First Lessons in Maori
Why, as an interrogative, is expressed by he aha or by na te aha, the verb being followed by ai. He aha is generally used as in reference to a purpose or object in view (a); na te aha in reference to an antecedent cause (b). The construction with he aha may be varied by using an infinitive with a possessive pronoun, in this case the reference is usually to the cause not to the purpose (c).
The reason why is expressed by the use of take followed by a relative clause with ai, (§ 73) (d).
Why is also frequently rendered by paraphrase, by the use of the expression he aha te take, with a relative clause as above (e).page 54
He aha a Turi i haere ai ki Taupo? He tiki i tana tamaiti. Why did Turi go to Taupo? To fetch his child.
Na te aha ia i kore ai e tutuki ki Waiapu? Na te waipuke. Why did he not reach Waiapu? Because of the flood.
He aha tau e kata, or He aha to kata? Why are you laughing?
Ko te take tena i kore ai ia e haere, That is the reason why he did not go.
He aha te take i haere ai ia? Why did he go?