This week, all across Aotearoa New Zealand, people celebrated Te Wiki o te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week. This year it has included a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of te Petihana Reo Māori – the Māori Language Petition. The petition, presented to parliament on 14 September 1972, called for the active recognition and teaching of te reo Māori in schools. Te reo Māori has subsequently been recognised as an official language in Aotearoa New Zealand since August 1, 1987.
At Visionwest’s Glendale Rd site, as part of the celebration Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, a hangi lunch was held. Whānau from Hoani Waititi, our local marae were invited as were the children from Eden Cottage, Visionwest’s early childhood education centre. The event was also open to any Visionwest clients who wished to come for lunch.
Waiata were sung, the use of te reo was encouraged and resources were shared to enable whānau to take the next step on their te reo journey.
Animoa, our Pou Arahi Kaupapa Māori, commented on how well the event had gone. “It was exciting to see everyone enjoying kai together. I was especially excited to see our tamariki so proud as they used their reo. It confirmed to me that there is real hope for the future of te reo in Aotearoa New Zealand.”
Ko tōku reo tōku ohooho (My language is my awakening)
Ko tōku reo tōku māpihi mauria (My language is the window to my soul)