Tautokongia te reo Maori
As Maori Language Week begins, one of the nation’s oldest representatives’ groups, Te Kaunihera Ma ori o Aotearoa, the New Zealand Ma¯ ori Council, has called on more Kiwis to know a little more Te Reo and to not be afraid to use a few kupu (words) every day.
National executive member Tane Cook, who chairs the Council’s Te Reo, Culture and Community Committee, says that while more Kiwis are embracing Te Reo, others can make a difference with a few words to start off with.
“Te Reo Ma ori is not just one of our national languages, it’s part of our culture, the fabric of our history and a defining aspect that sets all of us apart from other countries,” says Tane. “My message this Ma¯ori Language Week is for those who are worried they won’t pronounce the words properly to still have a go using things such as “kia ora” or “mo¯ rena”.
“Then there are words such as “wha¯ nau” for family and “mahi” for work. So, for our non-Ma¯ ori brothers, sisters and cousins ease into it, such as your staff arriving for work — “Mo¯rena and welcome to mahi!”,” says Tane.
“For our Wha¯nau Ma¯ori out there, who are a little worried or concerned that they might not make a good job of it, kia kaha, never be afraid to also give it a go.
“We have so many marae and hapu¯ around the country doing amazing things when it comes to our reo, such as courses and language nights, that its easy to get involved. Like all things with our people and our culture it would be great to see all Ma¯ori learning not only te reo but also tikanga (protocols), pepeha (where they are from) and whakapapa, so when it comes to the next generation more of us can pass that knowledge on.”
Tane says you don’t have to talk — you can also sing.
“Take the opportunity to rediscover some classics from Tui Teka and Howard Morrison or some traditional waiata,” he says.
“Let all of our voices be heard this Ma¯ ori language week,”
The New Zealand Ma¯ori Council is holding or supporting events around Aotearoa.
“Kia mai, kia u¯ ki to¯ ta¯ tou Reo Ma¯ori hai ta¯onga tukuiho mo ngae whakatipuranga hou.”
“Remain steadfast to the use of the Ma¯ ori language so that it may be passed to the next generation.”
Man Up, Legacy, and Tu¯ Tangata motorcycle riders from Destiny Church hosting the New Approach Hui at Napier last month.