A renewed interest in the Māori language and Māori customs has seen a rise of appreciation for Māori culture and in particular, the important role that te reo Māori has in the cultural fabric of New Zealand.

However, while I acknowledge this positive surge of interest, te reo Māori remains a ship in stormy waters which requires careful and thoughtful navigation in order to survive and flourish.

Māori Language Week is one of those navigation tools that can be used by all who choose to take hold of it.

The secrets out, with te reo Māori comes a better understanding of the diversity and richness of culture in New Zealand and an opportunity to gain a more in-depth knowledge of Māori concepts and views.

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As they say in the Māori world, "with knowledge comes understanding, with understanding comes acceptance and respect".

Rotorua Reorua is just one of the many initiatives around the country now being implemented to encourage Māori language normalisation and also to educate the wider community about the positive benefits that te reo Māori provides.

A simple acknowledgement in te reo Māori or a genuine attempt to pronounce Māori words correctly goes a long way.

So, with an open heart and an open mind, give te reo Māori a go! And remember – you don't have to leave Māori language usage for just one week of the year.

A spoken language is a living language – so let's all get on board!

Te Reo

I te aro rearea mai ki te reo me ngā tikanga Māori kua piki ake te ngākaureka ki te ahurea Māori, ina koa rā ko te whai wāhi nui mai o te reo ki te korowai ahurea o Aotearoa.

Heoi anō, ahakoa aku mihi ki te ngākaureka e kōrerohia ake nei, kei te korokoro o te parata tonu te waka o te reo Māori e tere ana, ā, mā te tirotiro whetū me te ue tika anake te waka nei puta ai ki te ora, pae ai ki uta.

Ko te wiki o te reo Māori tētahi o ngā taonga whakatere waka e taea ai e tēnā e tēnā te nanao atu ki tāna i hiahia ai.

Makere ana i ngā ngutu roharoha, mā te mōhio ki te reo ka mātau ake te tangata ki te hōhonutanga me te ahurea kanorau o Aotearoa, me te mea hoki ka whai mātauranga te tangata e pā ana ki ngā aroro Māori, ā, ki tā te Māori titiro ki tōna ao.

Hei tā te Māori "mā te mōhio ka mārama, mā te mārama ka ea, ka tau".

Ko Rotorua Reorua tētahi o ngā kaupapa maha huri noa i te motu e kōkiritia ana hei akiaki i te whakatangatawhenua mai o te reo, ā, e āta whakamārama ana hoki i ngā hua pai ka taka iho i te reo Māori.

Nā, he mea nui te tuku mihi reo Māori me te ngana kia tika te whakahua o ngā kupu Māori.

A kāti, kia ngākau tūwhera, kia hinengaro tūwhera hoki, ā, tukua te reo Māori kia rere.

Kei wareware tātau – ehara i te mea me whāiti noa mai te rere o te reo Māori ki te wiki kotahi o te tau.

He reo kōrero, he reo ora – A tēnā, ki te hoe!

- Rawiri Waru, Te Arawa, is a member of Te Tatau o Te Arawa and the general manager at Te Arawa Communications.