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Maori Language Week 2004 Dates Announced

Media Release
28 November 2003

Maori Language Week 2004 dates announced: 26 July - 1 August
Week aims to build on anthem success

The All Blacks may not have brought home the Rugby World Cup but it's likely they heard an improved rendition of the national anthem before their matches.

The conclusion follows the success of Maori Language Week 2003 and in particular the strong support that was generated for ensuring the Maori language version of the anthem was belted out with the same enthusiasm as its English counterpart.

Maori Language Commission CEO Haami Piripi says the recognition that half the national anthem was often a virtual solo effort from the singer at the microphone became an issue of national pride. "Something had to be done to ensure we competed with Waltzing Matilda and Sweet Chariot," Mr Piripi says.

Mr Piripi today announced that Maori Language Week 2004 will run from 26 July to 1 August.

The aim of Maori Language Week 2003 was to encourage a broad range of New Zealanders to have a greater sense of pride in the Maori language and its contribution to New Zealand's unique identity. This will continue in 2004.

The NZ Pride, NZ Reo theme was developed to help achieve this aim through the use of its distinctive logo on items ranging from bumper stickers to anthem cards. The anthem cards were also given to rugby fans who travelled to Sydney to see the All Blacks play the Wallabies in the Bledisloe Cup match in July, which we won.

"Like the Haka and other traditional Kiwi icons the Maori language is part of New Zealand's point of difference," Mr Piripi says.

"The language is becoming more a part and parcel of our everyday lives. This is evidenced by the high level of support for the activities that took place during Maori Language Week 2003. These activities included concerts, road shows, art exhibitions, open days, radio shows, film screenings and a CD launch."

A total of 331 organisations, from the private and public sectors, participated in some way during Maori Language Week 2003. "We expect even stronger involvement and support in 2004," Mr Piripi says.

Maori Language Week began in 1975 and in 2003 was coordinated by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori/the Maori Language Commission; Te Puni Kokiri/Ministry of Maori Development and Te Kahui Tika Tangata/the Human Rights Commission.

For more information on Maori Language Week and the NZ Reo, NZ Pride theme visit the web site: www.nzreo.org.nz. Maori Language Week 2003 ran from 28 July - 3 August.


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