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Regional Domination of Awards Positive Portent

MEDIA STATEMENT

13 September 2006


Regional Domination of 2006 Mäori Language Week Awards a Positive Portent for the Future

The dominance of regional entries to the 2006 Mäori Language Week Awards has been hailed by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Mäori, 'as a welcome sign of the growing capacity of communities to develop their own sustainable approaches to promoting the Mäori language'.

Chief executive, Haami Piripi said "successful promotion of the Mäori language relies heavily on regional and community groups being in the driving seat and taking ownership of language innovations".

This year's entries show the strength and untapped potential of regional groups and communities to be powerful catalysts for promoting the value of Mäori language and its use in environments like our homes, schools, businesses, workplaces, and other social domains."

The 2006 Mäori Language Week Awards will showcase the entries of 36 finalists from the following regions:

Auckland (12)
Wellington (8)
Waikato (7)
Bay of Plenty (4)
Gisborne (1)
Masterton (1)
Southland (1)

Entries include projects that include partnerships between the South Waikato district Council which was nominated by the Raukawa Trust Board for an award in recognition of the effort it has made to macronise street names in Tokoroa and Putaruru; providing bilingual signage for public institutions like the library and reo Mäori plaques for local reserves and waahi tapu. The placement of macrons indicating a longer vowel sound has been introduced as part of the Raukawa Reo Strategy that has as its medium term goal that by 2030 reo Maori will be in common use locally; and by 2170 it will be the primary language spoken.

740 staff at Diagnostic Medlab in Auckland used the resources in their own backyard to promote reo Mäori. Using its own native garden, staff learned Mäori names of plants and were enthralled with a lunchtime presentation about the use of native plants for medicinal purposes. Using resources from their native garden, staff participated in kete weaving classes. The Diagnostic Medlab building was given bilingual signage; and information packs were sent out to 85 diagnostic collection rooms throughout Auckland to help them promote reo Mäori.

The Awards feature entries from the following categories: print, radio, television, public libraries, schools, tertiary institutions, government, local community, and business. Three new awards were offered in 2006 to celebrate Mäori language promotion in sport and the arts. An inaugural award has also been introduced to highlight first-time entrants. Amongst the finalists, one entry will be judged as the overall supreme winner.

Successful recipients will be announced to a capacity crowd at the third annual Mäori Language Week Awards to be held 6.00pm, Thursday 14 September 2006 at the Westpac Stadium, Wellington.

A new feature of the Awards evening will be its total bilingual format with simultaneous Mäori and English translations occurring throughout the night.

The Awards are a signature event organised by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Mäori. Sponsors and supporters include Sport and Recreation New Zealand, Human Rights Commission, Ministry of Education, Child, Youth & Family; National Library, Toi Iho, Mäori Television; Cinco Cine Film Productions & Mai FM; JR Design & Lithographic Services; Reed Publishing; Te Puni Kökiri and Te Ohu Kaimoana.

ENDS

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