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Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo.

This marks the fourth year Plunket, New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the well-being of children under five, has officially participated in Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

Sonya Rimene, Plunket’s Māori Health General Manager said participation was growing every year, and staff and volunteers were finding new ways of marking the week: “It’s exciting to hear how Plunket people around the country are celebrating and having fun with Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. Everyone is celebrating in their own way.”

She said that the week was part of a year-round effort to improve te reo: “We provide services to approximately 10,500 Māori pēpi in their kainga, and it’s important we connect with their whānau through speaking te reo. We can always learn more, and Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is an opportunity for all at Plunket to strengthen our skills.”

Events range from clinical leaders in Auckland texting the Kupu o te Wiki to nurses and health workers in their team, to the Bay of Plenty team hosting an event about Matariki, with guest speakers from the Māori Health Team at the Whakatane District Health Board, where staff learned their own pepeha and practiced these as a group.

Last year, Plunket was honoured as a nominee by Te Taurawhiri i te Reo for its innovation in building Plunket’s Te Reo Māori capability. “We were proud to receive the nomination, and this is the opportunity to do more!” said Ms Rimene.

She said the Plunket team in Waikato was one example of a team doing more – by celebrating activities throughout the month. The month of activities started with an exercise for staff to name 18 parts of the body in te reo, and equipping all Plunket Waikato cars with CDs produced by Plunket Waikato, Ririki and Radio Tainui for staff to learning te reo using waiata.

And while the adults in Plunket are increasing their knowledge of te reo, some tamariki are showing they are faster learners than the grown-ups. Michelle McConnell, Community Support Coordinator at Plunket in East Christchurch said her four year-old daughter Zoe picked up Te Reo “…insanely fast at Kohanga Reo, while I picked up little bits here and there at a snail's pace. One day she was helping me practice, and laughed at me when I said ‘he rakau ahau’ - that is a tree. I asked why, and she laughed again and said ‘Mummy – you said ‘I am a tree.’”

Find out more about Plunket’s celebration of Te Wiki o te Reo Maori at facebook.com/PlunketNZ

– ENDS –

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