Translations into Māori language?

I have this idea to try to get the Metta sutta translated into Māori and have the kids in the Dhamma school chant it for Vesak. (without a haka, for sure😝).

Would anyone have any leads on how I might go about getting this done? I know it’s a long shot, but I have to start somewhere, eh?


Awesome idea! Maybe contact ayya adhimutta?


That would be wonderful! Useful for more than just kids, given that Māori is an official language here… :heart:

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Right. My understanding of the situation is really just from reading things online and a brief visit. From what I have gathered there is a big movement to promote Maori language learning, both by the government and and others. And that although the number of truly fluent Maori speakers is very low, there is a keen interest and that using Maori language shows committment to New Zeland-ness.

And if kids are learning some Maori in school, then having suttas in Maori language helps to promote a integrated language awareness.

@mikenz66, do you have any ideas about how I might go about this, considering I can’t say anything in Maori other than hello?


I’m afraid my knowledge of Maori is rudimentary. I’ll make some enquiries.

Yes, this is helping. It’s common now to use Māori for ceremonial occasions. For example, our National Anthem is now usually done as one verse in Māori and one in English, or sing an uplifting waiata (song) to start or end a meeting. I can imagine some New Zealand groups taking a Māori translation of the Metta Sutta on board.



That’s all good news. Do you know if there are even people for hire to do translation into Māori? I was thinking of contacting the universities. I’ll be in Auckland.

I’m only beginning to learn about NZ culture. But I did assume that there would be a particular way the sutta could be performed. This waiata of the Lord’s Prayer seems like a good model

However it’s not nearly as catchy as this one… That video is like a gift that keeps on giving.

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I’m sure there are people at Auckland University who could point you in the right direction (I’m in Christchurch).
I guess just getting someone to translate it would be straightforward. However, translating it in a poetic way that uses Māori idioms and concepts would be more of a challenge.

You might consider the translation of Dave Dobbin’s song “Welcome Home/ Nau Mai Rā” as an illustration of what’s possible:



Or our National Anthem:

Lyrics, including a back-translation of the Māori version:

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I’m kinda disappointed there’ll be no haka, but I suppose it’d defeat the purpose. :wink:




Not a haka, but here is a traditional welcome - a Powhari - welcoming our former Prime Minister to the UN: