Tokoroa shines at NZ te reo awards
Tokoroa New World and Tokoroa High School Te Rito group beat 70 finalists from around New Zealand to nab awards at the 2011 National Maori Language Awards evening in Rotorua.
Tokoroa New World won the Private Sector category for its long-term commitment to te reo, in particular its permanent signs which are bi-lingual.
Tokoroa New World human resources manager Lisa Nichol said the group was stunned by the win.
‘‘We were stunned to be honest, you couldn’t not wipe the cheesy grins off our faces afterward.’’
Tokoroa New World now has the challenging task of developing more award-winning strategies for next year.
Tokoroa High School Te Rito group members were also grinning from ear to ear when they won the supreme education award.
Te Rito dean Keinan Ngapo was ecstatic his students were finalists and that their hard work to promote te reo had been recognised on a national stage.
‘‘I am humbled by this award, to see our school recognised nationally shows that we are fully committed to seeing the reo pros- per. Further giving our students something to aspire too.’’
The school won the award for its efforts throughout the year by promoting te reo through use of noho marae, Nga Manu Korero, Maori composition, reo classes and kapa haka.
Students also promoted te reo through kura reo which is a higher class of learning.
‘‘ We also made a Maori Language week CD which featured an original Maori song,’’ Mr Ngapo said.
The school won three major awards at the Raukawa Reo Awards.
Raukawa Charitable Trust Education and Te Reo Manager Charlie Tepana is excited by growing passion for the reo.
‘‘Once again it shows that something interesting is happening in the Raukawa community.
‘‘ We had a lot of comments about the number of entries from the town and it is a sign that there is a natural positive progression to retain the reo. It again puts our town in a positive light.’’
Those showing creativity and innovation in Maori language promotion and revitalisation are eligible to enter the National Maori Language Awards.