Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
Kua tata oti te wiki o te reo Māori, he mīharo hoki te kite atu i te maha o ngā mahi whakanui i te reo Māori puta noa i te motu!
Māori language week is drawing to a close and it was fantastic to see the celebration of te reo Māori and Māori culture through a wide range of events around the country. It was also great to hear stories of people learning and speaking Māori or doing something as simple as improving their pronunciation of the many Māori place names of Aotearoa.
Māori Language Week is about raising awareness. While there is reason to still be concerned about the long-term future of the language, it is still spoken and sung by many: 130,000 have conversational fluency, 300,000 are learning at school, and 10,000 in tertiary education.
It is hugely important to embrace te reo Māori and our Māori heritage in our communities and it is great to see our agencies celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. Te reo and tikanga are absolutely central to Māori New Zealanders. Celebrating Māori culture and using te reo Māori is all part of the wairua manaaki - the spirit of service.
A number of departments got involved in this week's programme through a series of public events in the capital - including a parade, short films, guest speakers, hāngi lunches, and a Māori aerobics session on Parliament's back lawn.
Congratulations to all the departments and public servants right around Aotearoa who took part. Kia ora to Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori and the other Māori language agencies - TPK, Internal Affairs, Māori Television Service, Te Māngai Paho, Ministry of Education and Culture and Heritage - not only on their involvement in the week's celebrations but on the progress being made towards Te Maihi Karauna - the Crown's Māori Language Strategy. It's expected to be issued later in the year and will set the path ahead for revitalisation of New Zealand's own language. It will be implemented alongside Te Maihi Māori, championed by the new independent statutory entity Te Mātāwai.
Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui!