Hawke's Bay's councils embrace Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
Hawke's Bay's councils have come together to celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) with more flags featuring kiwaha, or key Māori phrases dotted around the region.
The 2021 Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori project has been led by Te Waka Rangapū, Napier City Council’s Māori Partnerships Directorate, and a project team including staff from across Council.
There are more than 80 flags in Napier alone, spread between Prebensen Drive, Marine Parade, Kennedy Road, Gloucester Street and the Pandora industrial area.
Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori runs from today until Sunday, September 19. But NCC's in-house reo champions are encouraging others to make it part of their everyday lives, rather than just one week of the year.
Internal NCC initiatives include shared daily karakia in person or online at the start of the work day, an initiative which has been running since July 1, short videos of "champions" speaking in te reo Māori, quizzes and fun recordings of the A ha ka ma na Māori vowel song.
Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise says she supports any efforts to inspire and encourage staff to embrace "this beautiful language".
“I’ve been on a te reo Māori journey myself this year and have found it challenging but also extremely rewarding," she said.
Economic Development Manager Bill Roberts began his reo learning journey at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa a few years after arriving from London, initially wanting to understand the meanings behind place names and know more about the land he had chosen for his home.
“As I progressed I began to gain a real appreciation for how much more there was to learn. I really look forward to Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori as it really helps embed my learning – it’s a great opportunity to practice. Furthermore, it helps to normalise te reo so it is used increasingly throughout the whole year.”
Earlier this year the Hawke’s Bay councils’ Māori specialist teams also collaborated on another project,Te Kupenga app, to enable staff to have quick access to mihi, karakia and waiata. The app also holds a range of information including marae protocol, pronunciation guides, maps relevant to this rohe (area), and the Treaty of Waitangi.