Kia ora!

My name is Roimata Smail.  I am a human rights lawyer, specialising for nearly two decades in the Treaty of Waitangi.  You can see more about me at    I also 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

I initially created Wai Ako to help my husband Sam who is is an English medium primary school teacher of two decades experience.  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 that he could use to get singing some key phrases - with correct pronunciation!  We created press play and go lessons with cartoon teachers to make it fun and effortless for teachers to play 5 minutes a day. 

I am excited that I have been able to put my experience as a lawyer to use in Wai Ako, with our first NZ history and Treaty of Waitangi lessons added in 2021 (more are being added all the time).  

We now have over 300 videos ready to play in class!

In 2022 we launched Wai Ako Books, see our latest titles at

Wai Ako was launched in 2017 and now is being used by over twenty thousand children throughout Aotearoa.

If you email us at, my Mum Jeanette, who was a teacher for four decades will answer your email and help you with any information you need.  

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Wai Ako has been profiled in the media!

Radio NZ and Hawkes Bay Today ran stories about our NZ history and Treaty of Waitangi lessons. See also other stories by Radio NZ and North Shore Times.

Education GazetteKea Kids News and School News all ran stories about the fantastic work of Torbay School using Wai Ako to empower student led learning.