Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell has issued a challenge for the 42nd Maori Language Week which starts today.

"Use Maori Language Week to make a change in your life that lasts well beyond the week," Mr Flavell said.

"No matter what level your te reo Maori is, everyone should be able to think of a change they can introduce to their own lives to support more Maori in our communities.

"It may be as simple as saying 'morena' every morning or saying 'kia ora' instead of 'thank you'. Be brave and give something a go."

The minister said te reo Maori becoming more of a living language throughout society was an aim of Te Ture mo Te Reo Maori (the Maori Language Act) 2016.

"Te Wiki o te reo Maori is a great reminder of this aim to speak and support our language so that it may be heard everywhere and all the time."

A limited edition pin for Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori. Photo/Stephen Parker
A limited edition pin for Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori. Photo/Stephen Parker

Mr Flavell said a "#korero pin" released recently as part of Rotorua's celebration of becoming the country's first bilingual city also contributed to that aim.

"The pins are for people who want to illustrate their support for te reo Maori and who wish to use more te reo Maori in their daily lives," he said.

"Whatever one's fluency, the important thing is our willingness to support and breathe life into our indigenous language."

A special edition silver "#korero pin" was released this morning as part of Te Wiki o te reo Maori.

"The theme for Te Wiki o te reo Maori this year is Kia ora te reo Maori and I would love all New Zealanders to use that as an inspiration to include more te reo Maori in their own lives."

The minister announced the new pin at a new te reo Maori hub at 1148 Eruera St.

Minister for Maori development Te Ururoa Flavell releases a special edition #Korero pin for Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori
Minister for Maori development Te Ururoa Flavell releases a special edition #Korero pin for Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori

Hub owner Billy MacFarlane said it was an honour to host the minister during Maori Language Week.

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He created the hub as a space for people to feel comfortable speaking te reo.

"Our real dream is that we all speak Maori every day," Mr MacFarlane said.

"If a person comes here, they will speak Maori, no matter how little they have."

Mr MacFarlane said he taught himself te reo during his time in prison and it was important for him to teach others.

"My desire these days is to throw the language out to every part of the community," he said.

"The main thing for me is te reo Maori."