Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, Māori language week, has gone “from strength to strength” according to Ngāti Kahungunu iwi chairman Bayden Barber, as the region prepares to celebrate this year.
Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori runs from September 11 to 17.
Barber, who sits on the board of Te Taura Whiri (the Māori Language Commission), said there had been a trend of greater engagement across the motu (country).
“There is more mainstream engagement, wider community engagement with Māori language week now than there has been in the past,” Barber said.
“From Te Taura Whiri’s perspective, the numbers of engagement in schools, businesses and community groups that are doing initiatives is really pleasing.”
“It is just about engaging as many whānau with te reo Māori as we can through different mediums and different networks.”
He said one example of that engagement was Waimārama School students taking a trip to see the Disney film Coco in te reo Māori on Tuesday.
“Te Taura Whiri has the goal of one million speakers of te reo by 2040, so Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori is an important part of that strategy and every year there seems to be more engagement.”
He said there was also Mahuru Māori, Māori Language Month, which starts on September 15 this year according to Maramataka Māori, the Māori lunar calendar.
Māori language week activities include going to see Te Kuia me te Pūngāwerewere (Patricia Grace’s The Kuia and the Spider), which will be performed completely in te reo Māori at the Toitoi Opera House on September 11 and 12 at 1pm, with tickets for $5.
MTG Hawke’s Bay will host free 30-minute bilingual lunchtime tours on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday during Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, sharing some of the pūrākau (stories) in the museum collection.