Topic: Te Reo Māori

A new home for Māori Language Week

This year's Māori Language Week will run from the 11th to 17th of September.

The week designated for celebrating all things te reo Māori has been celebrated since 1975 and this year moved to September from mid-year to increase the chances of good weather for outdoor activities and to renew the link with Māori Language Day.

September 14th marks the day in 1972 that the Māori Language Petition was delivered to parliament.

The petition, initiated by activist group Nga Tamatoa and containing over 30,000 signatures, paved the way for Māori language to be taught in schools. 

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission) promotes Māori Language Week but the organisation notes that many celebrations happen without their direct involvement as New Zealanders increasingly take up the cause of revitalising te reo Māori.

Events include:

Parades: Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori – the Māori Language Commission is organising an exciting event on Monday 11 September in Wellington City – a parade even bigger than last year’s hugely successful celebration of te reo Māori. Schools, kōhanga, Māori and other organisations and members of the public are all welcome, and thousands have registered to take part. The Parade starts by Wellington’s cenotaph at 11am and goes to Civic Square.

Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand is organising our parades, celebrations, walks for Te Wiki o te reo Māori in Hamilton and Whangarei. Contact 0800 Childcare 0800 2445322 for details in your area.

Te Pūtakenga o Ngā Taonga Kōrero: Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision will launch the first of four new online exhibitions -Te Pūtaketanga o Ngā Taonga Kōrero, showcasing the many outstanding examples of oratory and Māori performing arts in the Ngā Taonga Kōrero collection – the archive of RNZ’s Māori radio programmes. For the first exhibition Ngā Taonga has chosen the oldest recorded Māori broadcast – of the opening of Tūrongo House, Tūrangawaewae marae, Ngāruawāhia, in March 1938.

Stamps: New Zealand Post has launched a new stamp issue and adopted a te reo Māori name, Tukurau Aotearoa, to mark Māori Language Week. The stamps, in PostShops now, feature Māori words of the modern world like rorohiko (computer) and ahokore (wifi).

Māori at home: Stacey Morrison and Scotty Morrison have released a book called Māori at Home as a "survival guide" for those introducing te reo Māori into the household. It covers key topics like mahi ā-kāinga [chores], hei mua i te kura [before school] and kīwaha [idiomatic speech].

Ambassadors: Four prominent New Zealanders have taken up roles as Te Wiki o te Reo Māori ambassadors and will feature at events and online promoting te reo Māori as a language for everyone, everywhere. They are Stacey Morrison, who will be MC at the Māori Language Parade, television presenter Jack Tame, theatre, film and television actor and director Jennifer Ward Lealand, and Portia Woodman, just returned victoriously from the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Moana: Disney will release the Māori language version of the movie Moana in theatres around the country. This release marks the expansion of the Māori language into a new domain. The movie is not subtitled, recognising the growing number of young people able to use the Māori language. One of those young people is the voice of Māori Moana, Jaedyn Randell of Ngāti Paoa and Ngāti Whawhākia of Tainui. She joins the Māori voice of Māui: Māori television news anchor, Piripi Taylor.