Kaupapa: Te Reo Māori Board Game by Kura Rēhia and Maimoa Creative

Kaupapa: Te Reo Māori Board Game by Kura Rēhia and Maimoa Creative

Kia kawea tātou e te rēhia. 
Let us be taken by the spirit of play.

When Rosie and Kuruho from Kura Rēhia approached me to be the designer for their kēmu (game) that was still under development, there was absolutely no hesitation to accept. I am very selective with the types of projects I take on as a graphic designer, and often I lean on my inner instincts when deciding to commit to a project proposal. Everything Kura Rēhia stands for spoke so deeply to my desire to help promote te reo Māori and encourage learners on their journey, and being able to use my design skills to bring that vision to life was the perfect fusion.

Kura Rēhia is passionate about celebrating te reo Māori through play. They create board games, resources and events for a bilingual Aotearoa. Their aim is for Aotearoa to experience te reo Māori as central to how we have fun together as whānau and friends.

Kaupapa is a fun and interactive te reo Māori word association board game. The brief was to bring to life their vision of a game that catered towards all levels of fluency. Every single detail in this project was thoughtfully curated and designed, down to the very kupu (words) that are included in the game to ensure it celebrates the uniqueness of Aotearoa. Kaupapa is the first of its kind. Hours and hours of development, discussion, prototyping, testing, and designing was dedicated to this project, and over two years later it is now available to purchase and own for all to enjoy.

How to play? In one minute, describe as many words as possible to your teammates. The more words you describe, the faster your team advances across the board. Rise to Māui’s challenges along the way! The first team to reach the TOA (champion) tile wins the game.

Do you need to be fluent to play? Kāo - no. The game can be played by complete beginners with no reo, right through to fluent speakers. There are three versions of gameplay to suit each level, and you can have, for example, one team of fluent speakers and another team of total beginners, playing together at a level that challenges each of them.

KAUPAPA is manufactured in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland). Opting for sustainable materials and eco-friendly printing processes, we are proud to support our local economy and make sustainable choices with Papatūānuku in mind.

Features & Benefits

  • Suitable for Ages: 10+ Years
  • Players: 2-12+
  • Playing Time: 20-45 minutes
  • Level: Beginner - Fluent

Purchase your own game here.


Creators of Kaupapa game: Rosie Remmerswaal (Pākehā of Dutch, Irish, Welsh, Scottish & Swedish descent) & Kuruho Wereta (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Te Ati Awa and Ngāti Toa Rangatira)

Original board design: Kuruho Wereta

Graphic Design: Aroha Tamihana (Ngāti Raukawa & Ngāti Ranginui) from Maimoa Creative

Quality Assurer & Translator: Hemi Kelly (Ngāti Maniapoto & Ngāti Tahu–Ngāti Whāoa)

Manufacturing & distribution: Soar Print, using sustainable materials and eco friendly printing processes.


Kaupapa Game

↑ Kuruho Wereta sketching one the of the first drafts of the board design (source: Kura Rēhia)

Kaupapa Game

↑ Final draft of the Kaupapa board design, ready for digitizing (source: Kura Rēhia)

Kaupapa Game sketches

↑ Iconography and token sketches

Kaupapa Game user testing

 ↑ Kaupapa prototype game user testing (source: Kura Rēhia)

Kaupapa Game packaging concepts

↑ Packaging concepts

Kaupapa Game final packaging foil

↑ Final card box (source: Kura Rēhia)

Kaupapa Game board and token

↑ Final Kaupapa board game (source: Kura Rēhia)

Final Kaupapa board game

↑ Final Kaupapa board game (source: Kura Rēhia)

Kaupapa Board Game

↑ Final Kaupapa board game (source: Kura Rēhia)

Final Kaupapa board game

↑ Final Kaupapa board game (source: Kura Rēhia)

Official launch day of Kaupapa Game, May 2021

↑ Official launch day of Kaupapa Game, May 2021 (source: Kura Rēhia)

Rosie and Kuruho

↑ Rosie and Kuruho, creators of Kaupapa (source: Kura Rēhia)