Te tīmatanga

The journey begins

Ākona Te Reo

Learn Te Reo

Ngā whakaahua

#Reorua Gallery

Wāhi Mahi

Reorua your workplace

Papa tākaro

Reorua play areas

He whakaaro waihanga kaupapa

Event Checklist

Rēhita o ngā kaiwhakamāori o Te Arawa

Te Arawa reo Māori translators' register

Ngā rēhita kaikōrero reorua
Bilingual MC registers

Business Toolkit

Kete Āwhina Pakihi

Kua kati te Pūtea Rotorua Reorua | Rotorua Reorua Fund is closed

Te Tatau o Te Arawa offered a total of $20,000 to support hapū, iwi community-led kaupapa reorua (bilingual events and activities) that help meet Rotorua Reorua goals over two years to May 2023. We mihi to all our kaitono (applicants) including our successful candidates.

Te tīmatanga | The Reorua journey begins

Wāhi Mahi | Reorua your workplace

On 11 August 2017, Te Tatau o Te Arawa, with support from its partner, the Rotorua Lakes Council and Te Puni Kōkiri, launched Rotorua Reorua as the first Bilingual city in New Zealand. A city in which we support and promote both te reo Māori and English language.

More than a hundred years ago on 25 November 1880 the Fenton Agreement was signed between the Crown and Ngāti Whakaue, gifting the lands on which Rotorua city was built. Chief Judge Francis Dart Fenton announced at that time the partnership would provide a place for everybody. He solidified this intent in his statement “Hei oranga mō te katoa”. Envisioned in this partnership was a new city with hopes, aspirations and unique tourism and cultural experiences that would welcome the world.

Rotorua Reorua allows us to strengthen the aspirations put forth by our tīpuna (forefathers), by building off the unique cultural value proposition of our city.

Hei oranga mō te katoa.

The importance of Rotorua Reorua

Through embracing Rotorua Reorua we can help to tell the story of our city, and what makes us so special as a people and place. It also means that as a community, we are playing our part in the promotion and revitalisation of our unique and special indigenous language.

Rotorua lies at the heart of the Te Arawa rohe (district) and is a centre for Māori culture and expression. We have a proud history built on manaakitanga which continues to drive Rotorua as a people and place. We have a unique story and cultural history which when expressed through both languages truly embraces the aspirations of our tīpuna (forefathers) when they envisioned the city of Rotorua.

As a community we have a cultural confidence, and bicultural expectation which means there is an increasing focus on contemporary expression of Māori language, values, design and art across our rohe (district). This is also our unique selling point and what makes us special.

Ākona Te Reo | Learn Te Reo


We are very lucky in Rotorua to have a myriad of options for learning te reo Māori – in person online or through apps – You choose what’s right for you!

If you provide te reo Māori classes in Rotorua, please feel free to let us know and we can include you in our list!

On location classes

Kōtihi Reo Consultants
Tikanga Aroaro (based in Rotorua)
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (locations nationwide)
Te Ataarangi (locations nationwide)

Ngā whakaahua | #RotoruaReorua Gallery

What does Reorua look like? It’s signage, it’s people embracing Te Reo in the workplace, at home, at papa takaro/playgrounds , at kura/school, anywhere and everywhere. Share your whakaahua on social media using #RotoruaReorua

Reorua workplaces

Organisations and workplaces have already taken up the wero to become Reorua. A new business award celebrating Reorua workplaces has been launched this year putting a spotlight on the organisations who have embraced Te Reo Maori so far.

Bilingual Rotorua alive at OCS NZ

Scrubbing up on their te reo Māori skills is facilities management services company,OCS New Zealand, with their Rotorua branch replacing its signage to reflect the city’s bilingual vision.

Rotorua’s commitment to become New Zealand’s first bilingual city became official on 11 August 2017, acknowledging the district’s history and whakapapa (cultural identity), and reinforcing the region’s reputation as the heartland of Māori culture.

OCS New Zealand Rotorua branch manager, Averill Baird says almost 40 per cent of Rotorua’s population identify as Māori, as do a large number of OCS team members across New Zealand.

Read more…

New-look categories for Westpac Rotorua Business Excellence Awards

Rotorua businesses have the opportunity to compete in the Bilingual Business Award at the Westpac Rotorua Business Excellence Awards.

The tohu recognising dedication to reorua (bilingulism) was introduced to the event in 2018.

At the time, Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Allison Lawton, said the bilingual business award fitted well with Rotorua’s goal to become New Zealand’s first bilingual city.

“It is important to us to have an award which highlights our city’s cultural goals. This new award will recognise the importance and value of Rotorua’s bilingual city status, as well as displaying bilingual opportunities within your business or organisation.”

