This week is Te Wiki o te Reo Māori and the theme is about making the Māori language strong - Kia Kaha te Reo Māori.
“We know that language is the pathway to culture and that in Aotearoa New Zealand we have a rich and unique culture that we can still learn much from,” the Mayor says.
“Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is our opportunity to learn new kupu (words), new tikanga (Māori protocols or customs), to challenge each other and find ways to use more te reo Māori in our day.”
In July, Wellington City Council adopted its te reo Māori policy, Te Tauihu, which has the aim of making Wellington a te reo Māori city by 2040. This means helping te reo Māori sit alongside English as a core part of the cultural fabric and identity of the city.
“We announced our intention to do this during last year’s Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, and have made great progress.
“The message we received from Wellingtonians was that they supported the vision and wanted us to dream big. I am excited to see what is put into place over the next two decades.”
In partnership with Te Taura Whiri, the Māori Language Commission, there is a Māori Language Week parade, Hīkoi Whakanui i te Reo Māori, in Wellington from Parliament to Te Ngākau Civic Square today, 10 September, at noon.
The colourful floats and parade walkers will be welcomed to the square by Mayor Justin Lester, Deputy Mayor Jill Day, Te Taura Whiri and mana whenua.
“The parade is a visually striking way for us to celebrate te reo Māori in the heart of the city,” says Deputy Mayor Day, who leads the Māori Partnerships portfolio.
“Wellingtonians have really embraced our dream to lift the status of te reo Māori and this week is our time to celebrate the way language connects us to each other.”
Kua reri te tāone o Pōneke ki te tautoko i te reo Māori, ehara i Te Wiki o te Reo Māori anake, engari i ngā wiki katoa, tā te kī o te Koromatua a Justin Lester.
Kua tae mai Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori ā, ko te kaupapa i tēnei tau ko te whakapakaritanga o tō tātou nei reo – “Kia Kaha te Reo Māori.
“E mōhio nei tātou ko te huarahi kia whai mōhiotanga ki tā te ahurea, ko te reo. Ki Aotearoa nei he ahurea haumako, he ahurea tūhāhā tō tātou, ā, he nui ngā ākonga ka taea e tātou ki te hopu,” ko tā te Koromatua.
“I Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori ka whai wāhi tātou katoa ki te ako kupu hou, tikanga hou, ki te whakatara i a tātou anō me pēhea te whakamahi i te reo Māori ia rā, ia rā.”
I te marama ō Hōngongoi i whakaae te Kaunihera o Pōneke ki te whakatakoto i tētahi kaupapa here mō te reo Māori ko Te Tauihu, me te moemoeā ko tēnei, taka rawa ki te tau 2040 kua tū a Pōneke hei tāone reo Māori. Ko te tikanga kia noho te reo Māori hei poutoko-manawa o te ahurea me te tuakiri o tō tātou tāone.
“I whakaae tātou ki tēnei mahi i Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2018, ā, kei te anga whakamua tonu tātou.
“Ko te kōrero i puta mai i ngā tangata noho ai ki Pōneke, ka tautoko i te tenei moemoeā nui. E hiamo ana ahau ki te kite i ngā mahi ka whakatakoto ai e tātou i ngā rua tekau tau kei te haramai.
Ka tū tahi ki te Te Taura Whiri o Te Reo Māori, he Hīkoi Whakanui i te Reo Māori ki Pōneke, mai i ngā poutama ki pāremata ki Te Ngākau, a te Mane 10 ō Mahuru i te poupoutanga o te rā.
Ka pōwhiritia ngā waka muramura me ngā kai-hīkoi ki Te Ngākau e te Koromatua, te Koromatua Tuarua a Jill Day, Te Taura Whiri, me mana whenua hoki.
“Ko te tikanga o te Hīkoi kia tū he kaupapa kitea hei whakanui i te reo Māori ki te mano o te tāone o Pōneke,” te kī a te Koromatua Tuarua a Jill Day.
“Kua tino mauminamina ngā tāngata o Pōneke ki te moemoeā kia whakapūmautia te mana o te reo Māori, ā, ka whai wāhi tātou i tēnei wiki ki te whakanui i te reo me tōna āhei ki te here i a tātou ki a tātou.”
Progress towards a bilingual te reo Māori and te reo Pākehā city:
- New names: Ara Moana for the waterfront walkway; Te Ngākau for Civic Square; Pukehīnau - Lambton ward; Motukairangi - Eastern ward; Paekawakawa - Southern ward; Wharangi - Onslow-Western ward; Takapū - Northern ward. Gifted by mana whenua iwi Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika.
- In discussion with mana whenua on other names for important city landmarks.
- Highlighted te reo Māori names already around the city, including a family activity based at Whairepo Lagoon.
- Te reo Māori artwork, Ngā Kākano by Johnson Witehira, installed on the hoardings around the Civic Administration Building.
- Māori kupu and translations installed on the Central Library windows overlooking Te Ngākau Civic Square.
- First Matariki ki Pōneke festival including: ReCut performing arts show; the first Ahi Kā event with fire, kai and whānau; and the first winter Sky Show.
- Supported the trials of te reo Māori pre-school and after school programmes in community centres.