Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2017, Maori Language Week, concludes tomorrow after seven days of activities across the country celebrating te reo Maori.

Across Hawke's Bay communities have been getting involved promoting keeping the language and its associated cultural significance.

In Central Hawke's Bay, the Waipukurau and Waipawa libraries have celebrated with a Te Reo Rhyme Time, basic te reo lessons and Raranga: Haraheke Putiputi (flax flowers).

Yesterday a poi-making workshop was held, where several children used wadding, plastic supermarket bags and plaited wool to construct their poi, under the tutelage of Otane's Awhina Carlson, who also took the Haraheke flowers workshop.


Library staff said they were pleased with the number of people who took part, considering it was the first year they had run the event, in line with other libraries around the country.

The week also saw Napier and Hastings councils promoting the week through their Facebook sites, offering lists of common word translations and pronunciation tips.

The Department of Conservation got on board by awarding a new Kiwi Guardian medal to Hawke's Bay kids who combine te reo and conservation, and yesterday Flaxmere College staff and students celebrated with a boil-up of pork bones, potatoes, kumara and puha for lunch.

According to Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori - the Māori Language Commission - about 130,000 people have conversational fluency, 300,000 are learning at school and 10,000 are learning in tertiary education.

The theme for this year was Kia ora te reo Māori which means, "Let the Māori Language live".

Thursday, September 14, marked the day in 1972 that the Māori Language Petition was delivered to Parliament. The petition, initiated by activist group Nga Tamatoa, contained more than 30,000 signatures, and paved the way for Māori language to be taught in schools.

Earlier this week, Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated chair Ngahiwi Tomoana said he wanted the native tongue to be a way of life for all New Zealanders, and revealed plans to invite local stakeholders in Hawke's Bay, such as corporates and councils, to a Maori language symposium early next year to encourage more of the community to embrace the language.