Te Tatau o Te Arawa, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, was pleased to champion the Reorua Award as part of its goal to strengthen Rotorua’s identity as New Zealand’s first reorua (bilingual) city.

Read more…

The value of using Te Reo in your workplace

Embracing Rotorua Reorua in your organisation can add value and attract business in a simple and cost-effective way! This could be as simple as using te reo Māori in signage, stationery, in brochures, websites, social media, how you greet/engage with your clientele or by providing a service in te reo Māori. And best of all- you don’t need to be a fluent speaker to use the language!

Investing in your staff and their development

To elevate the value of Rotorua Reorua in your organisation you may also wish to promote te reo Māori, Rotorua/Te Arawa history and kōrero (stories) as professional development opportunities for your staff. Not only would this help in building a wider community understanding of our Rotorua story, but when shared with customers it would also provide valuable insight and deepen their connection with our people and place.  You may also wish to pursue professional development for your staff to give them confidence in their pronunciation of te reo Māori.

As the cultural destination of New Zealand and the birthplace of tourism, we have a unique story that continues to attract both international and domestic visitors. Telling the historical and contemporary story through Rotorua Reorua will allow you to capitalise off this brand, and effort being put in place Te Tatau o Te Arawa in partnership with the Council.

International examples like Galway City and County where the Irish language is worth €136million show us the potential value for Rotorua. [By: Bane Mullarkey Ltd. in partnership with Jerome Casey & Co. Ltd]

TORU – Ngā tohu | Signage

We all know that signage (internal and external) is key to promoting your organisation’s brand and plays a huge role in attracting customers to your organisation. Bilingual signage doesn’t have to take away from the brand or logo, if anything it can add a point of difference and interest.

Use common Te reo Māori greetings such as Kia ora (Hello!) and Ngā mihi (thank you!)

Make some internal signs (that are printed in-house) bilingual – such as:

WHA – Ngā mea whakatairanga | Promotional material

When you are redesigning or reprinting brochures, leaflets, business cards – basically anything you print or use to promote your business to clients and potential clients, ask your designer or printer to incorporate te reo Māori into the material. If you are short on space use bilingual headings, and perhaps some phrases in te reo Māori throughout the leaflet / brochure. If you want the full effect, consider publishing your material bilingually.

We highly recommend you utilise qualified translators to ensure the quality and consistency of te reo Māori. A list of qualified translators and their contact details are here

It’s also important to be aware that different rohe (regions) and iwi (tribes) have different dialects and Te Arawa is no different. For this reason we also highly recommend that you utilise those translators who have signalled their connection to Te Arawa.

Where to start

Koia kei a koe! (good on you!), you have made the first step towards embracing Rotorua Reorua. No one is expecting you to conduct your business in te reo…yet. Te reo Māori can be used in business  to show courtesy to our language and our bilingual city environment and as a marketing tool to recognise te reo-speaking customers.

We have developed a series of small steps to help you get started on this journey.

TAHI – Ngā wawata | Goals and aspirations

A simple way to incorporate te reo Māori into your organisation is to identify your goals and aspirations and slowly work towards achieving them over time.

RUA – Ngā pukapuka | Stationery and documents

Start by identifying one area where you can incorporate te reo Māori and develop bilingualism from there. For example you could decide on a bilingual format for your stationery and when the company is printing new stationery in the next print run they can use the Reorua format.

Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori has some helpful orthography guidelines you can use as a reference here

For a comprehensive list of useful/common phrases used around the office check out Te Taurawhiri o te reo Māori suggestions here

Further guidelines on bilingual signage can be found here

RIMA – Pae tukutuku | Website

Show off your Reorua organisation online!  Whether you go for a fully bilingual website, or incorporate te reo Māori in headings and text, we recommend that both languages are visible on most pages – so that those viewing the English will get a sense of the bilingualism.

ONO – Kaikōrero | Te reo speakers

If you’re lucky enough to have te reo Māori speakers working in your organisation, let your customers know! If te reo Māori speakers in your organisation are comfortable doing their job in te reo Māori (check with them first), then you have a great asset and you may wish to find ways to recognise them for this extra skillset.

Confident te reo Māori speakers generally appreciate the opportunity to do business in te reo, but they need to know who speaks te reo. Perhaps you could display a picture of your te reo Māori-speaking staff member/s, alternatively Te Puni Kōkiri have a number of KŌRERO pins available for pick up at their Haupapa Street office that can be utilised to signal those who are happy to be spoken to in te reo Māori.

Papa tākaro | Reorua play areas

The first Reorua playground in Rotorua and Aotearoa opens during Matariki. Check out Taikākā, located near Teletubby Hill in the Government Gardens. For an even better experience, watch our videos showing you the rules of some fun Reo Māori kemu (games).

Mātakitaki mai!