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The King Country; or, Explorations in New Zealand. A Narrative of 600 Miles of Travel through Maoriland.

A Brief Reference to the Maori Language

page 366

A Brief Reference to the Maori Language.

The Maori alphabet is composed of fourteen letters, namely:—


  • H, K, M, N, P, R, T, W, NG.


  • A, E, I, O, U.


  • aa, ae, ai, ao, au, ee, ei, ii, oo, ou, uu.
Vowels. Sound. 1
a as a in father.
e as a in fare.
i as ee in sleep.
o as o in mole.
u as oo in shoot.
Consonants. How named.
h ha.
k ka.
m ma.
n na.
p pa.
r ra.
t ta.
w wa.
ng nga.

1 It may be set down as a general rule, to which there are, however, some few exceptions, that Maori words are always accented on the first syllable, but compound words, or words which have the dissyllabic root doubled, have a secondary accent on the second portion of the word.