Every year in September, New Zealand marks Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week), a time to celebrate and help support the resurgence of te reo in Aotearoa. The week is a great time to add more Māori phrases into your daily vocabulary and expand your mōhio (knowledge) of te ao Māori. The number of people participating across the country is increasing, with Māori kupu (words) being used more and more by the New Zealand media.
Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori originated when on the 14th September 1972, a group of tangata whenua arrived at the steps of Parliament in Wellington. All ages gathered to demand the active recognition of te reo Māori, the country’s native tongue. They brought with them a petition of 30,000 signatures, and there was waiata, haka and chanting.
To commemorate the day, on Tuesday the 14th this week at 12pm, Aotearoa held a “Māori Language Moment”. The goal of this kaupapa (initiative) was to encourage kiwi’s to take the time to kōrero (speak), whakarongo (listen), waiata (sing), pānui (read), ako (learn), tākaro (play) across Aotearoa. At First AML, a group of us had a zoom call and listened to a reading of Kōuraraka me ngā Pea e Toru (Goldilock & The Three Bears). This moment was a great way to expand our understanding of te reo with a story we all know so well. Thousands of New Zealanders stopped to share a moment of unity for te reo Māori, you can take a look at some snippets of these moments here.
Throughout the week, we have also been sharing our favourite waiata (songs), from the traditional to the more modern releases. Music is a key part of Māori tikanga,and is a fantastic way to learn more reo. More and more kiwi artists are releasing te reo versions of their songs, and this week has also shone the light on a lot more Māori artists. We’ve shared resources on learning your mihi, a cheat sheet for a few Māori greetings and farewells that you slip into your conversations, and some further resources that you can use to expand your knowledge:
- Māori Dictionary – which also has an app, called Te Aka
- Kupu o te Rā – sign up to get a Kupu o te Rā (Word of the Day)
- Mini lessons: http://www.tokureo.maori.nz/ & http://animations.tewhanake.maori.nz/levels
- And some online games learning Māori https://www.digitaldialects.com/Maori.htm
This past week has been a wonderful time of unity and learning for everyone at First AML, and we hope this blog shares just a few of four learnings with you. Year on year, the number of kiwis participating in Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori has grown – let’s make this trend grow, together.
Kōrerohia te reo!