An Ara te reo class in progress

Te Reo for businesses

by Mike Isle

Canterbury education provider Ara is offering local businesses a course in Te Reo Maori, reflecting what it says is a resurgence effort to use and celebrate one of our official languages.

Ara said participants in the 10-hour course gain confidence with basic Maori pronunciation, learn introductory phrases, greetings/farewells, participate in karakia, himene and waiata and gain an understanding of basic Tikanga Maori.

After the course, participants can move onto courses that lead to formal qualifications including Te Pokaitahi Reo: New Zealand Certificate in Te Reo Maori.

Ara has seen this support for Te Reo reflected in increasing enrolments by staff from local Canterbury businesses eager to learn about Maori language and culture.

In 2019, 147 staff members enrolled for Maori language courses at Ara. Organisations who have taken te reo courses include Canterbury Rugby Football Union (CRFU), Timaru, Ashburton and Hurunui District Councils and Christchurch Metro Cricket Association.

Ara has been overwhelmed with the support from local businesses and Hemi Hoskins, Head of Department for Humanities sees it as a great step towards building cultural capability in the region. “I believe we are in a time where more and more we are seeing people realise the positive benefits of te reo in our lives.”

Through helping people gain a better understanding of Te Reo Maori Hoskins hopes workplaces in the region will continue to make strides in diversity and appreciation of Tikanga Maori and Maori language.

Te reo classes are hosted by Ara on-site at the Christchurch Madras Street campus and Timaru campus on Arthur Street, and can also be hosted on-site for businesses that enrol. For any business enquiries about Te Reo opportunities for staff, email