Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori

Parekura Horomia Maori Affairs

Logo artwork for Maori Language Week 2008
Maori Language Week is an entire week -- 21-27 Hōngongoi 2008 -- dedicated to celebrating the beauty of one our most paramount taonga tuku iho –Te Reo Māori.

We should use this opportunity to promote the importance of keeping the spirit of our reo alive and vibrant within our communities, says Māori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia.

Māori Language Week's 2008 theme is Te Reo i te Kāinga - Māori Language in the Home, inviting us to help te reo to live and grow in our own homes.

Te Reo Māori – Māori Language – plays a huge part of our national identity an has become and integral part of who we are and how we live our everyday lives as New Zealanders.

Māori Language Week began in 1975 and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori/ Māori Language Commission; Te Puni Kôkiri/ Ministry of Māori Development and Te Kâhui Tika Tangata/ Human Rights Commission started working together in 2003 to coordinate activities. Each year this week longer celebration of Te Reo grows from strength to strength.

I am a proud supporter of Te Reo Māori week and all the work the Labour-led government has done to support the retention and revitalization of the Māori language.

By encouraging the use of Māori language in homes, in classrooms and beyond we are ensuring that one of our national treasures stays alive for future generations to enjoy.

So during Māori Language do your part to keep Te Reo Māori alive by getting out there and giving Maori language a go! Korero Maori!

Ideas for Māori Language Week from www.korero.maori.nz:

 

Te Reo map of Aotearoa-New Zealand
Ideas on the theme, 'Te Reo i te Kāinga - Māori Language in the Home'
  • Create Māori language zones. The kitchen can be a 'Māori only' area. Maybe the dining room, your lounge or your desk can be reo Māori zones. Your car could become a reo Māori zone on wheels! While you're in these zones, speak Māori only and encourage those with you to do the same.
  • Schedule some Māori language times. Perhaps lunch or dinner can be a kōrero Māori time for you and your whānau. Maybe Saturday or Sunday mornings work better. You and your partner could decide to do your shopping in te reo Māori. It doesn't need to be a long time - 10 minutes a day will make a difference to your skills.
  • Practise with your children. Read Māori language books aloud to your children and watch Māori language children's programmes with them.
  • What's the Māori word for ...? There's nothing like a note when it comes to naming common household items. Let the family know you're going to use only the Māori word for that thing or activity from now on. Label 5-10 new things a week.
  • Listen to or view Māori media. Māori language have never been more accessible. Watch Māori Television at home and listen to your local Māori radio station. Visit your local library to borrow Māori music, DVDs, videos and books. Add Māori books, music and CDs to your birthday shopping list!
  • Use the Internet. Do a Google search on 'Māori language', 'Māori language lessons', Māori conversation' etc. Try out basic commands and phrases in these booklets: 'Using Māori in the Home'; 'Kei Roto i te Whare'.

 

 

 

Why is Maori Language Week important?

Māori Language Week is an entire week dedicated to celebrating the beauty of one our most paramount taonga tuku iho –Te Reo Māori. We should all try to use this opportunity to promote the importance of keeping the spirit of our reo alive and vibrant within our communities.

 

What sort of state is te reo in at the moment?

I think that Te Reo is in one of the best states it’s been in for a very long time. In a 2006 survey over half of those who identified as Māori said they could speak Te Reo to some degree. 

Kohanga, Kura and Wananga as well as iwi radio, Māori television and Maori broadcasting have all played a huge part in ensuring that Te Reo continues to grow and flourish as a living language. Just recently we celebrate 500,000 hours of Māori Broadcasting. An amazing feat.

 

Should most New Zealanders be thinking about te reo just once a year, or should it be spoken more in general society? It’s great to take a week out once a year to focus on celebrating a language that is one of the cornerstones of our National Identity. In all honesty, I think most New Zealanders do think of and use Maori language more than once a year. So many Maori words are accepted as part of our everyday vocabulary- like ‘kia ora’ ‘ka kite’ or ‘ka pai’.

By encouraging the use of Māori language in homes, in classrooms and beyond we are ensuring that one of our national treasures stays alive for future generations to enjoy. So during Māori Language do your part to keep Te Reo Māori alive by getting out there and giving Māori language a go! Korero Māori!