New Maori Extended

Ian James
© November 2007 & July 2012

/maaori/ spelt with new script

The New Maori script is an alternative to the Roman alphabet normally used for the Māori language of New Zealand, as introduced and explained in the original page. There has been much interest in the script, but often people want to spell their name or some meaningful non-Māori phrase with it, and are limited by the small number of consonants. To remedy this, I have developed this extended version which has many more consonants. Note that the script is a phonetic system, so for non-Māori words there is often not a one-to-one match with spelling.


The consonants have a bold form, with curling motifs present in both positive and negative space. The solidity reflects the consonantal effect, and the forms themselves are reminiscent of the traditional chin tattoos of Māori men and women. The consonants are listed here with the International Phonetic Alphabet symbol and the usual romanization. The first row is the original set for Māori.

New Maori Extended consonants

There is still some leeway in the assignments; for example /wh/ can be used for [f], /h/ can be used for [x], and /th/ or /z/ can be used for [ð]. I have added another glottal plosive, so the original glyph can be considered more of a null consonant.


The vowels are lighter in form, and are based on the common motif called koru, representing a young fern frond. Combinations of vowels form a sprouting or branching effect similar to that found in the family of designs called kowhaiwhai. Here they are shown attached to the null consonant.

New Maori Extended vowels


New Maori Extended punctuation.


This is my name in the New Maori Extended script.

New Maori Extended example

Tattoo/image preparation service

If you are interested in having your name or some special phrase written in the New Maori script, I can prepare a high resolution GIF image of it ready for your tattooist, or whatever purpose you have. (I will not do translations into Māori, however.) For this service I ask A$5.00 through PayPal.

Just email me at with your word(s), then click the PayPal button below, and I will email the image back to you once payment is confirmed.


All material on this page © Ian James.