Stu­dents cel­e­brate Te Wiki o te reo Ma¯ori


‘‘We de­cided if we didn't make a loud noise about it, who was go­ing to in Paeroa?’’

Paeroa Cen­tral School made some noise for Te Wiki o te reo Ma¯ori, or Ma¯ori Lan­guage Week.

Stu­dents made colour­ful signs in te reo for a hikoi, or com­mu­nal walk, down Paeroa’s main street on Septem­ber 15.

They then gath­ered on the steps of the Paeroa in­for­ma­tion cen­tre for wa­iata and haka.

Prin­ci­pal Janet Jones said 50 of the 100 stu­dents at the school learned in te reo Ma¯ori.

The re­main­ing stu­dents learned in English, with 30 per cent te reo.

‘‘We de­cided if we didn’t make a loud noise about it, who was go­ing to in Paeroa? So to­day we’ve gone on a hikoi down the main street,’’ she said.

‘‘The trucks have all been go­ing by and toot­ing and we’re just hav­ing a great time to­day cel­e­brat­ing Ma¯ori lan­guage, te reo.’’

Jones said 96 per cent of stu­dents at the school were Ma¯ori.

She be­lieved learn­ing te reo was im­por­tant for the iden­tity of the school’s Ma¯ori stu­dents and also for New Zealan­ders.

‘‘We’re a small school in Paeroa of 100 stu­dents but we think we’re how New Zealand should be,’’ she said.

* More pho­tos on P42

Paeroa Cen­tral School stu­dents march down the main street in a hikoi for Ma¯ori Lan­guage Week.

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