Celebrations for Māori Language Week drew to a close with Rotorua whānau coming together for a reorua parade.

Te Wiki o te reo Māori - Māori Language Week started on Monday and ran until today.

A range of events were held throughout the week, allowing the community to get involved in the celebration.

Rotorua's Māori Language Week celebrations were wrapped up with the reorua parade today.


The hīkoi started at the Rotorua Lakefront (kouramawhitiwhiti) and made its way around to the Sulphur Point area before finishing at Taikākā, Rotorua's first bilingual playground.

Beforehand, there were traditional Māori games.

Te Puni Kōkiri kaimahi Erena Temara said there was a fantastic turnout despite the grey weather, and this was the first parade Rotorua had held as part of Te Wiki o te reo Māori.

"We are hoping this will be the beginning of many more to come."

She said it had been great hearing tamariki speak Māori.

The community gather for a hīkoi celebrating Te Wiki o te reo Māori - Māori Language Week. Photo / Ben Fraser
The community gather for a hīkoi celebrating Te Wiki o te reo Māori - Māori Language Week. Photo / Ben Fraser

"That was the main focus - letting our kids come and play, and encourage them to speak te reo Māori."

After the parade, there were a number of performances, including from Rotorua Boys' and Girls' High kapa haka group Raukura - who are the reigning kapa haka secondary
school champions - and Matariki Stars performers.

Temara said the event would finished with a mass poi performance, with all the children getting a poi and learning a song.

She said Te Tatau o Te Arawa was the main organiser of the reorua parade, with support and help from Te Puni Kōkiri and various other organisations.

It had been a fantastic week celebrating te reo Māori, and a number of regions had got on board and taken up the challenge to organise events, she said.

Kerri Anne Hancock took part in the hīkoi with her three children and husband.

"I think, for many of us in Rotorua, every week is Māori Language Week, but it's really beautiful to be able to celebrate with the rest of the community.

"Personally, I've seen an increase in community engagement with the establishment of Rotorua Reorua (bilingual Rotorua) and I think the hīkoi today embodies that."

She said it had been beautiful to see different faces from a number of stakeholders and aspects of the community, and to hear te reo Māori being spoken among the whānau.

"Kia kaha te reo Māori tatau o Rotorua reorua - Let's all continue to speak Māori here in Rotorua reorua."

Other events throughout the week in Rotorua have included tukutuku panel colouring, Māori short films, reo talks, performances of the Ngā Puke play, a trilingual book series launch, local Māori performances, a Māori writers evening and a living book session with Waiariki MP Tamati Coffey.

There was also a Māori language expo, play workshop and the screening of animated film in te reo Māori.