Karawhiua is the word of the week at the annual AIMS Games.

"It means to give it heaps!" said Tumai Kaukau-Troughton.

The 18-year-old is the official te Reo reporter for the annual sporting tournament, which is under way in Tauranga this week.

Tauranga's biggest sporting tournament for intermediate-aged athletes is celebrating Māori Language Week.


KauKau-Troughton's role is to promote Te Reo Māori at the AIMS Games.

"I think te Reo Māori is a big part of New Zealand as a bicultural country," he said.

The teenager who is fluent in Te Reo Māori said he believed there were two types of Māori language.

"There is Māori that has been translated from English and Māori that has originated from the traditional language," he said.

KauKau-Troughton said the language was "very poetic" and spiritual.

"I think if you have te Reo Māori it can help set you up to learn other languages really well," he said.

Tournament director Vicki Semple felt privileged the tournament had coincided with te Wiki o te Reo Māori again this year.

Semple said about 22 per cent of the 11,500 competitors identified as Māori and there was a significant number of kura kaupapa schools at the tournament.


"It is obvious from the amount of te Reo we are hearing this week that the language is precious to New Zealanders from all backgrounds," she said.

"We are hearing people giving it a go ordering their coffee, in team talks, on the sideline. We are so glad to be able to use it as much as we can - this week, and every week."