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Tokoroa turns Kaka Street into Käka Street

Tokoroa turns Kaka Street into Käka Street and Makes History

E koekoe te tui, e ketekete te Käka, e kuku te kereru The tui sings, the käka chatters, the pigeon coos.

Tuesday 15 August 2006; Tariana Turia

"Ngati Raukawa have made history today" exclaimed Member of Parliament for Te Tai Hauauru, Tariana Turia.

"I am so proud of the stand that the Raukawa Trust Board has taken in partnership with the South Waikato District Council, to demonstrate Tokoroa is a town which values te reo Maori".

Tariana Turia was commending the joint initiative of the local council and Raukawa iwi in demonstrating their respect for te reo rangatira, through the macronisation of all street signs in Tokoroa. The first street sign to be changed now proudly reads, 'Käka Street" (as in the NZ parrot).

The placement of macrons indicating a longer vowel sound has been introduced as part of the Raukawa Reo Strategy: Whakareia te kakara o te hinu raukawa.

"The Raukawa Reo Strategy in Tokoroa has just been launched (28 July)" said Mrs Turia. "I was really inspired by the passion and commitment of the Raukawa Trust Board, in putting in place a strategy to achieve the vision established by their kaumatua in 1987".

"The people of Raukawa have given priority towards strengthening the use of te reo, as a key component of their development" said Mrs Turia.

"They have set a medium term goal that by 2030 te reo will be in common use by the multitudes; and the longer term vision that by 2170, te reo Maori will be the first language. Now that's what I call long term planning!" said Mrs Turia.

"They have launched a strategy which is about their survival, their revival, their future - a future grounded in Raukawatanga".

"And it's fantastic to see the local district council, coming on board, committed to forming a strategic alliance with their mana whenua- as well as providing a model for other district Councils to follow".

"I was a bit sad to think about our own Whanganui District Council, who earlier this year failed to understand the significance - and indeed the fundamental right - of tangata whenua to preserve and protect the integrity of the Maori Language".

Whanganui District Council changed the name Whanganui, which was the tupuna name of the iwi, the river, the people, the district - to a new word, Wanganui.

"The subtledly of the pronunciation (in not pronouncing the wh) was lost to the members of the Council, who in doing so, also lost an excellent opportunity to work together with tangata whenua in Whanganui" ended Mrs Turia.


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