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.