A strategy two years in development is to be launched at the Whakatāne campus of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi next week.

Ngā Parirau o te reo Māori is a strategy that aims to strengthen the use of the Māori language in everyday life.

Once launched on Wednesday, it will set in motion a series of initiatives including a bilingual community focus and a live-in immersion programme.

Developed with input from strategic partners, te reo Māori experts and iwi, the strategy highlights the Māori language aspirations of the indigenous tertiary institution and will focus on fresh approaches over the next five years.


Professor Te Kani Kingi, executive director of research and innovation at Awanuiārangi, said the strategy identified four high-level goals: use of te reo Māori within the institution, enhanced learning opportunities, increased research, and encouraging te reo Māori use in the wider community.

"Attached to each of these priorities is a range of initiatives to strengthen Māori language use and accelerate revitalisation both within the institution and in the wider community," Kingi said.

"We want to ensure the strategy is able to impact beyond the walls of this institution. Key to this is creating an environment where te reo Māori is used naturally in everyday community life, such as at the supermarket or local sports clubs. We will extend the reach of te reo into our communities to create real language-use opportunities for learners, whether Māori or non-Māori."

Kingi said the Eastern Bay region had access to a te reo Māori resource enjoyed by few other places.

"The Eastern Bay is fortunate in that the area has high numbers of native speakers within the community, and inland areas like Rūātoki and Ruatāhuna where Māori is legitimately the first language."

Kingi said there had been a positive response from the Eastern Bay community, including regional and district councils, commerce and industry.

"Part of the strategy will be to ensure that people who want to learn te reo Māori have the best opportunity to do so."

He said the strategy was the basis for 12 specific initiatives, including the pilot of a groundbreaking full-time residential immersion programme.


"This is an exciting initiative aimed at providing an accelerated Māori language programme and a comprehensive immersion experience that we expect in six months will transform a beginner into a reasonably confident speaker.

Ngā Parirau o te reo Māori will be launched at the Whakatāne campus of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi on Wednesday, from 9am to 12.30pm.