Is it only the rich who can afford to learn Māori?

There are many published Māori Dictionaries, some general and others specialised that much tax payers money is consumed funding the creation of multiple resources of which many have major cross over in terms of words and definitions.

The Papakupu project has referenced over 200 various dictionaries and glossaries. The Canterbury Public Library online book catalog search lists over 80 dictionaries and is missing many of the specialist dictionaries and glossaries produced by government and educational facilities.

Often new words are created with out the creator knowing they already exist as there is no centralised point of seeing most Māori Kupu in one repository.

There is a plethora of Modern Māori dictionaries and glossaries containing many kupu hou of which I estimate most of the content can be found in various other publications.

Any student or speaker of Māori must use the Williams, Ryan and Ngata dictionaries* to begin. At a discounted cost for shopping online with a credit card this will cost over $139.00 and will still not be sufficient to have a reliable repository of Māori words to cope with the demands of a modern world.

To be a good communicator in this modern world then a number of other modern dictionaries are also required to accompany the two main Māori dictionaries. I estimate this could cost between $500 and $1000 assuming the student knew the publications existed and where to purchase these from.

The once free to access Kimi Kupu Hou is now a commercial product to the elite few who have the disposable income to pay to search for a word. This as well as the ability to own a credit card and also to feel comfortable to use it online with a faceless transaction with a commercially owned company.

Te Taura Whiri have a valuable resource of a database of kupu hou that the general public can not use. The company who commercialised Kimi Kupu Hou have also commercialised our tax payers funded kupu in the database making people pay twice or completely miss the opportunity to use the new kupu.

*Publication details below:

Ngata, H. M. 1993. English-Maori Dictionary. Wellington: Learning Media.

Williams, H.W. 1971. A Dictionary of the Māori Language. Wellington: Government Printer.

Ryan, P.M. 1997. Raupo Dictionary Of Modern Māori. Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd.

2 responses to “Is it only the rich who can afford to learn Māori?”

  1. Darryl R Marriner says:

    I think you need to look at Te Wananga O Aotearoa website or try the telephone system for their contacts. They have the only way I could learn Te Reo, with the only cost being my time and effort. I am now in year 2 on my way to the Certificate in “Te Ara Reo Maori”

    Good luck,
    Kia Kaha
    Arohanui

  2. Darryl R Marriner says:

    I think you need to look at Te Wananga O Aotearoa website or try the telephone system for their contacts. They have the only way I could learn Te Reo, with the only cost being my time and effort. I am now in year 2 on my way to the Certificate in “Te Ara Reo Maori”

    Good luck,
    Kia Kaha
    Arohanui

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