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Activating Māori language through netball

Activating Māori language through netball.

Te Puni Kōkiri and Netball Waitakere have partnered to host their first ever Māori speaking language Netball tournament. This inaugural Māori language sports event will take place at Netball Waitakere Netball Centre, Te Pai Park on Friday the 4th of May, 2018 in Henderson. Over 550 pupils from 60 primary, intermediate and secondary schools throughout Auckland will participate in ‘Puni Reo Poitarawhiti’.

Puni Reo Poitarawhiti is a initiative that aims to socialise Māori language in the context of netball. At a critical time when statistics report that there is a decline in the number of Māori language speakers, ‘Puni Reo Poitarawhiti’ Māori language netball tournament will promote te reo in a fun and engaging way.

Puni Reo Poitarawhiti was conceptualised by Eruera Lee-Morgan, (Senior Advisor, Te Puni Kōkiri) as part of TPK Auckland Māori Language Plan, the development was initiated to increase the use of te reo Māori in everyday whānau activities. Eruera says “The tournament as well as a Māori language netball app is a deliberate strategy to activate and sustain te reo Māori in a safe, non threatening and fun way.”

As part of this kaupapa, TPK and MyReo Studios launched the first Māori language interactive sports app – Puni Reo Poitarawhiti, at Polyfest Festival in March of this year. The new netball app aims to enable the use of te reo Māori through technology by targeting sport with high whānau involvement. In addition to netball players themselves, the app is designed to support officials, umpires, coaches as well the whānau on the side lines. The app will be an important resource for all of those participating in the ‘Puni Reo Poitarawhiti’ netball tournament in May.

Regional Manager, Te Puni Kōkiri Tamaki Makaurau, Marty Rogers says, “Hearing our language in many places whilst doing ordinary things will go a long way to telling our tamariki me ngā mokopuna that being Māori in Aotearoa is a positive thing, hearing and speaking Te Reo Māori every day and everywhere is normal and this kaupapa goes some way to encouraging and supporting that sense of normality.”

General Manager Netball Waitakere, Karyne Ross says, “We are proud to partner with TPK on this inaugural tournament, a tournament we envisage becoming an annual event in our netball calendar. Our overarching mission is to positively impact our community through excellence and enjoyment of netball. This tournament provides a wonderful opportunity to embrace Te Reo as an everyday aspect of our lives, an education tool, and an enjoyable means to connect our community”.

The Puni Reo Poitarawhiti tournamet is being led by Te Puni Kōkiri, and supported by Netball Waitakere, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, He Oranga Poutama, ACC NetballSmart, HealthWEST.


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