Instilling a deeper understanding and respect for te ao Māori is the focus of a Maori quiz held at Oranga Tamariki youth justice residences across the country.
The event has been running for seven years and has grown in popularity over the years.
Each year teams of four represent their respective facilities using video conferencing technology to connect them.
This year Korowai Manaaki in South Auckland, who were the champions last year, Te Aurere in Palmerston North and Te Maioha in Rotorua participated in the competition.
The goal of all teams is to win Te Maioha o Parekarangi trophy, carved by Oranga Tamariki youth worker O’Dell Toi, which acknowledges the journey and challenge of learning te reo.
This year Korowai Manaaki hosted an intense competition which demanded not just te reo knowledge, but knowledge of ancient iwi geographical boundaries, iwi-specific dialect, the historical conquests of rangatira, and knowledge of very specific aspects of iwi across the country.
They were also grilled on their knowledge of kiwaha and recent events in the news that related to iwi or iwi representatives.
Competing teams also produced and submitted films and videos they created completely in te reo which were assessed and judged by internal and external reo experts.
This year, the Korowai Manaaki team representing various iwi took the crown for the second year running.
The team say it was a difficult competition but they loved having the opportunity to use their reo and continue learning more.
One of this year’s organisers, Betty Otimi, says a lot of work goes into preparing the mahi and making sure everything runs smoothly, but the outcome for everyone involved is positive.
Michael Moses, who launched the kaupapa seven years ago, says this is one of many new initiatives being established and supported by kaimahi Maori to ensure rangatahi retain their links to whakapapa and realise the importance of te ao Māori.
Competition is expected to ramp up even more next year.