I've gathered three rules that basically have helped me pronounce just about all of the location names / animals / etc. down here in New Zealand. (Thanks to BK for the frist two.) They're pretty easy:
- Give each syllable with equal emphasis.
- Each syllable ends with a vowel.
- The "wh" is pronounced as an "f" (more or less).
"While pronunciations vary, <wh> generally denotes a bilabial fricative [ɸ], a sound comparable to that of an "f" articulated by putting the lips together as if to make a "w" sound"
Now you try:
And of course, the old favorite: Whakapapa
(The huge eyes, protruding tongue, and tattoos were used to scare other tribes in battle.)