Council moves to promote using more te reo Ma¯ori
Hauraki District Council wants to promote te reo Ma¯ori.
The council will introduce karakia (prayers) at the beginning and end of meetings and the addition of te reo to the name badges of customer service staff and library teams.
Hauraki District libraries will add more te reo to existing programmes, such as Toddler Time.
Other changes include introduction of bilingual headings for public toilet signs at hinemuri Park, Karangahake Reserve, Nga¯tea’s main street and Waihi’s Victoria Park (Rocket Park) next week. According to the 2013 Census, 3588 Ma¯ori live in the Hauraki District, an increase of 270 people — or 8.1 per cent — since the 2006 Census.
Te Reo Ma¯ori is spoken by nearly 5 per cent of the population, slightly higher than the national average of 3.7 per cent.
The initiative comes before Te Wiki o te Reo Ma¯ori — Ma¯ori Language Week from September 10 to 16, but the council says it want to see more changes long term.
“For some of us this will be a bit of a learning curve so we ask our customers to please bear with us and support us in our efforts,” Chief Executive Langley Cavers says. “We may not always get our pronunciation or wording 100 per cent right but we expect this will improve with practice and encouragement. Whakawhetai koe mo¯ to¯ tautoko — thank you for your support,”
Email signatures will also be changed to include te reo job titles, and staff will be encouraged and supported to practice speaking te reo with each other and with customers where they can.
Council says that staff is being encourage to work with their peers who are fluent in te reo and to download the Waikato Regional Council’s Kawe Ko¯rero app.
This free app was developed to help WRC staff and other councils to better communicate with iwi, understand te reo and protocol.
Langley says that staff and councillors are embracing the changes. Council will also run an online competition on Facebook for the best te reo caption to win a set of te reo children’s books.
■ Download the ¯ free O Kawe Ko¯rero app from Google Play store, App store or Windows phone store.