Te Tohu Paetahi 2017/2018

Te Tohu Paetahi, our total immersion Māori language specialisation, has paved the way for the revitalisation of our ancestral language since 1991.

The University of Waikato created the first intensive te reo Māori immersion programme in response to concerns that the language proficiency of students completing their Bachelors degree with a Major in te reo Māori was not at a high enough standard to make a significant impact on the growth and retention of the language.

Twenty-five years on, te reo Māori is flourishing at Waikato, and 2016 saw the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies celebrating 25 years of the Te Tohu Paetahi programme.

All students enrolling in a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Māori and Pacific Development (BMPD) who are Majoring in Te Reo Māori have the opportunity to further develop their knowledge with our Te Tohu Paetahi specialisation. The specialisation is taught predominantly in te reo Māori and usually takes three years to complete.

The main focus of the specialisation is to provide students with a unique Māori language immersion pathway or context in which papers in te reo Māori are concentrated into the first year of their degree programme, with a goal of producing students who can fluently, competently and proficiently speak in te reo Māori. Secondly, to provide students with a safe, conducive and supportive whānau-based learning environment, which operates in a culturally rich context beginning each day with karakia and kapa haka, and ending with karakia, which are integral components in language acquisition.

There are two main aspects of this specialisation:

  1. Students choosing either the BA or BMPD degree must achieve 360 points. Of that, 290 points of the degree must be gained from papers taught through the medium of te reo Māori. These points are generally drawn from the Te Reo Māori and Tikanga Māori subjects.
  2. In the first year of study, students are required to take six compulsory te reo Māori language acquisition papers (credit point value of 110 points), listed below. Papers commence at the introductory level moving through to post-intermediate level. Each paper is taught in a 4-5 week block period through an intensive total immersion language teaching and learning environment. Students must successfully pass each paper to move to the next paper and remain in the programme.

Students intending to complete the entire specialisation, must also complete the requirements of the Major subject, Te Reo Māori which consists of 120 points. Students must include REOM313 Te Reo Māori: Pre-advanced, and REOM314 Te Reo Māori: Advanced. The remaining 170 points for the specialisation will be gained through papers taught across any subject taught through the medium of te reo Māori. To fully complete the degree requirements, students can select a further 70 points in any subject of their choosing, or continue to select papers taught through the medium of te reo Māori.

Students doing conjoint degrees have a slightly modified programme. For the BA or BMPD component of the conjoint degree, students must complete a total of 275 points beginning with the first year of the specialisation made up of the six langauge acquisition papers listed below (110 points). Students will also complete the Te Reo Māori Major and satisfy the remaining 165 points in subsequent years while fulfilling the other conjoint degree component.

All students completing the specialisation within their degree, will not be required to complete a minor subject. This is because there are not enough papers in other subjects taught through the medium of te reo Māori to make up the minor subject.

Students wanting to do the first year of the programme only, which is dedicated to learning the language, can complete a one-year qualification. Students opting for this pathway should enrol in a certificate or diploma. Other students may choose to enrol in another qualification other than the BA or BMPD. Talk to the Faculty about pursuing any of these options.

Important note: From 2018, the Bachelor of Māori and Pacific Development (BMPD) degree will not be available to new enrolments.

The first year of the specialisation is an intensive workload, and classes are held between 9am - 3pm Monday to Friday. Each day begins with a karakia, mihimihi and kapa haka.

All applicants to the first-year of the specialisation are required to attend an interview and are assessed on their academic ability, level of commitment to the development of te reo Māori, and willingness to contribute to the positive well-being of local communities.

In 2017 the Hukatai stream (for beginners) will be offered on campus. This will run from Monday 27 February - Friday 20 October.

If you are interested in applying to the programme please contact the Faculty on 07 838 4737 or email

2017 Papers, Dates and Fees

Papers, teaching dates and tuition fees for the first year of the programme are tabled below:

PaperPoints DatesTuition Fee
REOM111-17C (HAM)15Mon 27 Feb - Fri 31 March$735.00
REOM112-17C (HAM) 15 Mon 17 April - Fri 19 May $735.00
REOM211-17C (HAM) 20 Mon 29 May - Fri 23 June $980.00
REOM212-17C (HAM) 20 Mon 17 July - Fri 11 Aug $980.00
REOM213-17C (HAM) 20 Mon 21 Aug - Fri 15 Sept $980.00
REOM214-17C (HAM)20Mon 25 Sept - Fri 20 Oct$980.00

2018 Papers, Dates and Fees

Note: New paper codes apply from 2018, and all papers will have a credit point value of 15 points. Fees information is not yet available.

PaperPointsDatesTuition Fee
MAORI111-18C (HAM)15Mon 26 Feb - Fri 30 MarchTBA
MAORI112-18C (HAM)15Mon 16 April - Fri 11 MayTBA
MAORI211-18C (HAM)15Mon 21 May - Fri 15 JuneTBA
MAORI212-18C (HAM)15Mon 2 July - Fri 27 JulyTBA
MAORI213-18C (HAM)15Mon 6 Aug - Fri 31 AugTBA
MAORI214-18C (HAM)15Mon 17 Sept - Fri 12 OctTBA