Pro­mot­ing te reo

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

The real work is just be­gin­ning for Raukawa cou­ple and te reo Maori ad­vo­cates Charles Tepana and Tangi­wai Amopiu as sub­mis­sions roll in for the Raukawa Maori Lan­guage Awards.

The pair work for Raukawa Char­i­ta­ble Trust pro­mot­ing te reo Maori and are re­spon­si­ble for run­ning the an­nual Raukawa Maori Lan­guage Awards in Oc­to­ber.

The event recog­nises Maori Lan­guage Week suc­cesses and longer term ini­tia­tives.

Mr Tepana and Ms Amopiu were very im­pressed by the in­creased com­mu­nity in­volve­ment in this year’s Maori Lan­guage Week with a par­tic­u­lar high­light be­ing a triv­ial pur­suit evening.

‘‘It was re­ally pos­i­tive to see busi­nesses there that had not been associated be­fore and they did re­ally well,’’ said Mr Tepana.

Award en­tries opened last week and sub­mis­sions will be ac­cepted un­til Au­gust 5.

‘‘There are al­ways a cou­ple of en­tries that blow us away.’’

The Raukawa Maori Lan­guage Awards gets about 50 en­tries per year – a very high level for such a small com­mu­nity.

‘‘There is a cer­tain level of ex­cite­ment around these pos­i­tive ini­tia­tives in this com­mu­nity and there is an ex­pec­ta­tion that groups will par­tic­i­pate,’’ Mr Tepana said.

That ex­cite­ment could well be at­trib­uted to the ef­forts of the cou­ple them­selves, as Raukawa per­forms par­tic­u­larly well in the na­tional awards, hav­ing won the supreme na­tional award for the last two years and in 2006.

‘‘ We en­ter [ the na­tional awards] not so much for the recog­ni­tion but for the mo­men­tum and pos­i­tiv­ity, and in­creased in­volve­ment it cre­ates,’’ Mr Tepana said.

All of this sup­ports the longer-term vi­sion of Raukawa – to have te reo Maori as a first lan­guage for Raukawa uri by 2170, a goal sup­ported by a ro­bust lan­guage strat­egy be­gun in 2006.

That strat­egy was founded af­ter some deep thought and con­sul­ta­tion about what ‘‘lan­guage re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion’’ re­ally meant and with that came the de­sire to re­turn the lan­guage of the re­gion to its ‘‘ nat­u­ral state’’.

LOVE OF REO: Char­lie Tepana and Tangi­wai Amopiu are im­pressed by the amount of en­trants in the Raukawa Maori Lan­guage Awards.

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