Established in 2014, Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated is hosting its seventh annual Kura Reo, a full immersion week-long intense Māori language school.
Traditionally the event runs over a week in the October school holidays and caters for all levels of language proficiency from beginners through to advanced.
Covid-19 has forced us to revisit how the kura reo will be facilitated this year meaning a huge shift from the traditional structure.
Normally catering for 160 plus students, we have chosen to still operate the kura as if we were still under level 2 restrictions, meaning that registrations have been strictly capped at 80 students only.
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Sadly, this has meant that we are only able to cater for the medium to advanced levels of fluency. We have also cut back the hours, which will ultimately increase the intensity of the acquisition throughout the four-day event.
We have had to cancel the opportunity to stay at the marae, and have chosen to deviate from the conventional catering practices of a marae and will cater only lunch with individual lunch packs to help with social distancing.
Covid has forced us to re-evaluate our customs and practices.
While somewhat foreign, it is imperative that we are pragmatic and continue to adapt to the ever-changing situation that the pandemic has caused the world.
The kura reo may eventually return to its former structure, but we will keep these restrictions in place despite having returned to level 1 restrictions.
Sadly, we have not been able to cater for many who have attended in the past. We have also had to prioritise Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated members given the capped number of registrations.
In the past we have hosted Māori language enthusiasts from across the nation and hope to be able to do this again in the future.