Ngā Pūrongo Aromatawai

Level 3 Te Reo Māori 2021

Standards 91652  91653


Part A:  Commentary

Candidates overall performed better than in previous years for both standards. There was evidence of genuine effort in most responses which indicates candidates were engaged in both examinations. 

Candidates should be able to demonstrate their understanding and use of grammatical structures and vocabulary from up to and including level 8 of the Te Reo Māori curriculum. They should be familiar with the appropriate Achievement Objectives from the teaching and learning curriculum guidelines in Te Aho Arataki Marau mō te Ako i Te Reo Māori-Kura Auraki.

Candidates are advised to make as many connections as they can between all stimulus material and the question. Candidates are reminded that quality answers need to be based on evidence in the texts and not based on. Conclusions or implied meanings should be supported by evidence from the text to demonstrate understanding. Top candidates tend to make relevant personal connections and go beyond the obvious with justification.

Candidates would benefit from targeted practice of examination techniques to reinforce the level of detail expected in answering at Excellence, Merit, and Achievement levels. This may also help develop skills required to interpret texts for inferred or implied meanings and to allocate time evenly for proof-reading answers before completion.

Part B:  Report on standards

91652:  Pānui kia mōhio ki te reo Māori o te ao whānui


Two parts of a letter, from a koro to his mokopuna about the local iwi Waitangi Tribunal claim, were written for the 2021 Pānui (91652) examination. These were in the separate resource booklet. There were three questions in the question paper. Question 1 referred to part one of the passage and Questions 2 and 3 were in reference to part two of the passage. 

The passage for this standard contained language appropriate for this level and was generic and topical; the candidate responses reflected this. The text being split into two parts with their own specific questions was a change from previous examinations. This change probably made it easier for candidates to know what parts of the text they should be referring to when answering each question. The kaupapa of a Treaty of Waitangi tribunal claim suited the context of a local or national issue well.

Candidates could answer in either English or te reo Māori and use whichever they were most comfortable with. Candidates were also encouraged to write answers in their own words. Each question allowed candidates to expand on answers with the use of appropriate whakataukī, through making a range of other connections to the text, through inference, and through justifying their statements.


Successful candidates showed an ability to write their responses to the questions in their own words. Their responses were structured and there was evidence of planning. Candidates should try to avoid repeating information from one answer to the next and use each of the parts of the text to inform their answer (as in the instructions). Candidates who were able to link ideas together with justifications for those ideas and who included examples from the text achieved at a merit or excellence level. Excellence candidates showed their ability to extend beyond what was presented in the text and incorporated their own justified opinions.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • showed some understanding of the texts and were able to extract keywords in their answers
  • located the correct answer from the text
  • included some ideas that were loosely related to the topic.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • copied answers directly from the text
  • did not attempt to answer most of the questions
  • did not answer in their own words
  • provided inaccurate responses
  • lacked comprehension
  • did not write answers based on information in the text.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • demonstrated sound understanding of the text
  • located the correct information and answered all the questions
  • gave detailed responses in their own words to answer the questions
  • attempted to link answers and descriptions
  • provided supporting evidence from the text or their own knowledge / experiences, with justification, for their answers
  • structured their answers in a logical manner.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the text, including clear inferences written in the texts and subtle details
  • used appropriate connected whakataukī to support their response
  • located the correct information and answered all the questions in their own words
  • provided extensive detail and justifications / explanations of their answers
  • incorporated evidence / information from the text into their answers
  • reflected on their own knowledge and experiences and incorporated this into their answers
  • structured their answers in a comprehensive and logical manner with all correct facts and support of with evidence using some inference
  • successfully demonstrated thorough understanding with supporting evidence drawn from the text.


91653:  Tuhi i te reo Māori o te ao whānui


There were 5 essay questions, of which the candidates selected one to respond to. The questions were varied and in keeping with the published 2021 assessment specifications. Questions were written in te reo Māori and English so they were accessible to all candidates. Candidates were required to write in te reo Māori. Space was provided for planning and there was an even spread of topics chosen by the candidates this year.

Most essays were well written. They seemed more structured than in previous years and overall showed an excellent quality of language. Some candidates did not write in the genre that the instructions requested (e.g. a letter) and some focused more on the title than the actual question, so it is vital that they read the questions carefully.


The layout of the exam worked well. The planning page allowed candidates to be more creative in how they planned their essay with flowcharts, diagrams, mind maps, for example. Each of the essay questions provided a detailed explanation of what the candidate was required to do, which may have helped with their planning.

Those who answered electronically did not tend to have more detailed and comprehensive answers. The live word count appears to have impacted the length of the writing and candidates are reminded that the 400-word target is a guide only. Exceeding it does not affect the overall grade.

In some cases, comprehension was impacted by poor formatting and punctuation, so it is necessary for conventions of writing to be prioritised when teaching and learning at this level.

Grade awarding 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • wrote information that was mostly relevant to the topic
  • showed a basic ability to write in te reo Māori although their writing contained some grammatical errors
  • produced writing that was comprehensible
  • attempted to structure their essay and began to incorporate conventions of writing.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • demonstrated a limited ability to write coherently in te reo Māori
  • made a minimal attempt / no attempt to write on a topic
  • made so many grammatical errors the writing was incomprehensible
  • did not adhere to the word limit
  • did not structure their essay or make use of any conventions of writing, grammar, or punctuation.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • showed familiarity with the topic
  • attempted to develop, explain, or justify their idea(s) using their own knowledge and experiences, then linked them together in a coherent manner
  • attempted to include examples to back up their opinion(s)
  • utilised te reo Māori effectively to convey their understanding of the topic
  • used a range of grammatical constructions, vocabulary and other features of the language with minimal errors
  • structured their essay appropriately
  • made use of writing conventions, grammar, and punctuation.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • wrote a response that showed an in-depth knowledge of the topic
  • demonstrated an ability to develop, explain or justify their idea(s) using their own knowledge and experiences with exceptional effect
  • linked ideas in a coherent manner
  • included well-explained examples to back up their ideas)
  • consistently and effectively used a large range of grammatical structures, vocabulary, and other advanced features of te reo Māori
  • structured their essay appropriately and effectively conveyed their ideas.

Te Reo Māori subject page

Previous years' reports
2020 (PDF, 159KB)

2019 (PDF, 270KB)

2018 (PDF, 109KB)

2017 (PDF, 43KB)

2016 (PDF, 211KB)

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