Maori Language Week

20 July 2010

If Maori Language Week next week seems to revolve around food, that's no accident.

Maori Language Week performers Elena and Tumeke.

Maori Language Week performers Elena and Tumeke.

The theme for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori - Māori Language Week 2010 is te mahi kai, or the language of food.

In Wellington, the week's events will be launched at noon on Monday (26 July) at Midland Park with a celebrity cook-off led by Minister of Maori Affairs Dr Pita Sharples.

One of the highlights of the week is a free cooking demonstration, Kai, on Saturday (31 July), where chef and author Anne Thorp will be cooking chilli kutai (green-lipped mussels), titi orzo (mutton bird pasta) and paua risotto at Pipitea Marae.

Anne says te mahi kai means everything to do with food, "It's the whole thing - from the very thought that you are hungry, to the gathering, the preparation, the cooking and the eating of the kai.

"For me Maori Language Week is about tackling te reo in innovative ways and encouraging the use of small and simple phrases or words and place names for people who regularly don't, or never, speak te reo so they can take part with confidence and enjoyment."

To watch Anne cook, and sample her treats, register by phoning (04) 499 4444 by Wednesday 28 July. Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori - Māori Language Week is on from Monday 26 July - Sunday 1 August.