A challenge where only te reo Māori is spoken, an app that translates the objects around you into te reo and a tool to help learners create their pepeha.

These are some of the ways Tauranga locals are getting behind Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori this year.

Charlie Rahiri and his family took on the Mahuru Māori challenge where they predominately speak te reo Māori for the month of September.

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Rahiri said it was important for his family to take on the challenge of speaking more te reo Māori at home and out in the community.

The Tauranga family had a good understanding of the language because Rahiri grew up around te reo and his two sons were in te reo Māori immersion units at Bethlehem School.

They often had te reo Māori-only times at home, normally during dinner or whānau time, and when they were outside of the home, the family would always use Māori greetings and thank yous.

"Mahuru Māori is about increasing our spoken Māori, but we also encourage English for our boys," Rahiri said.

The use of technology such as apps and social media challenges was important for Rahiri, but remembering traditional ways of learning the language was not to be forgotten.

"The language is evolving and as speakers, we need to change and adapt with it," he said.

The app Kupu, launched this week by Spark and Te Aka Māori Dictionary, allowed users to take a photo of an object and which was then translated into te reo Māori.

Spark business manager-Māori Lisa Paraku said Spark wanted to get more people engaged and using te reo Māori every day and would love every New Zealander to have a tool in their pocket to help them learn the language.


"We see the Māori language and culture as special and unique to New Zealand, so we want to play a small role in helping te reo Māori prosper through the use of digital platforms," Paraku said.

The social media challenge #1miriona was encouraging people to share their pepeha, tribal saying, online through the help of The Pepeha App.

The app was created by Kiwa Digital where te reo Māori learners could construct a pepeha and be assisted with pronunciation.

Kiwa Digital chief executive Steven Renata said te reo Māori was a "taonga, a treasure" but would only thrive if it was shared.

"E ora ai te reo – whiua ki te ao. For the language to survive – share it with the world."

Mahuru Māori
Is a reo challenge that came about as a personal social experiment by Paraone Gloyne in 2014 as a way of broadcasting te reo, and normalising it in everyday dealings. The challenge is that Māori be used for all communication (including spoken, written, sung) for the month of September.