Māori-English Bilingual Signage

The Māori-English Bilingual Signage: A guide for best practice is a resource produced by Te Puni Kōkiri and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori to increase and improve bilingual signage throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

The guide is packed full of good tips on how organisations can engage with Māori communities and support te reo Māori to be more visible through signage.

Māori-English Bilingual Signage: A guide for best practice

This guide is part of the Government’s strategy to help revitalise our taonga, te reo Māori. It includes background information on how and why the guide was developed as well as a quick reference overview and tips to help an organisation develop a Bilingual Signage Action Plan.

The guide was the result of a Cabinet directive and released by the Minister for Māori Development on 9 November 2016.

Media Release: Guide to make Māori language more visible

Principles of Bilingual Signage

There are four key principles to follow to develop high quality bilingual signage.

  1. Responsive and accessible services
  2. Visibility of language
  3. Equality of language
  4. Quality of language

Download our A3 poster with information about the four key principles to help inform your Bilingual Signage Action Plan [PDF, 157KB].

Design Tips

Several simple DOs and DON’Ts will help organisations meet the four key principles of good quality bilingual signage.

Download our A3 poster of Design Tips for bilingual signs [PDF, 136KB].

Lists of common signs in te reo Māori

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori has lists of signs and translations that you can use if you want to develop bilingual signs around your workplace.

Check out the lists on Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori website.

Watch the video

Tap along to this classic bilingual song from the Quin Tikis and see how easy it is for anyone to follow bilingual signs.

Thanks to Rim D. Paul and Stebbing Recording Centre / Zodiac Records for the use of this bilingual song Poi Poi Twist.

Take our quiz

This quick and fun quiz will show you how easy it is to follow bilingual signs – even if you don’t speak, or are just learning, te reo Māori.

Events and Updates

Latest events and updates for this section are listed below.

  • Matakaoa ‘Immunity Community’ Wins New Zealand Community of the Year

    • Date: 12 April 2022

    The Matakaoa community from the top of Te Tai Rāwhiti have been named this year’s winner of Ngā Pou Whirinaki o te Tau – NZ Community of the Year award.

    The award recognises the excellence, innovation and aroha shown by whānau of Matakaoa in facing the dangers of COVID-19.

    Read more

  • Horouta Waka - ki te hoe!

    • Date: 05 November 2019

    The 100-plus strong group of high-performing waka paddlers had signed up for a wellbeing programme that refined not only their athletic skills and disciplines of waka ama, but also examined healthy lifestyles, eco-living and cultural connectedness. 

    Read more

  • Wāhine Māia, Wāhine Whenua

    • Date: 27 February 2019

    Would you like to better understand what drives your whānau, trust or incorporation's farm? Do you want the skills and confidence to participate more fully in the business?

    Read more

    • Registration required
    • Organiser: Agri-Women's Development Trust
  • He Kura E Huna Ana

    • Date: 22 June 2018
    • Time: 7 pm – 8 pm

    Acclaimed te reo Māori production He Kura E Huna Ana is touring the North Island for the first time in 2018.

    Read more

    • Registration required
    • Organiser: Taki Rua Productions
  • Te Tairāwhiti Kapa Haka Regional Competitions 2018

    • Date: 26 May 2018 to 27 May 2018

    This year Te Tairawhiti under the mantle of ‘Tamararo’ host the 65th annual kapa haka competitions at the Gisborne Houhoupiko Showgrounds from 26 - 27 May.

    Read more

    • Open to the public, no booking required
    • Organiser: Tairāwhiti Cultural Development Trust Inc

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