Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2022

He waka eke noa – We’re all in this together

Happy Te Wiki o te reo Māori (Māori Language Week) everyone!

It’s encouraging and exciting to see the myriad of communications across multiple channels and online platforms, both acknowledging te reo Māori (Māori language) and using te reo Māori in their content this week. Every word in every email or post is one step closer to normalising te reo Māori in our everyday lives and mahi (work). Ka mau te wehi! (Awesome!).

Shine is privileged to work with amazing clients (both Māori and non-Māori organisations) on some very special and important kaupapa Māori projects. Through this mahi, we’re seeing an increasing want and need, particularly from non-Māori organisations, to communicate and engage effectively with their Māori kaimahi (staff), clients and stakeholders.

We have in-house expertise with a fluent te reo Māori speaker, and we each have embraced the wero (challenge) to take ownership of our own learning journey towards enhancing our mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and te reo Māori. We fundamentally believe it’s important – because it’s part of what makes us uniquely Aotearoa and enhances the mahi we’re already doing.

For those who have been inspired to take up this wero, that’s mana as. We know it can be a bit daunting at first, but ‘kaua e awangawanga’ (‘you don’t need to worry’). There are many resources at your fingertips to support your learning journey. There are also small things that you can do now to help to ease (and enjoy) that journey and make you feel comfortable and confident to use te reo Māori.

Try introducing simple words into your everyday written and verbal language. Instead of starting emails with ‘Dear’ or ‘Hi’, say Kia ora or try, Mōrena (good morning). Incorporating reo Māori greetings and ‘endings’ into emails is a great way to start.

Pronunciation can be tricky. Here are a couple of websites that give clear pronunciation examples for everyday words:
New Zealand History
Māori dictionary – helpful in defining and pronouncing any Māori word.

Reo Māori and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission) also have some gorgeous downloadable resources covering everything from pronunciation, through to everyday phrases and posters for your fridge or to post up around the office.

If you’re interested in studying te reo Māori, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa offer a range of te reo Māori courses from beginner to advanced, and most are free to study (don’t forget to check out Toi Ohomai too. Meg has just completed her tohu in Te Whāinga o te Ao Tikanga (Te Kaupae 3) and based on her experience, encourages everyone to give it a go – karawhiua!

So, there you go whānau, a few tips and tricks to get you started. A pīki (big) shout-out to all those starting the journey, on the journey, or considering taking up the wero.

We especially want to pay tribute to the warriors who started this journey for Aotearoa, by marching toward Parliament 50 years ago to present the Petihana Reo Māori (Māori Language Petition). This significant event led to many of the kaupapa we have today, including Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

Nō reira, kia kaha ake te kōrerohia i te reo Māori. Ia wā ka pērā, e whakarauora ana koe i te reo, e whakatō ana koe i te mauri ora ki te arero tupuna. Nō reira, kia māia, kia rangatira, kia manawanui.

Speak te reo Māori as much as you can. Every time you do, you’re revitalising te reo and breathing life back into our native tongue. Be brave, be bold and be patient.

He waka eke noa – We’re all in this together