Tēnā koutou katoa e ngā iwi, hello to all.
Monday, September 14, marks the start of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week).
This annual event encourages and supports the use of te reo Māori. So this week at MTG Hawke's Bay we have a number of ways for you to embrace Māori language – all free of charge for the public to enjoy during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.
There are daily gallery tours at 2pm of Tēnei Tonu and Rongonui – Taonga mai ngā tāngata, ngā wāhi, me ngā takahanga: Treasured taonga from people, places and events.
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Enjoy exploring these exhibitions with our Curator Taonga Māori Te Hira Henderson as he shares stories about the people, places and taonga on display.
If you cannot make it to one of these guided tours, you can explore these galleries by yourself and try reading the te Reo labels (these are available in English as well).
On the weekend we have the spectacular Kahurangi Māori Dance Theatre, sharing myths and legends through dance and music.
Kahurangi Māori Dance Theatre is performing on Saturday, September 19, and Sunday, September 20, in the Century Theatre starting at 2pm. If you haven't yet experienced this group before, I can thoroughly recommend them as professional, entertaining and informative performers.
There are children's activities available to encourage learning new words in Māori, a taniwha to cut out and assemble, along with games to play with your whanau and friends, and a Māori-focused activity trail.
One of our most recent displays, Waka Kōrero Māori, in the Century Theatre foyer, shares animals from the Hawke's Bay Museums Trust's collection and their Māori name – along with a digital screen that lets you hear the words pronounced.
If you want something to take home to help you continue on your te reo journey – try browsing the wide selection of product in our shop that supports te reo Māori. There is a great choice of resources for children - these can be very helpful for adults as well.
This year a challenge has been put out to have one million people doing something in te reo at the same time. Monday at 12pm is the moment when everyone is invited to join the movement by participating with others around the country in this nationwide moment focused on te reo.
There are many resources available online – just search Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. The whole point of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is to try some new words and give te reo Māori a go.
The challenges some people find trying to speak te reo Māori can be a fear of getting it wrong, not pronouncing the words correctly, or causing offence. If we don't try however we will never learn.
I, for one, really struggle to learn new languages but still do my best and find that people are generally understanding and supportive. So be brave and give it a go. Nāku noa nā.
Laura Vodanovich is MTG director.