Kia ora!  

My name is Roimata Smail.  I initially created Wai Ako to help my husband who is is an English medium primary school teacher.  He wanted to learn te Reo Māori with his year 3 students but as a beginner didn't know where to start or even how to pronounce most of the words.  As a long time learner of te Reo I understood  the challenges.  With my husband testing every step of the way, I came up with some waiata (songs) that he could use to get singing some key phrases - with correct pronunciation!  We soon realised that the waiata might be of use to other teachers and I turned them into the Wai Ako programme.

I want to give teachers a way to learn with their students and build up the confidence to use te Reo in their classrooms.  The waiata are simple, repetitive and there is minimal planning time required - just play the videos and get started with your lesson!  My vision for Wai Ako is that te Reo Māori is spoken daily in every New Zealand school. Please enjoy exploring Wai Ako and trying out the first waiata, Ata mārie, for free.  

In my other life, I am a human rights lawyer, specialising in the Treaty of Waitangi and discrimination issues for Māori.  With another lawyer I have a consultancy providing workshops on the Treaty of Waitangi for organisations, and have presented to a number of schools.  To check this out go to

Ngā mihi, Roimata


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