UCOL Whanganui celebrated Māori Language Week - Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori - with an open day.

Rewena bread burgers were served to those who could request them in te reo Māori at Wednesday's open day.

Chef lecturer Damian Peeti said students and staff had been doing well with their kōrero and there were information sheets on hand for those who didn't have the language.

"The aim is to get a conversation going in te reo," Peeti said.


"He peka maku" [I'll have a burger thank you] was rewarded with a freshly baked bun and a selection of tasty fillings such as heihei [chicken], retihi [lettuce] and kinaki [sauce].

Those who offered their thanks with "Haere pai atu" [have a great day] increased their chances of going back for seconds.

Throughout the week, students and staff were encouraged to give te reo Māori a go by learning a word of the day and using it in a sentence.

Each day a new word was posted on the UCOL Whanganui Facebook page.

The word being practised on Wednesday was "akomanga" meaning class, classroom or course.

At the open day, Student Life co-ordinator Elise Goodge demonstrated taonga puoro - traditional Māori musical instruments kōauau (flutes) and pūrerehua (spinning discs).

She spoke of their origins and traditional uses and encouraged everyone to follow her outside while she demonstrated the pūrerehua and listen to the sounds it made as she spun it around.

UCOL Whanganui offers beginner and intermediate te reo Māori courses.


The beginners' course offers relaxed conversational style learning in basic te reo.

The next course, beginning in December, includes greetings and farewells, numbers, basic mihimihi (informal introductions), pronunciation and marae protocols.