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Te wiki o te reo Mäori 2002

23 July 2002 Media Statement

Te wiki o te reo Mäori 2002

Mäori Language Week is upon us and provides all in New Zealand with the opportunity to celebrate te reo Mäori.

"It is just fantastic to see the range of activities happening this week throughout the country. It is also pleasing that they are accessible to all the whänau and that there are events that our communities can attend or participate in, such as Kapa Haka, Wharewhare (housie in Mäori), as well as 'Haka-cise' and public debates - for exercising the body and the mind.

"It is also an opportunity to promote the wide range of Mäori language resources that exist today and are assisting in the promotion and revitalisation of the language which is also happening around the country.

"Te reo Mäori is the vehicle by which our unique indigenous culture, identity and belief systems have always been expressed, developed and transmitted through the generations.

"When I travel around the country I can hear the different dialects and concepts being discussed and being taught to those of all ages, who are learning the language. What is very clear is that it is very much a living language.

"Mäori Language Week was established following the Mäori Language petition presented to Parliament on 14 September 1972. It petitioned the government of the day, 'praying that courses in Mäori language and aspects of Mäori culture be offered in the schools'.

"Work is continuing on the development of a Mäori Language Strategy for New Zealand. This strategy will encompass work within government sector, other organisations and within communities to ensure a better co-ordinated approach to revitalising the language. This will also assist schools and other educational instititutions.

"There is funding available from Te Taurawhiri I te reo Mäori, for initiatives to increase the number of Mäori speakers, to improve proficiency and increase the opportunities to use te reo Mäori.

"Many people are working to revitalise te reo Mäori in whänau, hapü, iwi and other communities throughout the country. Every contribution is important as we continue to pass this taonga on to future generations. Everybody has a role.

"As the dawn beckons the singing of the birds in the forest of Tane Mahuta, so too should te reo Mäori be heard in every household. Körerohia te reo," said Parekura Horomia.

NOTE: For whanau, hapu, iwi and Mäori communities wanting more information on Ma Te Reo Funding please contact Te Taurawhiri I te Reo Mäori on (04) 417 0244 – visit their website at http://www.tetaurawhiri.govt.nz/, click on the following link http://www.ma-tereo.co.nz/, or email them on tereo@tetaurawhiri.govt.nz.


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