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QLDC celebrates Māori Language Week

Since 1975, Māori Language Week has celebrated and encouraged the use of Aotearoa New Zealand’s indigenous language. To promote and support revitalisation of te reo Māori, Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) is marking the occasion by holding a range of activities across the organisation.

Starting 9 September, te reo tips of the day have been circulated to all staff with handy suggestions for the day ahead. Why not drop te reo into conversations? What about ordering coffee in te reo? And how about pronunciation – what’s the difference between, say, a keke (cake) and a kēkē (armpit)?

Staff have been offered six-week te reo Māori courses, one for beginners and one for people with a basic grounding in the language. Participation in a Treaty of Waitangi workshop, detailing the history of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its impact on the role of local government, has been encouraged and will soon become a standard part of the induction for all new QLDC staff.

QLDC CEO Mike Theelen said it was important Council supported the use of te reo, both during Māori Language Week and beyond.

“Te reo Māori is a unique and vital part of our culture,” Mr Theelen said.

“We’ve designed a range of activities to involve staff every day of the week. However, it’s important to remember that using te reo isn’t something that should be limited to just one week, or month, of the year. The things people learn during this time can be used well into the future.”

“We encourage other businesses around the district to become involved as well.”

Along with the various programmes on offer, Council has also created a video explaining what QLDC does to celebrate and challenging other businesses to get involved. A link to QLDC’s video celebrating Māori Language Week can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=416609835644431

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