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What can I do with a degree in Te Reo Māori?

17 August 2023

Whether you want to be a Policy Advisor, Teacher, or Editor, see what you can do with a degree in Te Reo Māori from UC.


The academic study of Māori and indigenous language, politics, history and culture has become an increasingly popular degree option and is increasingly seen as central to education in New Zealand, both as the proportion of people with Māori ancestry grows and as the country strives to define its place in the world as a Pacific nation. Students majoring in other subject areas such as History, Sociology, Political Science, English, Education, Religious Studies and Social Work often take Māori courses to support their main field of study.

Through their Te Reo Māori degree, graduates develop a valuable set of transferable skills such as:

  • Reading, writing, listening and speaking te reo Māori
  • Understanding of tikanga Māori values
  • Ability to implement kaupapa Māori perspectives
  • Well-developed communication skills
  • Interpretive and analytical thinking
  • Understanding the global interactions which shape contemporary society
  • Thinking critically and creatively, and challenging ideas
  • Problem solving skills
  • Research and computing skills.

Applied learning

Opportunities to apply your learning outside the classroom are available in this subject, such as:

  • Arts internships
  • Consulting projects (through the Māui Lab)
  • Fieldtrips — Aotahi offers regular wānanga reo (language immersion field trips) to local marae for its language students.

These experiences deepen your skillset, awareness of others, working knowledge, and employability.

Graduates of Aotahi: School of Māori and Indigenous Studies are found all around the world. Examples of specific employment sectors in Aotearoa New Zealand are:

  • Most professional career pathways want people to have had some exposure to te ao Māori
  • The diverse Māori sector, spanning private business, tribal organisations, Māori land incorporations and a raft of ‘third sector’ health, education and social services
  • Central and local government organisations have roles dedicated to working with Māori communities and/or addressing Māori interests eg, Whānau Ora
  • Most professional service companies, such as lawyers, accountants, engineers, and clinicians are building their capability to engage with the Māori sector.

Te Reo Māori alumni are valued in such sectors as:

  • Governance including public policy
  • Education
  • Criminal justice
  • Health
  • Social services

Graduates with this degree are employed in a range of jobs — see some examples below.

Note: Some of the jobs listed may require postgraduate study. See the ‘Further study’ section.

Policy analyst / advisor | Kaitātari kaupapa

  • Identifies and investigates issues and opportunities eg, in society, law or governance
  • Interprets existing policies and briefs leaders
  • Prepares reports and recommends changes

Secondary school teacher | Kaiako kura tuarua

  • Plans and delivers instructional lessons
  • Evaluates performance and provides feedback
  • Sets and marks assignments and tests

Primary school teacher | Kaiako kura tuatahi

  • Prepares learning activities for 5–13 year olds
  • Teaches and marks subjects including social studies, art and literacy
  • Develops children’s social skills and behaviours

Reporter | Kaikawe kōrero Broadcaster | Kaipāho

  • Investigates and gathers information for items
  • Prepares scripts
  • Reports and presents stories to the public

Lecturer | Pūkenga whare wānanga

  • Prepares and gives lectures and tutorials
  • Sets and marks assignments and exams
  • Conducts research, writes and publishes articles

Editor | Ētita / kaiwhakatika

  • Plans and commissions content for publication
  • Evaluates, edits and organises material for multiple formats — online and in print
  • Liaises with other staff to oversee production

Librarian | Kaitiaki

  • Categorises and catalogues library materials
  • Selects materials for library use
  • Helps customers find and use materials

Student advisor | Kaitohotohu ākonga

  • Gives advice on academic processes, programmes or courses
  • Helps students access resources and services

Guide / leader / mentor | Kaiārahi

  • Supports people to reflect biculturalism
  • Identifies opportunities and reviews processes to achieve organisational Māori aspirations
  • Connects with contributors, leaders and others

Research advisor / assistant | Kairangahau

  • Organises and conducts research surveys
  • Tests theories and interprets the results
  • Writes reports and makes recommendations

Outreach officer | Kaiwhātoro Liaison advisor | Kaitakawaenga

  • Delivers outreach services within a community
  • Provides information to individuals, whānau, caregivers and professionals
  • Organises events and delivers presentations

Interpreter, translator | Kaiwhaka Māori

  • Translates conversations or rewrites text from one language to another
  • Keeps up-to-date with language trends
  • Proofreads translations
  • Travels and presents

Entrepreneur and CEO | Rakahinonga me Tumu whakarae

  • Develops an idea to form their own business
  • Offers their services as a freelancer or consultant

Get started  Entrepreneurship here

As they progress, students and graduates often join organisations relevant to their area of interest. These can provide regular communications and offer the chance to network with others.

Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can keep you up-to-date with networking opportunities, events and job vacancies.

What can I do with a degree in Te Reo Māori?

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For more information

see the Te Reo Māori subject page

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