Setting up the Māori keyboard on your Windows computer

Windows 7, 8

  1. Click on the Start menu/Windows icon > Go to Control Panel > Click on Clock, Language, and Region > Region and Language.
  2. In the dialog box, navigate to the Keyboards and Languages tab and click Change keyboards...

    Note: If it already says English (New Zealand)—Māori, then it's already set up.

  3. Click the Add button. Scroll down to English (New Zealand), expand the Keyboard options and click Show More.
  4. Find Māori in the list and tick it, then click OK.

    If you can't find Māori in the list, then in the same dialog box, scroll down to Maori (New Zealand), expand the Keyboard options and select Māori, then click OK.
  5. Change the Default input language bar at the top of the window to display English (New Zealand)—Māori or Māori (New Zealand).

    To switch languages quickly, in your system tray (bottom right-hand corner of your screen), there should be a MR sign which indicates your system default input language. Click on it to see the options and select the language you are wanting to switch to.

    Screenshot of system tray showing language options windows 7

Windows 10

  1. Click on the Windows start button , then click on the Settings icon Settings icon Windows.
  2. Click on the Time & Language setting, then click on the Language or Region and Language setting on the left-hand menu.
  3. The language should be set to English (New Zealand). Use Add a Language to change this if necessary.
  4. Click on English Language (New Zealand), then click on the Options button.

    Screenshot of Windows 10 preferred language selected showing options button
  5. Click Add a keyboard and scroll down to select Māori QWERTY keyboard.

    Screenshot of Māori QWERTY keyboard option selected from drop-down list
  6. Close the Settings window.
  7. To enable Māori macrons, click ENG in the bottom right-hand corner of the task bar.

    Screenshot of ENG option showing in taskbar
  8. Click on the keyboard you are wanting to use e.g., English (New Zealand) Māori keyboard.

    Screenshot of system tray Windows 10 with Māori keyboard MRI selected

See the section below for instructions on how to type a macron on a Windows computer.

Setting up the Māori keyboard on your macOS computer

macOS versions higher than 10.8 also feature the Character Accent Menu that allows you to hold down a key as you are typing and after a moment a list of different accented characters will appear with numbers below. You then type the number of the character you wish to use.

macOS 10.11 and later

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the top left-hand corner and open System Preferences > Keyboard.
  2. Go to the Input Sources tab. Click on the + sign and scroll down the input methods list until you find Māori.
  3. Select to add to your list. Make sure that Show Input menu in menu bar is checked at the bottom as this allows you to switch between languages.

    Screenshot of macOS system preferences keyboard showing show input menu in menu bar selected
  4. To switch languages, click on the country flag icon located in the top right-hand corner of the screen, you can then view the language options available and switch between them easily.

    Screenshot of country flag icon on macOS and language options displayed

macOS 10.10 and earlier

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the top left-hand corner and open System Preferences > Keyboard.
  2. Click on the Input Sources tab and scroll down the input methods list until you find Māori. Tick this box.
  3. At the bottom of the dialogue window, tick Show Input menu in menu bar so you can easily switch back at the top of the screen if required.

Typing a macron on a Windows/macOS computer

To type a macron with the Māori keyboard, press the tilde key (~) then type a vowel. This works for both Windows and macOS computers. For macOS users, you can also hold down the Alt/Option key and type the vowel.

When using the Māori keyboard, everything about your keyboard remains the same, except for a few special key combinations. For the most part, your ability to write or spell check in English will be unaffected.

Typing a macron on a mobile device

iOS (iPhone, iPad)

Press and hold a vowel to select the macron version from the displayed menu.


The standard language package for most Android devices allows you to press and hold a vowel to select the macron version from the displayed menu, however this does not include ō for some users. A workaround for this is to add Te Reo Māori for predictive text in any app that uses a keyboard—you can do this in most Android devices by following these instructions:

  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. Go to Settings and find your languages options—on some devices this is under Languages and types, Languages & input, or Language & Keyboard. Enter "maori" in the Search field or find it in the list of available languages. Depending on the version of Android and device you are using you may need to install a language package from the Google App store.
  3. Return to the Messages app.
  4. Swipe the spacebar to change your predictive text language. Type in a word such as “toku”, and predictive text options appear, one of which is “tōku”

Note: Some devices will only allow installation of two predictive text languages

Enable AutoCorrect option for Māori Language in Windows 10

  1. Check that your Māori keyboard is on.
  2. Open Word > create a Blank document.
  3. Go to File > Options > Proofing.
  4. Under AutoCorrect options > Select AutoCorrect Options…

    Screenshot of Word options with AutoCorrect Options selected under Proofing tab
  5. Add the word and then the word with a macron.
    • Use the tilde (~) symbol key and then the vowel to create the macron.
  6. Click Add.
  7. Repeat as necessary.
  8. Once finished, click OK to close the windows.
  9. Once you have closed and opened your Microsoft applications (Word, Outlook, etc.), AutoCorrect will place macrons.

Further information

The Using Māori at the University of Otago ebook has information about when you should use macrons in your emails, webpages, etc.:

Using Māori at the University of Otago (PDF 360KB)

See the Kupu O Te Rā website for instructions on how to add Māori language proofing tools to Microsoft Word so you can use a Te Reo Māori spellchecker:

Writing in te reo Māori in Microsoft Word

Contact AskOtago IT if you need further assistance setting up or using the Māori keyboard on your computer:

Freephone 0800 80 80 98 (within New Zealand)
Tel +64 3 479 7000