Tue 3 Sep 2019

Kia Kaha te Reo

New Zealand officially marks Te Wiki o te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week – from 9-15 September this year. The revitalisation of te reo Māori is so important to us here at WITT that we like extend the celebration of te reo for the whole month!

Mahuru (September) is our Te Marama o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Month), and we’ve got a calendar filled with lots of events designed to get students, staff and our community involved in everyday te reo.

The month kicked off with staff and students coming together to practice a new WITT waiata. In addition to plenty of singing practice, the month’s schedule involves raranga (weaving) workshops, hakari (shared kai), competitions, quizzes and spot prizes throughout the month. Staff and students are encouraged to use more Māori language around campus, like simple greetings or ordering a kawhe (coffee). We’ll be providing students and staff with helpful resources throughout the month to help them along and learn the basics.

The chosen theme for 2019’s Māori Language Week is 'Kia Kaha te Reo Māori' - ‘Let’s make the Māori language strong'. WITT Kaiārahi Ken Taiapa says promotion of Māori language needs to happen all year round, but there are benefits to holding dedicated weeks and months.

“Speaking reo is important every day of the year and this initiative is designed to encourage more people to use te reo Māori in their daily lives. It’s a chance to celebrate te reo as an official language and to promote and encourage its use everyday – this is an important step towards ensuring it revival”.

Everyone can contribute to te reo Māori revitalisation:

  • 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

WITT Kaitakawaenga and Māori/Pasifika Support Coordinator Allana Prestney says it’s not all about becoming fluent.

“To re-establish te reo Māori as a living language, we need a broad approach with a bit of effort from everyone – rather than focussing on the fluency of a few. Learn a little, use a little,” she says.

“Even using a simple ‘kia ora’, ‘ka pai’, or ‘ka kite’ at your workplace or at home is a start.”

For those that want to take the next step in their te reo journey, WITT offers Māori Language programmes, from beginner to intermediate. Most classes take place in the evenings and are fees-free, so they’re suitable for people who are working full-time.

“If you’ve been thinking about building your te reo skills, consider enrolling in a WITT class where you’ll be supported in your learning from one of our experienced and supportive tutors.”

For more information, visit the Māori Language and Culture section of the WITT website.

Keep an eye on WITT’s Facebook and Instagram pages for more information on Te Marama o te Reo Māori events as well as helpful resources to take the next step in your te reo journey.