All New Zealanders are being encouraged to take part in Māori Language Week which launched on September 10.
Nau mai ki Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori – Welcome to Māori Language Week
Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou i runga i tēnei kaupapa whakahirahira kua tau ki runga i a tātou katoa
“The Māori language is one of the best ways to say ‘We are New Zealanders’. Everyone can help to celebrate and revitalise our country’s first language,” says Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta.
Te Wiki o te reo Māori runs from September 10 – 16 with the theme ‘kia kaha te reo Māori’ or ‘let the Māori language live’.
Mahuta says people can show their support for the language in many ways.
“Mums, dads and grandparents can show active interest and support for their kids as they learn Māori at school. If the school is not providing any Māori language, families can ask them to start.
“The business world and community groups can display bilingual signs to show te reo Māori is welcome in public and private spaces.
“And everyone can try a simple ‘kia ora’ (hello) or ‘mā te wā’ (bye) as they go about their daily business. Each time you use Māori correctly it is a valuable gesture to restore it as an everyday language. It all adds up”.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who visited Wellington High School on Monday to mark the start of the week told students one of her biggest regrets was not learning how to converse in te reo Māori.
In response to a student who asked how te reo and tikanga would be a part in her daughter Neve Te Aroha’s life she said: “Clark and I have only had very early discussions – we’re only 12 weeks in – but we’ve certainly got the books to be able to ensure that she’s learning te reo even through her early storytime,” Ms Ardern said.
Ms Ardern congratulated Wellington High School for making it compulsory for all Year nine students to learn te reo.
“Te Reo Māori me ona tikanga underpins Māori World views, values and beliefs. Custom, culture and language are inextricably linked,” says Trevor Simpson, Deputy Executive Director, HPF.
“Learning Te Reo Māori is a fantastic way to build an understanding of Māori views on health and wellbeing. By saying “kia ora” to another person what we are actually saying is that we wish for the other person to be enveloped in wellbeing and this is articulated at the very first interface between two people.”
Sione Tu’itahi, the Executive Director of the HPF says while HPF supports Māori language week our support will continue until next year when for the first time te reo Māori will be an official language at a global conference.
Celebration of te reo Maori will be a highlight at the 23rd IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion: WAIORA: Promoting Planetary Health and Sustainable Development for All in Rotorua from April 7-11 next year.
“Our aim to sustain te reo Maori is always long-term. Given that we are co-hosting this world conference, it is only right that we honour te reo Maori this way …”