Māori Language Moment planned to help unite language champions

Issue: Volume 99, Number 11

Posted: 16 July 2020
Reference #: 1HA949

With Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori fast approaching, schools and early learning centres are encouraged to share a Māori Language Moment. 

In advance of Māori Language Week in September, schools and early learning centres are invited to get in touch with the Māori Language Commission to share what they’re planning for the week and how the commission can support them. 

“Covid-19 has changed the way we gather, and we want to safely bring people together. Our people’s wellbeing – particularly those at most risk – remains our top priority,” says Māori Language Commission Chief Executive Ngahiwi Apanui. 

“A revamped website that will provide support throughout the year, not just during Māori Language Week, will be launched within the month,” he says.

“A new idea we are exploring is a Māori Language Moment, in which participants would remain in their own schools, workplaces or homes to speak, sing, write, pray or even tweet in te reo Māori at the same time. 

“While the commission will not be hosting large-scale, in-person gatherings for Māori Language Week, we can still unite our language champions together – wherever they are.” 

Te Reo Māori articles on Stuff

Matariki 2020 has also seen the beginning of a new initiative that will see one of New Zealand’s major media websites publish articles in te reo Māori. The kōrero with the team at Stuff began during Level 4 lockdown, during which the commission mobilised a rapid response expert translation team.  

“When we had to translate and explain the heartbreaking new tangihanga rules, we wrote to Stuff and without hesitation they agreed to publish in both of our nation’s written languages,” says Ngahiwi. 

“Our kōrero with Stuff continued until we agreed on a plan that would see Māori language news stories appearing regularly. Articles will be written by Stuff journalists; we will provide the te reo Māori version. 

“Once again, we are calling on the services of some of our country’s leading te reo Māori experts. We have never done this before, so it is a work in progress: but one we are honoured to be a part of. 

“It’s a small step but a significant one. We take it with our language champions past and present at our side and our children and future generations of New Zealanders constantly on our mind.

Kia kaha te Reo Māori!” 

The articles – in te reo Māori and English – can be accessed at Stuff(external link).

Share your Māori Language Moment 

To share your school or centre’s Māori Language Moment, please send a photo or short video clip with a brief description to events@tetaurawhiri.govt.nz.

Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) 2020 will be held 14-20 Mahuru (September).

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BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 2:17 pm, 16 July 2020

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