Coun­cil moves to pro­mote us­ing more te reo Ma¯ori

Waihi Leader - - News -

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.

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