This week is Te Wiki o te Reo Māori — Māori Language Week, when one of New Zealand's three official languages is given a week to itself, to encourage those who speak it to continue to do so, and to encourage those who don't speak it to learn it or at least improve our pronunciation.
The Māori language is not a threat, however you perceive the greater use of Māori words and phrases on mainstream media.
English is still the delivery tongue of choice for news and programmes in general, although there are channels on which Māori is predominant. They also use English, at times.
This week is a reminder that te reo Māori is accessible to all should we desire to learn it or improve our own knowledge and understanding.
There are places in Whanganui where you can learn to speak Māori for free, and what better way to start to understand the people who populated this country before its "discovery" by Europeans.
There's no pressure, but it certainly would not hurt to give it a go.
■ There are moments in history that are so important and have had such an impact that everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news.
I do remember, vividly, the morning of November 23, our time, in 1963, when I heard President Kennedy had been assassinated. It was a Saturday in Whanganui, and John F Kennedy had died on a Friday. My 8-year-old brain struggled with that, but accepted it anyway.
In New Zealand, we all remember with vivid clarity the moment we heard about the loss of the Wahine in 1968.
When John Lennon was shot on the steps of the Dakota Building in New York, in 1980, I knew where I was and what I was doing when I heard about it. Who doesn't? Assuming you're old enough.
Of course we know exactly what we were doing when news got to us of the sudden death of Lady Diana in 1997.
And when news got to New Zealand that the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York had been the subject of a terrorist attack, of course we remember exactly what was going on in our lives at the time.
It was 2001, so it was well before smartphones, but the internet was still a source of news and knowledge. It was not hard to find out what happened, but the full story took longer to emerge.
Sadly, it seems tragedy is the most unforgettable, excluding personal events, so death is common denominator throughout. The death of a president, loss of a ship and so many on board, the death of a rock icon and a much loved princess, the deaths of thousands in planes, office buildings and the Pentagon.
More than that, the attack of September 11, 2001, in downtown Manhattan, was the death of so much more. No longer would international travel be so free and easy. Racial profiling, not always unconscious, would become much more prevalent.
Like the old "Reds under the bed" fear of the 1950s, we had a new reason and new targets.
Militarily it led to action by the US and its allies in places where there may or may not have been people who conspired against the West and may or may not have been responsible for the attacks in September 2001. We do know that thousands of people died in retaliation.
It was also the time when there was an acceleration of the phenomenon called The Conspiracy Theory.
It had been around for ages, probably throughout history, but suddenly, with the aid of the World Wide Web, it gained impetus and audience in new way. Suddenly, whatever the authorities said was obviously wrong, and if you wanted to know the truth, here are half a dozen websites with the "real" story.
It gave a pulpit to all sorts of dodgy characters who craved instant fame and followers, however deluded. It was all about the spotlight, and the conspiracy theory was a handy vehicle to get there.
The day that started it all became known as 9/11, the date in Americanised form, but those figures and forward slash stood as shorthand all over the world for a day that went down in infamy.
It was when somebody dared take on the might of the Western world, at that time led by the US, and the Twin Towers, now replaced by a memorial and a museum, were symbols for those for and against. Being the heart of the New York financial district held connotations for friend and foe alike, but with philosophies centuries apart.
Had the attacks gone as planned and UA flight 93 from Newark reached its intended target, whatever that was (some say the Capitol building, others believe the White House), I believe the World Trade Center would still be the focus of any 9/11 remembrance, possibly because of the much higher death toll than the Pentagon or any other target.
Whatever your take on the events now enshrined in history, memory and conspiracy theory, you will never forget where you were when you first heard about them.