What is Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori

The Māori Language Commission was set up under the Māori Language Act 1987 and continued under Te Ture Reo Māori 2016 | Māori Language Act 2016 to promote the use of Māori as a living language and as an ordinary means of communication.

We are an autonomous Crown entity. We are responsible to Parliament for the use of public funds to support our objectives. Each year, the Minister of Māori Development issues a Letter of Expectations.

We produce a Statement of Intent (SOI) which is a four-year plan and a one-year plan known as a Statement of Performance Expectations (SPE). The SOI and the SPE are submitted to Parliament and published on our website.

We report against our SOI, SPE and the Minister’s Letter of Expectations in our Annual Report, published every year.

Our roles are:

  • Having a key role in leading coordination of the Crown Māori Language Strategy implementation;

  • Promotion of te reo Māori to wider New Zealand;

  • Language planning support and evaluation;

  • Carrying out and commissioning research;

  • Examination and registration of translators and interpreters;

  • Testing levels of proficiency;

  • Language development ensuring Māori language can be used effectively in all circumstances; and

  • Reporting to the Minister for Māori Development on matters relating to the Māori language. 

Our Mission

Promote te reo Māori as an ordinary means of communication and a living language.

Ngā Kaha - Focus Areas

Ngā Kaha describe the long term changes to New Zealand that we support and that our activities and services contribute to. We have four complementary focus areas.

  • He Kaha Te Whare o te Reo Mauriora

Supporting and sustaining the partnership between the Crown and Māori to revitalise the Māori language.

  • He Kaha te mana o te reo Māori

Building the status and visibilty of te reo Māori to encourage its use throughout New Zealand.

  • He Kaha te kete kōrero

Generating new resources, maintaining existing resources and providing better access to support the learning, use and quality of te reo Māori.

  • He Kaha Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori

Ensuring the effective and efficient operation of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori to deliver the best support for revitalisation.

The Board

We have a board  of five members and a chief executive who reports to the board. Our board and chief executive are:


Rawinia Higgins

Board member 

Charisma Rangipunga

Board member 

Jeremy Tātere MacLeod

Board member 

Bayden Barber

Board member

Wayne Panapa

Chief Executive Officer 

Ngahiwi Apanui

The Commissioners are based regionally throughout the country which ensures local and community based thinking are taken into consideration when considering issues that affect the Māori language.

Our Operations

Our operations are divided into the following operational groups:

TE AMO | Policy, Language Services, Ressearch, Evaluation

TE TOKO REO | Promotion, Partnerships, 

TE HĀPAI Ō | Corporate Services

Our Vision

Kia haruru a Aotearoa whānui i tō tātou reo taketake.  All New Zealand will resonate with our indigenous language.