Kei Mātairangi ahau e noho ana,
Kei raro iho ko Te Whanganui a Tara
Ko Te Atiawa, ko Ngāti Toa, ko Ngāti Raukawa hoki.
Every year since 1975 New Zealand has marked Māori Language Week – a time when all New Zealanders can celebrate te reo Māori and use more Māori phrases in everyday life. We are fortunate that we live in a country with such a unique dual culture and that we are able to acknowledge and celebrate the Māori language as a unique cultural treasure for all New Zealanders.
This year, Māori Language Week runs from 4-10 July. The theme of the week is ‘ākina to reo’, which means, ‘behind you all the way’, and is about using te reo Māori to support people, to inspire people, and to cheer people on. This excellent theme is central to our work in the Education Council where our commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and to lifting the aspirations of all students can only be fully realised by supporting cultural competence.
The Māori language in education strategy 2013-2017 (Tau Mai Te Reo) expresses what the Ministry of Education and education sector agencies will do for learners of Māori language in education. Well, we can help here if all of us demonstrate in our work that there is a place for the Māori language everywhere, in all areas of endeavour, and that te reo Māori is a language for all New Zealanders.
Whakarewa ki runga rawa. Herea kia kore e hoki whakamuri mai.
Encourage and support! And raise it to its highest level!
Te reo Māori is undergoing a resurgence, and more people are speaking the language and using Māori words and phrases in everyday life. I encourage you all to try it. Learn some reo Māori. And don’t get left behind.