Rātapu – Sunday: Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2022

E ngā kaimahi o Ngā Kete Wānanga o Ōtautahi. E manamanahau ana ki o koutou māia ki te kōrero me te ako i Te Reo Māori. Ko tēnei te rā whakamutunga mō te wiki, he rā kia hokinga mahara mō te wiki ahakoa he piki me ngā heke. Words can’t describe how overjoyed I am to see the bravery to everyone who took up the challenge in speaking and learning some Te Reo Māori this week. Today is a day of reflection for all the good times and bad times that came from the week. Yesterday, we looked at history and key moments in time that were important to me, I along with many others weren’t given chance to learn about New Zealand history let alone Māori history. I wanted to show you now the progress we have made from then until now, and if my nannies and koros could see the changes made now, well I’d like to hope they would be as proud as I am:

1970, Ngā Tamatoa

Ngā Tamatoa was a group formed by rangatahi (youth) with the vision for Māori rights, fighting to combat racism as well as confronting injustices for Māori. Ngā Tamatoa went on to protest and advocate for so many other kaupapa that are relevant and highlight the growth in Māori history.

1972, Māori Language Petition

On the 14Th September 1972, members Ngā Tamatoa, Victoria University’s Te Reo Māori Society and Te Huinga Rangatahi  (New Zealand's Māori Association) delivered to parliament a petition signed by over 30,000 to promote Te Reo Māori as an official language of Aotearoa New Zealand as well as the language being taught in schools. For me, this is what started the revitalisation of Te Reo Māori.

1972, New Zealand Polynesian Cultural Festival

This was the starting of one of the most important things in my childhood, my upbringing and one of the biggest passions in my life. Kapa haka was highlighted and celebrated here in Aotearoa. Over the years this competition grew and grew in popularity and now we have what is more commonly known as Te Matatini.

1975, Hīkoi ki Te Paremata

He uri ia nō Te Rārawa, ko Whina Cooper tōna ingoa. Whina led Te Rōpū Matakite from Te Hāpua all the way to Parliament in protest the ongoing confiscation of Māori land and for “No more Māori land to be lost.” She believed strongly in Māori land and equal rights for Māori. From her courageous aura in regards to supporting the Māori Land Development Schemes, also the Māori Woman’s Welfare League, she paved the way for many exciting things that today Māori have been able to reap the benefits of them. She along with many others presented to Parliament a signed documented with over 60,000 signatures.

1975, Waitangi Tribunal

This was created to prompt recommendations on claims for Māori in regards to actions made by The Crown that conflicts the kupu within the Treaty. For instance, iwi will often be found here.

1980, Māori Political Party formed

Matiu Rata created the Mana Motuhake Party in regards to advocating among many things, Māori autonomy. Further extension to the current day, looking and listening to the names of The Māori Party, the Mana Party. The names of Māori that now sit amongst the high chairs in the big office, what a moment in history to be able to praise a round of applause to.

1981, Te Whare Wānanga o Raukawa

Te Whare Wānanga o Raukawa still stands to this day but it opened its doors to us as New Zealand’s first modern wānanga although it wasn’t officially recognised as a teritiary education facility until the amendment of the Education Act in 1990. This paves pathways like undertaking a teachers qualification in total emersion Te Reo Māori, learning Te Reo Māori in a total immersion environment and so much more.

1982, Te Kōhanga Reo Trust

The Te Kōhanga Reo Programme was created to help stimulate the growth of Māori whānau centers where mātauranga Māori is at the forefront of everything that the Kōhanga lives and breathes. Nowadays, you’ll find Kōhanga present all over Aotearoa in which you can see the benefits of raising our tamariki in a kaupapa Māori lens and framework.

1985, Te Aho Matua

This marks the date of such a wonderful product that’s flowered and bloomed into something truly special. Te Aho Matua outlines a framework in which mātauranga Māori is highlighted in schools and in teaching and learning. This ultimately was the birthing stones for our kura kaupapa with the first being Hoani Waititi to open in Aotearoa.

1987, Te Taura Whiri

Te Taura Whiri was created for purposes regarding promoting Te Reo Māori and upholding the mana and integrity of standards for both written and spoken Māori. Essentially nowadays, Te Taura Whiri prompts things quite heavily around Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori as well as throughout the year. We know that every week should be held with regards to each week being Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori and not just limiting to celebrating once a year.

In 2000, a whole new generation of rangatahi were born, and we are now all 22 and boy what a journey it has been for those that came before us. So much has happened in order for me and a whole lot of others to be able to have as many opportunities to learn, speak, write and promote Te Reo Māori. We have options as to be in a mainstream setting stream of learning or in kura kaupapa and Kōhanga reo which prompts and teaches from a Te Ao Māori perspective. We have a whole week that is dedicated to celebrating Te Reo Māori, a language once feared for its survival now a thriving language that slowly gains interest from all walks of life. With that in mind let me give you today’s final whakataukī and waiata:

Whakataukī – “E tio te tūī, e ketekete te kākā. E kōrihi ana te kōkako. The tūī bird calls, the kākā bird chirps and the kokako bird sings.”

In reflection, this whakataukī talks about the strength in diversity, in regards to the language, many mouths actively speaking and learning make for a whole lot of noise. How in the midst of our history, the various things that have come forth have given us all the different pathways and opportunities to venture on and create new meaning for our past to better our future outcomes. This whakataukī to me talks about us as a people too both Māori and Pākeha, together in the face of adversity and diversity we can come together to learn and share from each other.


Now keeping this short and sweet, I chose this song because it has a big emphasis for me on how proud I am to be a Māori and to hear this being sung in the chambers by our one and only Rawiri Waititi. This for me wraps up the outcomes I had for this year which was to highlight and acknowledge mātauranga Māori as well as highlighting something I find our rangatahi both focus on and lose sight of which is our hinengaro, our mental health and well being. This waiata is for us all, sit back and enjoy!

E mihi kau ana ki a koutou ka tuku te wero mō tēnei wiki, kia kaha ki Te Reo Māori. Kei runga noa atu koutou ahakoa he iti ngā kupu kia kōrero, he taonga tino whakahirahira. A big huge mihi from us here from Māori and Multicultural Services, we hope you have all enjoyed taking up the challenge to speaking as much Te Reo Māori as we can whether that is a sentence as simple as “kei te pēhea koe?” to say “kia ora” all these contribute to the big picture which is keeping our language and our culture alive. Wishing you nothing but the best and we hope the rest of your week is a safe and enjoyable one.

Ngā mihi
Kaitakawaenga Māori
Māori Services