The initiative started in 1975 to encourage New Zealanders to use the Māori language more, which, along with New Zealand Sign Language, is an official language of the country.
“The revitalisation of te reo Māori has been championed by many generations in Aotearoa and it’s been exciting to see Wellington City Council playing its part to keep the momentum going in the Capital, says Councillor Jill Day (Ngāti Tūwharetoa).
“Council plays an important role in making sure that the reo Māori we see in the city is accurate.
“There are a number of names that have been wrongly used on streets and places across the city. In 2020 Council corrected Te Wharepouri street but there is still more to do. We can’t change what happened in the past, but we owe it to future generations to correct mistakes.
“The Council’s Te Tauihu policy recognises the status of te reo Māori as a taonga, and this framework has guided us since it was introduced in 2018.
“It’s not lot just about language though, we now have mana whenua at our decision making table, a Māori Ward and increased funding to make Wellington a Te Reo city.
“I look forward to a time where instead of Māori language week or month, we speak and hear te reo Māori in every corner of the city.”
Mayor Andy Foster agrees and says that using a few words and phrases of te reo Māori each day normalises it for everyone.
“We know New Zealanders are embracing Māori culture as part of our shared heritage, and there is a growing uptake in participants of events like Te Wiki o te reo and Mahuru Māori, plus demands on classes and online courses.
“With on-going exposure to the language through media, work environments, schools and popular culture, we are hearing and learning and using new te reo Māori words all the time.
“As a Council, we are increasingly naming streets, parks, playgrounds and facilities to recognise and reflect the history of the area, and to raise awareness and improve the understanding of te reo Māori around.”
Karepa Wall, Tātai Heke Māori – Chief Māori Officer, believes that Wellington is well on track to support our community to create strong and empowered environments that enable our locals to speak, sing, write and live our indigenous language throughout our creative capital.
“The presence of te reo and tikanga Māori in daily life shows the positive change we are making to restore the Māori language as a nurturing first language here in Pōneke and Aotearoa.
“Te Wiki o te reo Māori helps to instil knowledge and a better appreciation of our language and culture, but also gives many the confidence to learn more, practice a lot, and just give it a go. Tukuna tō reo kia rere, kia ekea rā noa ngā tāpuhipuhitanga o te rangi”
Wellington City Council is on track to be the only Te Reo Māori Capital City in the world, and will be celebrating the week with events and activities on its social media channels including the correct pronunciation of some well-known streets and place names, waiata playing on the contact centre hold call service, and how to teach your dog tricks in te reo Māori.
Wellington City Libraries will be promoting an exciting range of stories, resources and activities to entertain and educate each day of the week.
As face-to-face events can’t happen under the spacing requirements for Alert Level 2, they will use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and their website to share stories; games for tamariki and whānau to play; waiata to sing; language and history resources and books, plus links to speakers including Dr Carwyn Jones on Te Titiriti o Waitangi.
Social media channels to follow
Wellington City Pools Facebook
Wellington City Libraries Facebook
Wellington City Archives Facebook
Wellington City Tip Shop Facebook
Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
Māori Language Moment on Tuesday 14 September at 12pm