Reo advocate - Tauranga Moana united will be more effective for te reo

By Heta Gardiner
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

A prominent te reo Māori orator, Awanuiarangi Black says by banding together, iwi will be more effective. He says this strategy will be particularly effective with the establishment of Te Mātāwai.

Black, a well-known face in Tauranga, is calling on iwi to come together.

“We want to unite the waka of Mataatua, Tainui, Tākitimu, and Te Arawa.”

He's a board member of the Māori Language Commission and feels that unity is needed to get the best outcomes for the language.

“We want to apply that thinking to Te Mātāwai. We are meeting about that very thing this week.”

He also believes that it won't only be the language that flourishes if Māori are united. He alluded to the support possible for those living in poverty.

“I reflect on the words of Kingi Tāwhiao, divided we fall, united we stand.”

He does acknowledge that uniting all iwi, or even just those within reach is very difficult task.

“I'm telling you right now, it won't be easy.”

The Mātāwai members for Mataatua, Te Arawa and Te Tai Tokerau have already been selected, so establishing unity can start immediately. Something that Awanuiarangi will no doubt be hoping for.