Kia ora te wiki o te reo Maori
What is Māori Language Week?
Māori Language Week is an annual celebration held in the third week of September. The initiative, also called ‘Te Wiki o te Reo Māori,’ is government-sponsored. It aims to inspire New Zealanders to speak the Māori language proudly. Māori Language Week is part of a larger effort to revitalize the Māori language. New Zealanders — and indeed, the global community — are encouraged to learn the language and experience the rich culture of the region. Events are held across the country to mark this observance and showcase the beauty of New Zealand.
Every year since 1975 New Zealand has marked Māori Language Week. This is a time for all New Zealanders to celebrate te reo Māori (the Māori language) and to use more Māori phrases in everyday life. In 2022 Māori Language Week runs from 14-19 September.
Te reo Māori is undergoing a resurgence and more people speak the language. There are Māori-language schools, Māori radio stations and a Māori television channel. There was a time when some people objected to hearing Māori greetings such as ‘Kia ora’. The campaign to revive the language has been a long one.
The future of te reo Māori was the subject of a claim before the Waitangi Tribunal in 1985. The tribunal’s recommendations were far-reaching. Māori became an official language of New Zealand in 1987. Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori was established in the same year to promote te reo. Along with the Human Rights Commission and Te Puni Kōkiri, it plays a key role in the annual Māori Language Week.
The Māori Language Commission says Maori Language Week has been celebrated every year since 1975. Māori Language Day is September 14 and commemorates the presentation of the 1972 Māori language petition to parliament.
There are plenty of online resources to help you celebrate the week. We found a few from Tribe Leadership to get you started.
- 100 Māori words every New Zealander should know
- A Māori word a day
- Make bilingual signs for your office
- Order your coffee in te reo
- Explore the Māori Language website
- Listen to a special Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori playlist
It's really important to acknowledge a person. By using the words 'Kia Ora' we acknowledge not just them, but everything about them including where they come from and who they come from.
- Arekatera Maihi, Ngati Whatua ki Orakei.