12 Sep 2021
Since 1975, Kiwis have celebrated Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, but in recent years, the use of te reo Māori and the week itself have taken off. People are working hard to ensure te reo is rejuvenated and preserved for future generations. This year, we celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori from 13–19 September – a time to acknowledge and celebrate the Māori language as a unique cultural treasure.
Having a dedicated week is a great chance to raise awareness and celebrate te reo Māori, but to truly get behind it, we need this effort to extend beyond a single week by integrating it into our everyday life.
This is something we’re working hard on within Te Ao Rangahau Engineering New Zealand. We’re underway with our own te reo journey through introducing weekly learning within our all staff meetings, dedicated online resources through an internal Teams channel, and by actively encouraging our people to embrace te reo. Much more is underway to embrace te ao Māori in all that we do – and we’ll share more about that with you soon.
So, for now, check out these ideas on how you can get your te reo journey started – and kia kaha te reo Māori!
Firstly, what does ‘Kia Kaha te reo Māori’ mean?
Kia Kaha means ‘be strong’. So when people say “Kia Kaha te reo Māori”, it means “let's make the Māori language strong.”
Māori language moment
This year, a big part of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is encouraging Aotearoa to participate in the nationwide ‘Māori language moment’ to help Te Taura Whiri set a world record.
As an organisation, we celebrated with our own Māori Language Moment: check it out.
Te reo for the workplace
Te Taura Whiri has translated common words and objects seen and used in the office. And although many of us might not be returning to the office just yet – you can circulate these kupu (words) via email, work chat, social media – whatever works!
Make a habit of using tohutō
A tohutō (macron) is a line above a vowel to indicate that it should be spoken as a long vowel. Make sure your keyboard is set-up so you can easily use Māori macrons.
Sharpen up on your pronunciation
Take a look at these videos by Kaiako (teacher) Joan Costello. She provides four helpful tips to keep in mind when pronouncing te reo Māori.
There’s also this fantastic pronunciation guide we recommend you check out – perhaps you could print out, or send copies to your staff?
Familiarise yourself with common phrases
From welcoming to farewelling to encouraging – up-skill on a range of te reo expressions. And when you get back in the office, how about displaying some of the phrases so everyone can get involved?
There are so many ways you can celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. These are just a few ideas to get you off the ground, and help you feel more confident with te reo: