‘a1, a2, ā2, prop.art. Used before names of people (and the interrogative proper noun ‘Ai? Who?), places, months, ships (here alternating with the common article te), and before any noun which is personified or treated as proper (e.g. Kua ‘aere mai ‘a Pāpā? Has father come?); also before personal pronouns, but only when these follow the prepositions i, ki, or are used disjunctively (e.g. ‘A ‘ai? ‘A koe? Who? You?) but see ‘aia, he, she. ‘A occurs when the noun phrase is not preceded by a preposition; a and ā after the prepositions i and ki (and usually written together with them as one word, see ia3, iā1, kia3, kiā); the selection of a or ā depends on the syllable structure of the following word: ā occurs before nouns and pronouns consisting of one syllable or two short syllables, a elsewhere.
Tei te a‘a ‘a Pōtiki?
What is Pōtiki doing?;
Kua tāmataora ‘a Ngāti Makea i te manu‘iri.
The Makea clan entertained the visitors;
Kua ‘aere ‘a mea ki te tautai?
Has what’s his name gone fishing?;
Ka ‘apai ‘a Tūpapa i te rē.
Tūpapa will win;
‘E ‘enua reva meitaki ‘a Mangaia.
Mangaia has a good climate;
Ko Teko‘u tērā maunga, tērā ‘a ‘Ikurangi.
That mountain is Teko‘u, that one is ‘Ikurangi;
Kua tere atu ‘a Māui (or te Māui) ki Mangaia.
The Māui (ship’s name) has sailed for Mangaia;
‘E marama mānea ‘a Mē.
May is a fine month.