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Māori Language Commission tribute to NZers embracing Te Reo

Māori Language Commissioner Rawinia Higgins says everyday New Zealanders are proving Māori language critics wrong by coming together and embracing our national, indigenous language.

“As of last Friday, more than 20,000 New Zealanders had registered to take part in Māori Language parades taking place across Aotearoa: doubling last year’s numbers.”

“It is a beautiful irony that a language some said would divide our country, is bringing so many of us together,” said Professor Higgins.

“Te reo Māori is being celebrated in our classrooms to our workplaces, on the trains we ride to work, and the computer games our children play, to the newspapers we read: what began as a protest movement is turning into a unique celebration of our national identity.”

“What our children see on their screens teaches them how their world works and what their place is in that world: initiatives like Minecraft’s new interactive ‘Ngā Motu’ Māori world that was launched today is a game-changer.”

The Māori Language Commission’s Maihi Karauna strategy aims to see 1 million New Zealanders speaking Māori by 2040, 85% valuing te reo as a key element of national identity and 150,000 Māori New Zealanders aged 15 and over speaking te reo as much as English.

“Our ancestors’ goals as they explored and settled the greatest ocean on earth were bold and audacious: and so are ours. We want to see te reo everywhere, every way, for everyone, every day: Kia māhorahora te reo.”

“From our people who protested so our reo was made an official language in its own country, to those who created Māori language learning environments when people told them it would never work: they proved everyone wrong.”

“We have gone from protest march to parade in a generation: and we can thank everyday people for making te reo something that more and more of us identify as part of our national heritage. Something for all New Zealanders to value.”

“New Zealand is the turangawaewae of te reo Māori. This is its only home and we are the only people on earth who will treasure, celebrate and keep it alive.”

“Mā tātou katoa te reo Māori e whakarauora: Everyone can contribute to te reo Māori revitalisation.”

2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

For more information please go to: Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori Website


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