Te Wiki o te reo Māori

A DigitalNZ Story by WAREKO TE ANGINA

This story tells a little of the history of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, as well as providing you with some resources for Te Wiki o te Reo Maōri 2018.

te wiki, Māori, language, week, Aotearoa, reo, kupu

In the last 200 years the history of the Māori language (te reo Māori) has been one of ups and downs. At the beginning of the 19th century it was the predominant language spoken in Aotearoa/New Zealand. As more English speakers arrived in New Zealand, the Māori language was increasingly confined to Māori communities. By the mid-20th century there were concerns that the language was dying out.  As these articles below from the 1950s state, "Few issues concern the modern Maori more than that the country at large should show an interest in and a respect for his language."

In 1972, three groups, Auckland-based Ngā Tamatoa (The Young Warriors), Victoria University’s Te Reo Māori Society, and Te Huinga Rangatahi (the New Zealand Māori Students’ Association) petitioned Parliament to promote the language. A Māori language day introduced that year became Māori language week in 1975. Three years later, New Zealand’s first officially bilingual school opened at Rūātoki in the Urewera. The first Māori-owned Māori-language radio station (Te Reo-o-Pōneke) went on air in 1983. 

Māori language petition

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Māori language petition memo

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Te reo Māori petition, 1972

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Petition to introduce te reo Māori in schools, 1972

Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga

- Māori Language Week

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Nga Tamatoa at Parliament, 1972

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Māori Language Act 1987 made Māori an official language and set up Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori, the Māori Language Commission. 

Māori Language Week protest march

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Petition for Māori television

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Here are some posters from Te Wiki o te Reo Māori's history.

Te wiki o te reo Māori: He Maramatanga

Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga

Over the years, various methods and technologies have been used to teach te reo Māori. Here are some examples below:

Teaching pre-schoolers Māori Language

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Opening of Māori language immersion school

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Māori language school class, 1991

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Highbury Children Visit Kauwhata Marae

Palmerston North City Library

The rākau method

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Māori Windows

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

'Nō te Mea...' cover & spread

Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga

Rakau Method

NZEI Te Riu Roa (New Zealand Educational Institute)

'Pūrerehua (Kahukura)' cover & spread

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Here are some language learning resources to help you for Māori Language Week 2018.

Find inspiration from the stories of these New Zealanders and their journey in te reo Māori.

Listen to these well known New Zealand artists talking about the use of te reo in their work.

Artist Darryn George speaks on the use of Te Reo in his work

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu

Artist Shannon Te Ao speaks on the use of Te Reo in his work

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu

Artist Lonnie Hutchinson speaks on the use of Te Reo in her work

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu

Artist Lisa Reihana speaks on the use of Te Reo in her work

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu

Parades and community events are great ways to support  Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

Libraries and museums are great supporters and celebrators of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. Here are some examples of activities in libraries and other communities organisations that celebrate Māori Language Week.

2008 Maori Language Week

Christchurch City Libraries

Pataka Kai: Hinana - Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori (Maori Language Week)

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira

Whakapakoko tupuna - Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori (Maori Language Week)

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira

2009 Maori Language Week Poster

Christchurch City Libraries

Māori magazines

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori 2015 (9)

Tauranga City Libraries

Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori 2015 (88)

Tauranga City Libraries

Māori Language Week at Te Papa 2012

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Māori Language Week at Te Papa 2012

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Part of the  opening paragraphs of this story are taken from  'History of the Māori language', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/culture/maori-language-week/history-of-the-maori-language, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 10-Oct-2017 

TE WIKI O TE REO Māori 2018

Six parades were held during Te Wiki o te  Reo Māori 2018 to celebrate te reo Māori. Kaumātua, nohinohi mai i tae ki te whakanui i te reo Māori.  Information came out stating that over 50% of New Zealanders supported te reo in all schools. Although the word compulsory is being avoided by many Māori leaders it seems other New Zealanders are not so coy to state that they support compulsory reo in schools, ka mau te wehi!   It may be needed if we are indeed aiming to have a million speakers of te reo by 2040.  But wouldn't that be fantastic bringing te reo back from the brink of extinction, you go New Zealand, Kia Kaha te Reo Māori.