top of page


Te Reo Maori (New Zealand's second official language), French and Spanish are offered at all levels from Years 9 to 13. Chinese is available to Year 9 students in 2023.


We believe all students should study a language for the following reasons:

  • Learning a language benefits all students intellectually, socially, cognitively and culturally.

  • Learning a new language gives students a better understanding of their first language.

  • Learning a new language gives students the skills to learn further languages they will increasingly need.

  • Exploring language helps students to gain new language skills, reinforce their own identity, become more confident and encourages them to take learning risks.

  • Learning a new language enables students to take their place in a multi-cultural community and a multi-lingual world.

  • Learning a language increases students’ chance to have access to better job opportunities.

Click here to find out more about the languages on offer at Howick College and the benefits of learning an additional language.

Career Pathways

The programmes offered at Howick College all lead into courses at tertiary level. Young people who combine the study of a foreign language or Maori with business, law, commerce, science, engineering, technology, tourism or politics may find increased career opportunities. Many tertiary institutions now offer combination degree or diploma courses which include a language component.


Why learn Maori?

Te Reo Maori is the language of the tangata whenua (People of the Land) and an official language of New Zealand. It is the distinctive vehicle of communication of a distinctive culture. At more than one eighth of the population, Maori people make up the country's largest ethnic minority.


Learning Maori as a second language contributes to cross-cultural understanding and social harmony. By learning Maori, students have access to the indigenous culture, to its customs, to its oral traditions and growing literature. Most importantly, they are able to speak with and listen to Maori people in Maori - the language in which the essence of Maoritanga is expressed.


Where can Maori lead?

Maori is taught at a wide range of levels in many types of institutions therefore, students will be able to find a suitable course to continue their studies at higher levels if they wish.


People with an ability to communicate in te reo Maori and an understanding of the Maori perspective are increasingly finding that they have an advantage in career areas as diverse as: broadcasting and the media, tourism, hospitality, the Public Service, nursing and medicine, law and justice and teaching.

Te Reo Maori


Why learn French?

French is an important language of the world. It is spoken by around 300 million native and second language speakers across five continents. It is the second most widely studied language in the world after English and is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world. French is spoken in over 50 countries and it is the official language in over 20  of these including Switzerland, Haiti, Togo, Vanuatu.


French is also an official working language of numerous international and non-governmental organisations such as the Red Cross and the United Nations. Learning French can also be a door into the world of fashion, the wine-making industry or simply being able to communicate with French speakers and appreciate their culture.

Where can French lead?

A knowledge of French can be an end in itself as a means of enriching one's life through personal contact with French speakers, culture, literature and films. More often these days, it is a valuable additional skill when combined with qualifications such as: commerce, law, publishing, media, human resources, tourism and hospitality and the arts. In these days of multi-national corporations and organisations, it is increasingly important to be able to speak one or more languages besides your own.



Why learn Spanish?

Spanish is the is the official or national language of 22 countries with more than 500 million native and second language speakers throughout Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean, and Africa - making it the second most spoken language in the world!  When learning Spanish, students in New Zealand will recognise many similar words to English as well as hearing a similar vowel sound system to Te Reo Maori and Pacific Island languages.

Spanish also is an official or important language of international institutions such as the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, Interpol and the International Olympic Committee. As a significant language of international trade, an ability to speak Spanish is extremely advantageous. Learning Spanish not only enables students to gain a more global perspective it provides access to the rich world of Hispanic culture including art, music, literature and film.

Where can Spanish lead?

A knowledge of Spanish can open doors to a range of careers including: tourism management, marketing and international business, politics and international relations, librarianship, government service, translation and interpreting.



Why learn Chinese?

Chinese is one of the most spoken languages with over 1.1 billion speakers worldwide. That is approximately 14 percent of the worlds population (as of 2022).

Chinese is a particularly significant language for New Zealand because of the economic and cultural ties this country is developing with the Chinese­ speaking world. With China having a total population of 1.4 people and being the second largest trading partner to New Zealand, we will need people who are fluent in Chinese to participate successfully in trade, tourism, education, cultural exchanges and other areas.

, Spanish

Where can Chinese lead?

When students complete their high school education, they have the option to study Chinese at more advanced levels at universities and other selected tertiary institutions in New Zealand and overseas. People who are bilingual and have a good knowledge of the Chinese language will find themselves considered favourably by their employers in career pathways such as in Sales and Marketing, Trade, Tourism, Education, Hospitality and a number of government departments including Immigration New Zealand, New Zealand Customs Service and the New Zealand Ministry of Health.


bottom of page