1.Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori: The Māori Language Moment

This month’s  most creative event  in Aotearoa   was undoubtedly

Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori:


This year,Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori , the Māori Language Commission, decided to celebrate Māori language Week in a new way because of Covid-imposed limitations.  Their goal was to encourage one million New Zealanders to sign up to a Māori language activity at midday on the first day of Māori Language Week.  (14-20 September).

They achieved their goal and more:

1,o44,326 people engaged in Te Reo Māori activities at midday on Monday 14 September 2020.

This is the largest ever number of people speaking Maori at one time. Congratulations to Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori for their creative idea and hard work to achieve this goal!

See www.tuku.reomaori.co.nz

Historical Background to the official use of te reo in Aotearoa

On 14 September 1972, a petition, signed by 30,000 people requesting that Te Reo Māori be acknowledged as  an official language of Aotearoa-New Zealand, was presented to the NZ Parliament by a group of young Māori activists .  The petition was not successful till 1987, but there were significant ongoing developments even before that to strengthen the use of te reo throughout the country. 

The first Kohanga Reo for preschool children was founded by early leaders including Jean Puketapu and Iritana Tawhiwhirangi in Wainuiomata in 1982. Three years later there were over 300 operating. f

The intergenerational commitment to the survival of te reo Māori passed from grandmother to mother to daughter. In 2018 there were 450 kōhanga reo in Aotearoa, attended by approximately 17 percent of Māori children enrolled in early childhood education services.

The first Kura Kaupapa Māori for school-age  children was opened at Hoani Waititi marae in Henderson in 1985.

Our Te Reo moment in 2020…

We decided to celebrate Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori at noon on the 14th by joining a small group of staff at the Te Wāhi Wāhine – the Auckland Women’s Centre in Grey Lynn for  mihi, pepeha, karakia,  waiata  –  all glad to be celebrating te reo, and committed to on-going learning…





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