Reo Māori exponent Paraone Gloyne has been named as a finalist in the Te Waitī Awards category for Te Reo and Tikanga of the second annual Matariki Awards. The pioneer of Mahuru Māori that promotes speaking only Māori during the month of September says he's humbled to be nominated alongside some of his mentors.
Paraone Gloyne doesn't just see Te Reo Māori as a language, but a way of life.
"There's nothing else that matters. Everything I do is about the language. I have a lot of responsibilities with the language, and I love it like it's not a chore," he said.
Gloyne along with language stalwarts Professor Rawinia Higgins and Professor William Te Rangiua (Pou) Temara are finalists in the Te Waitī Award for Te Reo and Tikanga (customs).
"I know the calibre of the other finalists, my mentor Te Pou Temara and one of my friends, Dr Rawinia. They've made a great contribution to the language, and that's why I'm humbled."
Paraone Gloyne pioneered the Mahuru Māori initiative three years ago. It was first created only for fluent speakers of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa but has now expanded to include the public and all levels of proficiency.
"Speaking Māori in the month of September is an example that we can do. If those of us who know how to speak Māori, only spoke Māori, the language would thrive."
For more than 25 years Gloyne has been an advocate of the language. He is an assistant to the Executive Director of the Institute of Excellence in the Māori language and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa's Māori customs and language strategist.
"My greatest hope is that all New Zealanders speak Māori. The language belongs to all of us. I may not see it in my lifetime, but, at least I am cultivating to revive the language and plant the seed within those who haven't yet considered learning the language, to strengthen the language among those who've started to speak Māori."
The 2017 Matariki Awards will be held on the 21st of July at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.