John Birnie: reo Māori teaching

Tēnā koe!

I know that many people are keen to start learning te reo Māori, but may not have the time to commit to a course at Te Wananga o Aotearoa or university. I offer the opportunity to get started now, and to take a short course to see how it works for you.

My qualifications

I’ve completed most of the reo Māori papers at Otago University, and have attended several Kura Reo. I keep up to date with Māori media, especially through Manako, a Māori language interview programme on Waatea Radio. I’ve also worked as a reo Māori teacher at secondary level. I’m reasonably proficient reo Māori user, and I speak, read, and listen to te reo Māori on a regular basis.

I graduated in May 2018 with a PhD in Māori Studies. My thesis focused on adult learning of te reo Māori, and looked at ways to make this a more learner-centred experience.

I like to work with fairly small groups, preferably no more than ten. I’m happy to do personal tuition, or conversation practice / group conversation facilitation – and I can do shorter periods than one hour. I’m semi-retired, so I can work in the evenings or during the day, as required.


Classes are based on Scotty Morrison’s book Māori Made Easy. This is a self-teaching book, with some website back-up. It retails for about $35. It provides a compact, accessible introduction to te reo Māori, and is excellent value for money. Intermediate classes will be based on Māori Made Easy, and on Scotty Morrison’s new book Māori Made Easy 2 .


$50 per class (participants can split the cost).

Conversation sessions: $40 for a 50 minute hour (groups can split the cost). 25 minute time slots are acceptable.

Individual or group tuition: $40 for a 50 minute hour. 25 minute slots are also acceptable.

Times by arrangement.

So – contact me if you’re  interested. Ngā mihi!