Promoting te reo
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.