Māori Audio Bible Launch

Revitalising Faith and Language through Partnership  

On September 11th, 2023, a historic partnership was unveiled, marking a momentous milestone in the ongoing revitalisation of te reo Māori and the reach of Te Paipera Tapu (the Māori Bible). Bible Society New Zealand and Te Wānanga Ihorangi have joined forces in a ground-breaking collaboration to bring forth the Māori Audio Bible, a visionary project aimed at recording the complete Māori Bible in audio format. The journey of this partnership was inspired by a shared passion for te reo Māori, uniting Rev’d Te Karere Scarborough, Tumuaki (Co-Principal) of Te Wānanga Ihorangi, and Steve McRobie, the Relationships Director at Bible Society New Zealand. Beyond mere collaboration, this partnership embodies unity in Christ and a shared mission to make the Bible available and accessible to all in their heart language. 

The History of Te Paipera Tapu

Te Paipera Tapu was first published by Bible Society in 1868.  Since then, three further editions of Te Paipera Tapu have been published, in 1889, 1925 and 1952.  In 2012, Bible Society published a reformatted edition of the 1952 text featuring paragraphs, macrons and punctuation to help readers understand the text. In 2014, exactly 200 hundred years after Samuel Marsden first brought the Bible to New Zealand, Bible Society published the first new sample translations of Te Rongopai a Ruka (The Gospel of Luke) as part of the project to produce a new edition of Te Paipera Tapu in contemporary Māori. Bible Society has an ongoing commitment to the people of Aotearoa, te reo Māori that also saw the launch in 2022 of the new side by side bilingual Māori and english text of the 2012 reformatted Paipera Tapu and the New Revised Standard Version.   

Partnership of sIgnificance

The partnership carries deep significance for both organisations, extending far beyond collaboration; it presents a unique opportunity to increase the accessibility of the Māori Scriptures and encourage interaction with the Word, driving the ongoing revitalisation of te reo Māori and the reach of Te Paipera Tapu. This harmonious blend ensures that the Māori Audio Bible project will not only record the Scriptures but also resonate with the hearts of the Māori people, fostering cultural pride and linguistic revival while spreading the message of faith. 

Recognising the magnitude of this project, which encompasses all 66 books of the Māori Bible, a thoughtful and incremental approach has been adopted, ensuring timely and appropriate releases. The intention is to involve the community in this transformative process and celebrate milestones collectively. Ultimately, the completion of the entire Māori Audio Bible will be marked by a grand celebration, uplifting Te Paipera Tapu throughout Aotearoa. 

Rev’d Te Karere Scarborough envisions a project duration of 2.5 to 3 years, with the desired outcome being a fully recorded Māori Audio Bible accessible through all major platforms. This resource will honor the oral tradition of the Māori people, allowing the stories, teachings, and wisdom of the Bible to be heard and cherished by the community, serving as a valuable tool for both faith and language needs. 

Te Wānanga Ihorangi’s involvement is deeply rooted in their identity as a faith-based Māori language school, recognizing the power of language and oral tradition within their culture. By participating in this partnership, Te Wānanga Ihorangi actively contributes to the preservation and revitalisation of Māori language and makes the Māori Bible available in a new format. While Te Wānanga Ihorangi and the Bible Society have contributed significantly, community support remains essential. A forthcoming fundraising campaign will offer individuals and groups an opportunity to contribute to this ambitious and impactful initiative, ensuring the preservation of a cultural treasure and its accessibility for generations to come. 

The Journey Begins

The launch event on September 11, 2023, held at Te Ana Tapu | Holy Sepulchre in Auckland, was a momentous occasion. The event featured a special reading of Luke’s Gospel, accompanied by taonga puoro, waiata, and haka, creating an immersive experience that embodies Māori culture and its deep-rooted connection to the Word of God. This launch marks the beginning of a journey that will resonate with the community, uniting hearts and voices in celebration of faith and language. 


In conclusion, the Māori Audio Bible launch represents more than just the recording of sacred texts. It’s a profound embodiment of unity, culture, and faith. With Te Wānanga Ihorangi and Bible Society New Zealand at the helm, this project stands as a testament to the enduring power of partnership and the commitment to preserving Māori language and heritage, helping fulfill the mission to make the Bible available to all. As communities gather to support the launch, they embrace a shared responsibility to ensure that the richness of te reo Māori and the teachings of the Bible continue to thrive for generations to come.  


THE Māori Audio Bible

To learn more about the Māori Audio Bible project, listen to an audio recording from the Gospel of Luke in te reo Māori, and sign up to join the journey, click here.

Te Wānanga Ihorangi

Te Wānanga Ihorangi is a faith-based Māori language school in Henderson, Waitākere. Our programmes, kura reo, and media content are dedicated to the reclamation, preservation, and revitalisation of te reo Māori in Aotearoa


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