Kia Kaha Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori

3 September 2019

Māori Language Week kicks-off on Monday with a parade in the CBD, then a week of events, activities and exhibitions to celebrate te reo Māori, and to embrace our tangata whenua and shared history.

Image of kids at Māori Language Week parade in 2018
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Since 1975, the annual week has become a major fixture on the national calendar, growing from strength to strength, which is reflected in the theme Kia Kaha te Reo Māori | Let’s make the Māori language strong.

In July 2018, Wellington City Council announced its Te Tauihu policy, recognising the status of te reo Māori as a taonga of iwi Māori, and celebrating and supporting the revitalisation of the language within Council activities and Wellington City.

Deputy Mayor Jill Day acknowledges that Aotearoa has come a long way since 1975 as far as the use of te Reo Māori and pronunciation, but there is still a long way to go.

“Things have changed a lot since a Māori Language petition was first presented to Parliament in 1972, campaigning for Māori language classes to be offered in schools with high Māori rolls.

“Te reo Māori is now a part of our every day language, with most kiwis knowing basic greetings, place names, concepts and nouns – and also learning the history and culture behind them.

“This is galvanized through events like Te Wiki o te Reo Māori and policies like Te Tauihu, where we are implementing a framework to support the revitilisation of the language,” adds the Deputy Mayor.

Along with the events and activities throughout the week, there will also be light projections on exteriors of some key buildings around the capital – with The Embassy, Te Papa, and the Wellington Railway Station acting as canvasses for te Reo Māori phrases to raise awareness and encourage the public to learn, practice, and spark a conversation.

The projections will run for three hours from about 6pm (once it’s dark).

  • Te Papa, 9-13 Sept
  • Railway Station, 9-13 Sept
  • Embassy Cinema, 9-11, 13-14 September

Key events and activities:

Find out more about events and activities happening around the city for Māori Language Week (9 – 15 September) at wellington.govt.nz/maorilanguageweek.