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Ngā Tau – Māori Numbers with Play Learn Grow ECE

Ngā Tau are the māori numbers. We will give the māori kupu (word), then the number and english word for each number.

KupuEnglish
tahi1 one
rua2 two
toru3 three
whā4 four
rima5 five
ono6 six
whitu7 seven
waru8 eight
iwa9 nine
tekau10 ten
rau100 hundred
mano1,000 thousand
eword which precedes numbers 2-9 when counting objects
tua-prefix to numbers 1-9 to create ordinal numbers: first, second, third etc.
toko-prefix to numbers 2-9 when counting people

Lets hear from te reo māori master Professor Scotty Morrison on how to pronounce and use ngā tau correctly with these three audio links:

Numbers – Part 1
Numbers – Part 2
Numbers – Part 3

All numbers from 11 and onwards follow a basic pattern. For example to say thirty-seven, simple say toru tekau, which means 30 and then mā whitu, Toru tekau mā whitu (37).

So with Play Learn Grow early childcare education learning the māori numbers is so easy. Know you know that all you need to do is to learn the numbers from 1 – 10 and then the words for 10, 20, 30, 40 and so on.

  • 11 – tekau mā tahi
  • 12 – tekau mā rua
  • 13 – tekau mā toru
  • 14 – tekau mā whā
  • 15 – tekau mā rima
  • 16 – tekau mā ono
  • 17 – tekau mā whitu
  • 18 – tekau mā waru
  • 19 – tekau mā iwa
  • 20 – rua tekau
  • 21 – rua tekau mā tahi
  • 22 – rua tekau mā rua
  • 23 – rua tekau mā toru
  • 30 – toru tekau
  • 40 – whā tekau
  • 50 – rima tekau
  • 60 – ono tekau
  • 70 – whitu tekau
  • 80 – waru tekau
  • 90 – iwa tekau
  • 100 – kotahi rau
  • 101 – kotahi rau tahi
  • 159 – kotahi rau rima tekau mā iwa
  • 200 – rua rau
  • 300 – toru rau
  • 400 – whā rau
  • 500 – rima rau
  • 600 – ono rau
  • 700 – whitu rau
  • 800 – waru rau
  • 900 – iwa rau
  • 1000 – kotahi mano (one thousand)
  • 1993 – kotahi mano, iwa rau, iwa tekau mā toru
  • 2000 – rua mano
  • 2021- rua mano, rua tekau mā tahi
  • 3000 – toru mano
  • 4000 – whā mano
  • 5000 – rima mano
  • 6000 – ono mano
  • 7000 – whitu mano
  • 8000 – waru mano
  • 9000 – iwa mano
  • 10000 – tekau mano
  • 1,000,000 – kotahi miriona (one million)
  • 2,000,000 – rua miriona
  • 1,000,000,000 – tahi piriona (one billion)
Scotty and Stacey Morrison write te reo language book Maori at Home - NZ  Herald
Scott and Stacey Morrison and their tamariki

Te Pū Taka Māori (the Māori alphabet)

At Play Learn Grow early childcare we teach our preschoolers about Te Pū Taka Māori (the Māori alphabet). This gives them the best start when they get to school as well as many years of happy learning. Te Pū Taka Māori consists of 10 consonants and 5 vowels, as opposed to the English alphabet with its 21 consonants and 5 vowels.

In alphabetical order they are

a, e, h, i, k, m, n, ng, o, p, r, t, u, w, wh

There are

five vowels: a, e, i, o, u

ten consonants: h, k, m, n, ng, p, r, t, w, wh

Two of the consonants are digraphs (two letters that combine to form one sound): wh, ng

We acknowledge that there are a number of iwi that have their own different dialects (e.g. Ngai Tahu in the South Island replace ‘ng’ with ‘k’). The focus is on mainstream te reo māori.

Stacey and Scotty Morrison's Māori at Home book an 'up-and-go survival  guide' | Stuff.co.nz
Professor Scott Morrison and Stacey Morrison – Authors of “Māori Made Easy” Books

Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Māori (The Māori Language Commission) have helpfully funded a number of great resources. This includes Professor Scotty Morrison (Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa iwi), well-known presenter of current affairs programmes Te Karere, Marae, OneNews and numerous other programmes, talking about pronunciation:

Part One (Tahi) on Te Reo Māori Pronunciation with Professor Scott Morrison
Part Two (Rua) on Te Reo Māori Pronunciation with Professor Scott Morrison
Part Three (Toru) on Te Reo Māori Pronunciation with Professor Scott Morrison

Ka rawe (awesome)! Well done on practising your Te Reo Māori pronunciation whānau. We are so proud to share our passion for our beautiful language of Aoteoroa.

Mauri mahi, mauri ora; mauri noho, mauri mate.
Industry begets prosperity (security); idleness begets poverty (insecurity).

This is a great waiata that you can teach your children how the vowels sound in Te Reo Maori