COMMENT:

The world changed again for us as Auckland and the rest of Aotearoa went back into lockdown.

Early this year we began redesigning Māori Language Week so that this year, whether we are in lockdown or not: we can come together to celebrate te reo Māori.

As we navigate these tough times together, we want to bring New Zealanders together in a moment of unity.

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Honouring the past, keeping ourselves safe in the present and preparing for our future together.

Last year a Colmar Brunton poll we commissioned told us eight in 10 of us see te reo as part of our national identity.

Te reo Māori is the language of New Zealand. But it still needs New Zealanders to keep it safe.

That's why we are focused on growing one million speakers by 2040 and we want to start in 2020: even if just for a moment.

This Māori Language Week we are inviting New Zealanders to join us in an unprecedented Māori Language Moment: We want one million of us speaking, singing and celebrating te reo at the same time.

We may have cancelled our Māori language parades this year but the coronavirus or mate korona won't stop us bringing people together.

What people do could be as easy as café owners playing a Māori language song, office workers pausing to do the quiz in te reo, school students starting lunch with a karakia or a haka and media outlets beginning their 12pm news bulletin with te reo.

Rawinia Higgins. Photo / Supplied
Rawinia Higgins. Photo / Supplied

You could Zoom in te reo or perhaps you could gather for a karakia or waiata.

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It's an open invitation to celebrate te reo for a moment, a week, a month or even the whole year round.

• Professor Rawinia Higgins is chair of the Māori Language Commission.

I hurihia tō tātou ao i tērā wiki i te rāhuitanga anō o Tāmakimakaurau, tae atu rā ki Aotearoa whānui tonu.

I te tīmatanga o tēnei tau i te whakatika mātou ki te whakahou i Te Wiki o te Reo Māori ahakoa te noho rāhui, te noho wātea rānei: me whakakotahi tātou, ngā tāngata o Aotearoa, ki te whakanui i te reo Māori.

I a tātou e whakamātautauria ana e ngā taumahatanga o te wā, e whai ana mātou ki te whakapiri i ngā tāngata o Aotearoa kia kotahi ai tātou mō tētahi wā.

Kia whakamihia a neherā, kia haumaru ai tātou i tēnei wā, hei whakatikatika hoki i tō tātou anga whakamua haere ake nei.

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Nō tērā tau i puta te whakatau a te rangahau a Kōmā Paratene i tonoa e mātou, ko te 8 o te 10 o tātou e hiahia ana kia kitea te reo hei tohu i tō tātou tuakiritanga ā-motu.

Ko te reo Māori te reo o Aotearoa. Engari mā ngā uri o Aotearoa tonu e tiaki.

Koinei te take e arotahi ana mātou kia tipu te tokomaha o ngā kaikōrero i te reo Māori ki te 1 miriona i te taenga ki te tau 2040, ā, e hiahia ana mātou ki te tīmata i te tau 2020: ahakoa mō te wā poto noa iho.

I tēnei Wiki o te Reo Māori, e tono ana mātou kia piri mai ngā tāngata o Aotearoa kia whai wāhi ki tētahi Wā Tuku Reo Māori kāore anō kia kitea: E hiahia ana mātou kia 1 miriona tātou e kōrero ana, e waiata ana, e whakanui ana i te reo Māori i te wā kotahi.

Ahakoa kua whakakorengia e mātou ngā rangatū mō te reo Māori mō tēnei tau, e kore te Mate Korona e haukoti i tā tātou whakahui tahi i ngā tāngata. Kei te tangata tonu te tikanga me pēhea.

Ka whakatangi noatia pea e ngā kaipupuri wharekawhe tētahi waiata reo Māori, ka tahuri rānei ngā kaimahi tari ki te whakaoti i te kairoro o te rā ki te reo, ka tīmata rānei ngā ākonga kura i te kai o te rānui ki te karakia, ki te haka rānei, ka tīmata rānei ngā kaipāpāho i ā rātou pānuitanga i ngā pūrongo o te wā i te poupoutanga o te rā ki te reo.

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Rawinia Higgins. Whakaahua/ Whakarawetia
Rawinia Higgins. Whakaahua/ Whakarawetia

Tērā e tuihono ai koe i te reo, e huitahi ai rānei ki te karakia, ki te waiata rānei.

He pōhiri tēnei kia whakanuia te reo mō tētahi wā poto, mō tētahi wiki, mō tētahi marama, mō te roanga rānei o te tau.

• Ahorangi Rawinia Higgins, toihau o Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.