A couple's creation of Te Reo Maori speaking dolls have proved an instant hit among Kiwis with the product racing out the doors.

Rotorua couple Kristin Ross and Hohepa Tuahine started the idea of the Pipi Ma dolls after deciding to raise their children in a Maori-speaking household.

Their young daughter asked if she could have a talking doll, so the couple went shopping for a Maori speaking version only to find there was nothing suitable.

The pair then put their minds together and created the Pipi Ma Maori speaking doll.


The Pipi Ma dolls come in four characters: Poi-twirling Pipi, green-haired Hura, bespectacled Titoki and number-loving Pitau Potiki.

Each doll has eight unique Maori phrases as well as a song.

Pipi Ma also has an app which is being used in schools, teaching children how to pronounce colours in Te Reo Maori.

Ms Ross told Radio New Zealand they wanted to make the Maori language normal.

"It can't be confined to just school or the marae or to kohanga reo, it needs to be absolutely everywhere."

The Pipi Ma dolls have proved popular with a number of parents taking to Facebook to express their excitement.

"Soooo cant wait 4 mine to arrive!" one mother wrote.

Another praised the Pipi Ma app, saying: "See... pakeha kidscan say maori words they just need to be taught them...excellent class".

"Our mokos need these cool Pipi dolls."

The Pipi Ma dolls may be just one of two Maori speaking toys made in the world.

A bi-lingual Kotuku toy bird made in 2012 by Allan Brown could be the first Maori speaking toy of its kind.

The Kotuku bi-lingual toy has been available since 2012. Photo / Allan Brown
The Kotuku bi-lingual toy has been available since 2012. Photo / Allan Brown

The Kotuku bi-lingual toy promotes safety messages in both Maori and English for children.

Its messages include fire, water, motor vehicles, burns, matches and pedestrian safety advice.

Brown's Kotuku franchise started in 2001 and includes health and safety puzzles, books, and CDs.