Our Kaupapa

The Aotearoa Rockstars Project (ARP) focuses on empowering young Māori speakers to encourage others to speak the indigenous Māori language of Aotearoa New Zealand, one community at a time. Founded in tikanga Māori – culturally inclusive principles and values, ARP centres around the belief that it takes a village to raise a child, and a child to change a village. This belief underpins the idea that the Māori language is for all New Zealanders to learn and share.


He reo mō tātou katoa

A language that belongs to us all


Kia āta haere

Start with small steps


Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi

Communities helping communities


Whakaharataua, kia pūmau

Practice makes permanent


Arohaina tō ake ūkaipō

Be proud to be from Aotearoa

Meet Our Team

Teariki Tuiono

Founder, Project Manager, University of Canterbury PhD Researcher, Programme Developer, and Social Media Analyst.

Nathan Riki

Professional Workshop Facilitator, Culturally Responsive Cluster Leader and Whānau class teacher at Breens Intermediate


Admin & Logistics


Admin & Logistics






Finance Administrator


Admin & Logistics


Logistics & Hospitality


Graphic Design


Graphic Design


Funding & Sponsorship

Tāhuhu Kōrero


Organisational History

ARP is the brainchild of Teariki Tuiono, an Auckland primary school teacher currently completing his PhD at the University of Canterbury. The project focuses on empowering young Māori speakers to encourage others to speak our indigenous Māori language through culturally inclusive principles and values, one community at a time.

In 2019, a 5-week pilot project was launched in Christchurch partnering Breens Intermediate School with surrounding businesses and community organisations – Bishopdale’s Gardenfresh Greengrocer, the Bishopdale library and the YMCA Christchurch.

The programme started with a marae noho at Rāpaki marae where students were able to get to know the frontline staff in the businesses and community organisations that surrounded their school. During the next five weeks, these staff and students learnt weekly te reo Māori words and phrases to be used at the worksites each week. To best prepare staff and students, weekly professional development sessions were held. This provided students and staff interpersonal skills and the knowledge to engage with customers and the community in a culturally inclusive manner.

The pilot was completed on Friday 28 June to coincide with Matariki celebrations. A range of health and wellbeing workshops were held as well as a special assembly to showcase the learnings and successes of staff and students using te reo Māori in the wider community.

The project, with community support, will be replicated in other Christchurch communities later this year.


Encouraging and empowering young te reo Māori speakers to change communities, one community at a time.