As we come to the end of te reo Māori language week I've been reflecting on how we're progressing in this space.

As a country it seems there's been a collective shift over the last year around the use of te reo Māori, with New Zealand's native language being used more frequently and comfortably on our television channels, national radio and elsewhere.

I'm told there are more non-Māori than Māori signing up for te reo lessons around the country and that it's now hard to book into classes due to popular demand.

I look back to a year ago when I was writing this column and I couldn't include macrons as the paper didn't have the ability to print these, and now including macrons is completely normal.


Now, using technology to good effect, a new app, Kupu, has been launched where you take a photo and the app provides the te reo word for the image.

For anyone interested in increasing their te reo vocabulary, this is an easy and fun way to go. It really feels that, as a nation, we may have taken a big step forward – with of course many steps yet to go.

At MTG Hawke's Bay, we're also looking at our use of te reo and seeking to increase how consistently and broadly we apply this.

Our museum maps are now printed in both English and Māori and we have a range of product in our shop to support language, such as fridge magnets which teach a variety of words around body parts, colours, days of the week, etc, and a New Zealand map with te reo place names.

We also stock the beautiful Mauri Ora book which shares Māori proverbs and wisdom in te reo and translated to English.

Some of our staff have previously taken te reo classes and this week we broadened out to offer short introductory classes to the public.

These classes, taken by our curator Māori, Te Hira Henderson, offer an easy introduction to the language and are suitable for anyone even if you have never tried Māori pronunciation before.

The first class on Thursday was enjoyed by those who attended and the time just flew by!

It's not too late to try a class for yourself, with the second class to be held today at 11am. Just ring the museum to check there are still spaces available.

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We're in the final weekend of the film festival but there's still time to catch some great movies.

With six films on over the weekend there's a variety of options available.

Two of the films on my list are screening today, Kevin Roche: The Quiet Architect and Puzzle, so I'll definitely be heading in to catch at least one of those.

An intriguing option is The World Is Yours - a film described as "A French gangster comedy that zips along with all the bright, bouncy energy of a live-action Looney Tunes cartoon".

Rounding out the festival tomorrow, Sunday, are two art films Kusama – Infinity and Petra, along with Birds of Passage, which explores indigenous Colombian culture tackling the drug trade.

We hope you've enjoyed the festival and managed to see your top picks.

• Introduction to Māori language with curator Māori Te Hira Henderson, today (Saturday, September 15) 11am, meet in MTG front foyer, free event. Please ring 833 9925 to check spaces available.

• 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand, two films – Gaylene Preston's short Hot Words & Bold Retorts and Suffragettes, set in London. Wednesday, September 19, Century Theatre – screenings at 2pm and 6pm. Koha appreciated

• Lunchtime Walk & Talk (public art tour) with curator Art Jess Mio. Thursday, September 20, 12–12.45pm. Meet in MTG front foyer, free event, no bookings required

• Talk by award-winning architect Andrew Patterson, Century Theatre, Thursday, September 20, 6-7pm. Light refreshments provided after the talk. Free event

Sound Bites, come and enjoy a series of 30-minute lunchtime recitals by students from Project Prima Volta, MTG Century Theatre, September 24-28, 12.15–12.45pm. Koha entry

• Community stitch panel, Jo Dixey arrives to complete the final stage of this community projects, MTG front foyer, Thursday, September 27, all day from 9.30am.

• Laura Vodanovich is the director of the Museum Theatre Gallery (MTG) Hawke's Bay.