It used to be that the most you'd get out of TV and radio was what was described to me recently as "the obligatory mowree".
That is, the fleeting "kia ora" at the beginning - and if you were lucky, the "ka kite anō" at the end - of the 6pm news, and even that hasn't always been a given.
But lately I've been stepping out of my usual streaming habits and taking in more and more traditional mainstream media (that is, something other than Netflix) and, I've got to say, it's been eye-opening.
So as we sit on the edge of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori (if you didn't know, it's next week!) it seems worth mentioning what a great job our local media is doing of embracing te reo - certainly more so than ever before.
We've now reached a point where one of the biggest reality shows in our country is using te reo Māori on the regular throughout each and every episode.
Yes, I'm talking about Celebrity Treasure Island. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but as someone who's been quick to call out other productions - cough, Married at First Sight, cough - for their lack of diversity and inclusion, I wanted to give credit where it's due.
Not only does CTI have a diverse cast, they've got their hosts - one of whom is almost caricature-level Australian - consistently speaking Māori.
Teams are named Kāhu (hawk) and Mako (shark) and there's a notable effort put into getting the pronunciation correct every time said names are uttered. The contestants are always greeted with "kia ora" (and even sometimes "bula" as they're filming in Fiji); the camps are consistently referred to by the kupu Māori, hōpuni; "congratulations" becomes "mihi nui" and every challenge - referred to in the show as "wero" - is kicked off with a cry of "tīmata" or "begin".
More widely-watched shows like Breakfast and The Project are using more and more reo - shout out to Jack Tame and Kanoa Lloyd leading the charge - and even on radio, it's becoming more and more normalised. I'm used to radio stations like Flava using te reo Māori because they cater to what's called the "urban" (sigh) demographic, but recently mainstream pop station ZM earned itself a shout out from The Project's Jesse Mulligan who took to Twitter to commend their inclusion.
He wrote: "I heard a @ZMonline promo in between songs yesterday which used te reo Māori in such a natural and effortless way. Super proud of whoever put those together, ka mau te wehi!"
This week I spoke to history maker Hinewehi Mohi about the revitalisation of te reo Māori about her leading some of New Zealand's biggest and upcoming artists in a new project to record their biggest hits in te reo for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori . She said all of them were excited by the prospect, and all of them felt the weight of the reo's importance and even that some of them were now considering using the reo versions more frequently - and learning more.
Every year we have the same "Why is it Māori Language Week? Shouldn't it be all year round?" conversation, and while the answer is, yes, it should, the trick to making that a reality is by showing its importance, bit by bit, and Māori Language Week is a part of that.
Those "obligatory" phrases are no longer a chore, they're a part of us and it's a combination of the special Māori Language Week occasions and the casual interjection of te reo Māori on Shortland Street, Celebrity Treasure Island or in the promos between your favourite pop hits on the radio which have made it so.
It would be remiss not to mention people like Mohi, Rob Ruha, Maisey Rika, Tama Waipara and Moana Maniapoto, who have been chipping away at revitalising the reo for years without appropriate recognition. We see you, and we're sorry that the mainstream isn't ready for you yet. But the hope is that as the reo becomes more ingrained in pop culture, it soon will be.
Of course, we still have incredibly far to go, but with Kiwi artists from fluent speaker Teeks to beginner Tami Neilson all embracing the reo for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori; the likes of Alien Weaponry taking te reo Māori to the metal-loving masses in Europe and mainstream TV and radio using more reo, it's starting to feel like slowly but surely, we're heading in a positive direction.