Māori Language Program at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa


Mary Boyce is the Māori Program Coordinator. Mary is a Pākehā New Zealander, with affiliations to Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rākaipaaka and Rongomaiwahine through her son. She began her Māori language learning journey as a young adult and has spent many years learning, teaching and researching the language.

Before taking up the position here at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, she worked for Huia Publications, the leading Māori publishing company where she led a research unit, and amongst other tasks, did corpus compilation and analysis to inform the production of resources in Māori for immersion education settings.

She taught at Victoria University of Wellington for 22 years, first in the Department of Māori Studies in the 1980s, and then in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies in the 1990s. While in the Department of Māori Studies, Mary taught Māori language proficiency classes and courses on the sociolinguistic status and history of the language, and on language structure.

In the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies she taught language teaching methods and academic writing and lectured on language and power, language maintenance and shift and the role and status of the Māori language.

Her research has been focused on Māori language learning and teaching. She designed and compiled the first significant corpus of spoken Māori, the Māori Broadcast Corpus, and used that to identify high frequency vocabulary for learners of Māori. She was the lexicographer on the team that produced Tirohia Kimihia, the first monolingual dictionary of Māori to be published (2006).

Her current major research project is the Legal Māori Project, a corpus and dictionary project which will culminate in a dictionary of Māori legal terms. The Legal Māori Corpus is the largest known publicly available corpus of Māori, and includes approximately 8 million words of written legal texts in Māori.

She is also exploring the spoken language of young speakers of Māori. Her work is currently focused on the language used in the playground at school.

Curriculum Vitae

Raukura 1

Taupiri te maunga Taupiri is my mountain
Waikato te awa Waikato is my river
He piko he taniwha, At every river bend resides a chief
Waikato Taniwharau Waikato, of many chiefs
He whare tēnei This is my house
Hangaia ki ngā pou made of humble timber
Mahoe, patatē, hīnau The māhoe, the patatē and the hīnau
He uri ahau nō Tūrongo rāua ko Mahinaranga, nō Whatihua rāua ko Apakura, nō Tainui Waka, Tainui Tangata,
Ko Te Raukura o Te Rangimārie Roa ahau.
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
I am a decedent of Tūrongo and Mahinarangi, of Whatihua and Apakura, of the Tainui Canoe, the Tainui people.
I am Te Raukura o Te Rangimarie Roa.
Greetings and salutations to you all.


2011| Bachelor of Māori Performing Arts Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi

2010| Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

2009| Doctor of Philosophy The University of Waikato

2009| Māori Performing Arts Cert. Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi

2003| Master of Arts The University of Waikato

2002| Bachelor of Arts (Hons) The University of Waikato

2001| Bachelor of Arts The University of Waikato


2012| Fulbright Scholar in Residence at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

2010| Te Wheke a Toi Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Waikato

2009| Te Tohu Kairangi Māori Academic Excellence Award

2008| Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust Doctoral Scholarship

2007| Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao Post-Graduate Excellence Award

2007| Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust Doctoral Scholarship

2006| Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao Post-Graduate Excellence Award

2005| Tertiary Education Commission Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarship

2005| Ngātu Hauā Wiremu Tamehana Tarapīpipi Te Waharoa Scholarship

2004| University of Waikato Doctoral Scholarship

2003| University of Waikato Masters Scholarship

2003| Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao Excellence Award


Roa, R. (2014). Preservation of Indigenous knowledge in Whare Whakairo. Keynote presentation  at the Hoʻokele Naʻauao: A Hawaiian Librarianship Symposium and preservation of the Hawaiian culture, Hawaiʻinuiākea, Kamakakūokalani, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Roa, R., A. Salā., M. Salā (2014). Hemo the Malo, Kowhiti the Piupiu: Celebrating Sexuality and Eroticism in Hawaiian and Māori Song. Paper presented at the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga conference, Auckland, NZ.

Roa, R. (2012). Me tangi rānei ki te hunga whakamomori? Te Kōtihitihi: Ngā Tuhinga reo Māori 2, 29-37

Roa, R. (2011). The Kapa Haka Phenomena. Paper presented at the WIPCE Conference. “Living our Indigenous Roots”, Cusco, Peru.

Roa, R. (2011). Mōteatea: Presenting the Past. Paper presented at the WIPCE Conference. “Living our Indigenous Roots”, Cusco, Peru.

Roa, R. (2011). Whakahokia te reo ki tōna taioretanga: He rautaki reo mō Waikato-Tainui. Te

Kōtihitihi: Ngā tuhinga reo Māori 1, 79-86

Roa, R. (2010). Te tira haere o Te Panekiretanga. Te Hookioi(34).

Roa, R. (2009, December). He tongikura. Te Hookioi.

Roa, R. (2008). The poetics of Māori existence: Words and images. Paper to be presented at the Seventh ESfO Conference. “Putting people First”: Intercultural Dialogue and Imagining the Future of Oceania, Verona, Italy.

Roa, R. (2008). Formulaic Macropatterning in Mōteatea. Unpublished doctoral thesis. University of Waikato, Hamilton.

Tūrangawaewae House. (2009). Hopuhopu: Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust.

Roa, R. (2007). Is there evidence that traditional mōteatea were composed from a common stock of oral formulae? Journal of Māori and Pacific Development, 8 (2).

Takurua, N., Nock, S., Greensill, H., Roa, R. (2007). Te Reo Māori and the teaching and learning of Te Reo Māori. Paper presented at the MAI Doctoral Conference: “Revitalising the Essence: Cosmology and Connectedness in Contemporary Times”, The University of Waikato.

Roa, R. (2004). Māori Waiata: Discourse structuring, sub-genres and aesthetics. Journal of Maori and Pacific Development, 5(1), 35-43.

Roa, R. (2003). A critical study of issues relating to the translation of five waiata from ngāti hauā. Unpublished Masters thesis. University of Waikato, Hamilton.

Roa, R. (2003). Ka Mahuta, Ngāti Haua and the importance of translation theory. Journal of Maori and Pacific Development, 4(2), 3-24.

Research Projects

2011| Pito ki te Paepae: Reserching the current state of the Paepae of Maniapoto

[The ‘paepae’ are the people who are known as the ‘keepers of the sacred knowledge of our people’. This research is an investigation of the state of the current paepae, with a view of improving their well being and authority]

2011| Reo Ora Whānau Ora: Transforming whānau through language and identity

[A Te Reo Māori programme specifically designed for implementation in Whānau Ora]

2011| Ngāti Apakura Mana Tangata

[Ngāti Apakura Oral and Traditional History Report]

2010| Te Kapa Haka o Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato Song Book

[The collation, editing and publishing of 30 years of songs composed for and by The Waikato University Kapa Haka Group]

2010| Karanga: The Voices of Maniapoto Women

[Research on the origins, traditions and language of Karanga from the women of Ngāti Maniapoto]

2009 – 2010| Waikato-Tainui Māori Language Strategy and Revitalisation

[Developing and implementing a Māori language strategy for Waikato-Tainui]

2008 – 2009| Ko Wai Tatou Research

[Researcher for the ‘Ko Wai Tātou’ Waikato-Tainui Tribal Survey]