individuals.

Judging criteria

Judges will be asked to judge entries against the five language planning elements. Each of these is explained below. An entry can contribute to one or more elements. They do not have to contribute to them all. Entrants are asked to state the elements the entry contributes to in a substantial way. If an entry contributes to only one, it will be given a mark out of a hundred. If an entry contributes to all five, each will be given a mark out of 20. These will then be totalled. This reflects the fact that each element is essential to revitalisation and that activities aimed at one can be as valuable as activities that influence them all.


People value te reo Māori and recognise it as a key part of our national identity. Entries are sought for actions that are leading people to value and support the use of te reo Māori. We want to revitalise te reo Māori so that it is an everyday language and public prominence and use recognising its status as an official language is very important.


People have critical awareness when they know te reo Māori is endangered and know their role in revitalisation. Te reo Māori will not be revitalised unless decision-makers in government, business and the voluntary sector become aware of the importance of action to promote te reo Māori and what they can do to help.

TE KŌREROTANGA O TE REO | Use (includes wāhi | domains)

A language is only alive when it is used – providing opportunities for use and the creation of new domains in which te reo Māori can be used is an essential part of revitalisation. ‘Use’ includes every occasion on which Māori is spoken, heard, read, or sung.

TE AKO I TE REO | Acquisition

People learn te reo Māori from others, as a mother tongue or in education – acquisition covers both and includes all forms of education, from kōhanga reo through to the highest levels of tertiary education and from private learning to mass on-line education.

TE PUNA REO | Corpus (includes kounga | quality)

The right words and terms are available for all circumstances; this includes improving te kounga o te reo – quality at all levels. Every year thousands of words enter the English and other world languages. The creation of new words and terms allowing its use in every area of life is important work for the revitalisation of te reo Māori. Building the quality of language used also comes under corpus.