thumbnail TRM lesson plans levels 3 and 4
Kāore au e wātea ana - I’m not available

Kāore au e wātea ana - I’m not available

Te Reo Māori in English-medium schools

Achievement objective

4.1 Request, offer, accept and decline things, invitations, and suggestions.

Learning intention

Students can:

  • compose an answerphone message.


At the end of this lesson, students can:

Kōrero - Speaking: Initiate and sustain short conversations that involve polite social interactions.

Whakaatu - Presenting: Present or perform traditional or modern aspects of the culture in selected settings.


  • Recording equipment, for example video cameras, tape recorders, mobile phones, Māori dictionaries.

Lesson sequence

The students will write and record an answer machine message in te reo Māori.

Discuss the sorts of language used in phone messages. Is formal or informal language used? How is a school or work message different from a mobile phone message?

Encourage the students to write a phone message that includes:

  • a greeting
  • their name
  • a statement explaining their absence
  • a suggestion of what the caller should do.

Kia ora. Ko June tēnei. Kāore au e wātea ana. Nō reira, waiho mai he karere, ā, māku koe e waea atu. 
Hi. This is June. I’m not available. So, leave a message and I will call you back.

When the students are ready, have them record their messages, or use students’ own phones if the school policy permits. Ask them to review and analyse one another's messages.

The students should consider vocabulary used, intonation, pronunciation etc.


Encourage the students to use a dictionary.

Compose and record a bilingual phone message on the school’s answer phone. The students could do the same for home phones or other organisations.

Further learning

Encourage the students to be creative with their messages by including excerpts from pepeha, haka, whakataukī, tauparapara etc. They could create rhymes and waiata for their phone messages. Such messages could also reflect iwi identity. The students could create a simple rhyme with the following brief message.

Ko au ko Tīpene, e mihi atu nei. 
Waiho he kōrero i taku waea nei.

This is me, Stephen, greeting you.
Leave a message on my phone.

Rauemi tūhono