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Study Māori Studies at Otago

Looking to the past for your future.

Māori Studies is an entry point for students wishing to engage with knowledge about the Māori world. It is a broad programme dedicated to the study of te reo Māori (Māori language), tikanga Māori (Māori customary lore) and aspects of te ao Māori (the Māori world).

Māori society is not static. Engaging in these three areas together enables you to enter this world and provides you with the foundations to analyse how this body of knowledge can be applied in today’s ever-changing world.

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Why study Māori Studies?

Māori Studies will provide you with an enhanced knowledge and understanding of the Māori language, Māori customary lore and the Māori world. This knowledge and understanding may be integrated with other studies or professional areas such as business, education, health, law, management, the media, public administration and social work.

Government ministries, businesses, social agencies and educational institutions in New Zealand recognise the need for employees with such knowledge and skills. Excellent employment prospects await graduates with knowledge of issues affecting Māori and other peoples in New Zealand.

The Māori Studies programme will equip students with a wide range of skills giving graduates:

  • A high level of fluency in the Māori language
  • An understanding of contemporary Māori issues combined with an understanding of, for example, history, cultural expression and environmental concerns
  • An awareness of ethical issues in relation to Māori in the context of past and present practices, and society and culture
  • Skills in intercultural communication
  • Research skills
  • Analytical thinking
  • Communication skills
  • Team work
  • Independent judgement
  • An ability to relate to people from a wide range of backgrounds

Māori Studies encourages you to explore the connectivity between different disciplines so as to enable indigenous communities to determine their own future.

Graduates develop a multidisciplinary, culturally inflected understanding of contemporary Māori concepts and issues, including the use of cooperation rather than competition, listening as well as communicating with others, and respecting differences.

Career opportunities

Graduates with a degree in Māori Studies have a broad interdisciplinary knowledge base.

This can lead to careers in the  fields of:

  • Government ministries
  • Policy and governance
  • Teaching
  • Arts advisors, museum curators
  • Business
  • Law
  • Public health
  • Community organisations

Māori Studies graduates are needed to help find ways to address the needs and interests of the Māori community and to help to promote and implement the goals of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Having more than one major in your degree, or a major plus a minor, will make you more marketable and attractive to prospective employers. A major in Māori Studies will be your point of difference in your chosen career.

Background required

No knowledge of the Māori language or culture is required for entry to Māori Studies. Students may be placed in more advanced Maāori language papers appropriate to their level of knowledge. There is also a University-approved process where prior non-credentialed learning is recognised for credit for some papers.


Māori Studies as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BCom, BEntr, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree 

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (BEntr), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree

100-level Two 100-level MAOR papers


200-level One 200-level MAOR paper, and one further INDS, MAOR or PACI paper at 200-level or above


300-level One 300-level MAOR paper 18
Total 90

MAOR papers

Paper Code Year Title Points Teaching period
MAOR102 2024 Māori Society 18 Semester 1, Semester 2
MAOR108 2024 Waiata: Te Tīmatanga 18 Semester 1
MAOR110 2024 Introduction to Conversational Māori 18 Semester 1, Semester 2, Summer School
MAOR111 2024 Te Kākano 1 18 Semester 1
MAOR112 2024 Te Kākano 2 18 Semester 2
MAOR120 2024 Introducing the Māori World 18 1st Non standard period
MAOR202 2024 Māori and Tikanga 18 Semester 1
MAOR203 2024 Ngāi Tahu Society 18 Semester 1
MAOR204 2024 Te Tiriti o Waitangi 18 Semester 2
MAOR206 2024 Ngā Pūkenga Tuhi 18 Semester 2
MAOR207 2024 Ngā Kōrero Nehe - Tribal Histories 18 Not offered in 2024
MAOR208 2024 Ngā Manu Taki 18 Not offered in 2024
MAOR210 2024 Special Topic 18 Not offered in 2024
MAOR211 2024 Te Pihinga 1 18 Semester 1
MAOR212 2024 Te Pihinga 2 18 Semester 2
MAOR213 2024 Te Mana o Te Reo 18 Not offered in 2024
MAOR301 2024 He Whakarākai 18 Not offered in 2024
MAOR303 2024 Ngāi Tahu and the Natural World 18 Not offered in 2024
MAOR304 2024 Te Rōpū Whakamana i Te Tiriti - Waitangi Tribunal 18 Not offered in 2024
MAOR306 2024 Ngā Pūkenga Tuhi 18 Semester 2
MAOR307 2024 Te Tūtakitanga o Ngā Ao e Rua 18 Not offered in 2024
MAOR308 2024 Ngā Hākinakina a Te Māori 18 Semester 2
MAOR310 2024 Special Topic 18 Not offered in 2024
MAOR311 2024 Te Māhuri 1 18 Semester 1
MAOR312 2024 Te Māhuri 2 18 Semester 2
MAOR313 2024 Te Hiringa Taketake 18 Semester 1
MAOR316 2024 Special Topic 18 Not offered in 2024
MAOR327 2024 Ngā Pakanga Nunui: New Zealand Wars 18 Semester 1
MAOR401 2024 He Whakarākai (Whakatīeke) 20 Not offered in 2024
MAOR404 2024 Toitū te Whenua - Land, Lore and Colonialism 20 Semester 2
MAOR407 2024 Presenting Pacific Histories 20 Semester 1
MAOR410 2024 Special Topic 20 Not offered in 2024
MAOR413 2024 Te Tātari i Te Kaupapa - Māori and Indigenous Education 20 Not offered in 2024
MAOR414 2024 He Pūkōrero - Theory and Research Methodologies 20 Not offered in 2024
MAOR417 2024 Special Topic 20 Not offered in 2024
MAOR427 2024 He Tuhituhinga 20 Not offered in 2024
MAOR431 2024 Te Kōhure 20 Not offered in 2024
MAOR490 2024 He Raukura 60 Full Year, 1st Non standard period
MAOR590 2024 Research Dissertation 60 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period

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Te Tumu, School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies

Studying at Otago

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Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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