News | 12 September 2022
Share on social

Ka rawe! It’s Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

Wellington City Council is celebrating Aotearoa New Zealand’s indigenous language and Te Wiki o te Reo Māori with special events and activities around the city this month.

Chalk stencil on path at Botanic Garden celebrating Māori Language Week.
Chalk stencil on path at Wellington Botanic Garden ki Paekākā celebrating Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is from 12 to 18 September, and Council has partnered with Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Awa to bring a fantastic new festival of events, activities, and exhibitions to Pōneke to coincide with the nationwide celebrations.


Te Hui Ahurei Reo Māori o Te Whanganui-a-Tara, the Te Reo Māori Festival of Wellington, will begin with celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Māori language petition delivered to Parliament on 14 September 1972 with te reo Māori focused arts and events, including:


  • Ngā Kapa Haka o te Mataini – bringing together some of Aotearoa’s leading kapa haka groups (The Opera House).
  • Thoroughly Modern Māui – a modern take on reincarnating Māui into a living breathing rock star (Pipitea Marae).
  • I Will Not Speak Māori – the multi-platform and multi-media installations telling the story of Tūhoe artist and Māori icon Tame Iti and te reo Māori (Odlins Plaza).
  • Wāhine Māori: The art of resistance – Wāhine using art as a platform to highlight the injustices imposed upon them (Wellington Museum).
  • The Lion King Reo Māori – follow the adventures of Simba and his friends to take back his homeland (Pipitea Marae).

The festival is part of the Tūpiki Ora Māori strategy, a partnership between Council and Mana Whenua to support our whānau to thrive, improve well-being, and provide a better future for our mokopuna. For more information about events, visit


Other events include:


  • Wellington Gardens is bringing back the Kia kaha te reo Māori - Give te reo a go! sidewalk stencils.
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi Workshop - Celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori by joining Aperahama Hurihanganui from Engaging Well at this insightful te Tiriti o Waitangi workshop. Visit the Toi Pōneke website for more information.
  • These October school holidays, Tawa Recreation Centre will be providing a bi-lingual school holiday programme, Te Hōtaka Hararei Reo Rua o Tawa Recreation Centre.

Te reo Māori has been an official language of New Zealand since 1987, and Te Wiki o te Reo Māori has been celebrated in New Zealand since 1975, in an effort to raise awareness of the language, and get New Zealanders to embrace te reo Māori and use it more.


Council’s Te Tauihu policy aims to make the capital a bilingual city by 2040, with te reo Māori sitting comfortably alongside English in all our cultural, creative and political endeavours.