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Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

09 - 15 Mahuru 2019

Kia Kaha te Reo Māori

Over the last 200 years, te reo Māori has had its ups and downs. For a time, te reo was the predominant language spoken in Aotearoa. As more English speakers arrived, te reo increasingly became confined to Māori communities. Major initiatives were launched from the 1980s to bring about the revival of te reo, which led to Māori becoming an official language of New Zealand in 1987.

Te reo Māori is so important to the Māori identity, and its preservation and revitalization are a high priority throughout Aotearoa. Te reo Maori is a taonga ('treasure') of Māori, guaranteed under the Treaty of Waitangi. There are Māori-language schools, radio stations, and television channels. For the last 44 years, te reo Māori has also been celebrated for one week each September. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is an opportunity for concentrated celebration, promotion, and encouragement for the entire community. This year, the theme for this week is 'Kia Kaha te Reo Māori' ('Let's make the Māori language stong'). 

The week will feature celebrations around the country. There are events going on nationwide this week, so check your local papers, Facebook, and other events sites. This list has many events throughout the country, but mostly in the North Island. There are also several events going on in Christchurch throughout the week at the Christchurch City Libraries, University of Canterbury, and Christchurch Art Gallery. Keep an eye out for events around the city!

What can I do?

We can always make time to consider what we are doing and what we could be doing to promote revitalization.


Mā tātou katoa te reo Māori e whakarauora: Everyone can contribute to te reo Māori revitalisation:
  • Whakatauhia te reo Māori ki te wāhi mahi me te hapori
  • Whakahau i ētahi atu ki te kōrero, ki te ako hoki i te reo Māori; whakauruamai hoki te reo Māori ki tōu ao
  • Kia tika tonu te whakahua i te kupu Māori i ngā wā e kōrero Pākehā ana
  • Ahakoa iti, akona, kōrerohia
  • Kia nui ake te ako ka kōrero ai
  • Whāia te ara poutama o te reo ka tohatoha ai.
  • Make te reo welcome at work and in the community
  • Encourage others to use and learn te reo Māori; welcome Māori language into your life
  • Pronounce Māori words correctly when speaking English
  • Learn a little, use a little
  • Learn more, and use what you know
  • Keep improving your language, and share what you know

For other ideas on how you can celebrate this week, take a look at this list.

Goals of Māori Language Week

  • Create a positive environment for the use of Māori language.
  • Promote Māori language initiatives and events.
  • Encourage non-Māori speaking New Zealanders to use reo Māori.
  • Encourage speakers of Māori to support others who are just starting out.
  • Encourage community, business, government and media organisations to participate.
  • Promote resources to make Māori language more accessible.
  • Contribute to awareness of the Crown Māori Language Strategy and the Māori and iwi strategy that work together for revitalisation.  

Please remember, every time you use te reo, no matter how small, you are contributing to its revitalization.