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Playcentre making Te Reo Māori part of everyday life

Playcentre making Te Reo Māori part of everyday life

Playcentres across the Wellington region are challenging themselves to create an environment rich in the use of te reo Māori as part of everyday life. Whānau tupu ngātahi – families learning together – is the Playcentre kaupapa, and that means growing our reo together too.

“Whāngaihia te reo Māori ki ngā mātua is the theme for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori this year” says Whānau Māori team member Wai Miller, “by supporting our Playcentre parents to increase their confidence with te reo Māori we empower them to nurture the language in our children too.”

Basic te reo Māori is part of Playcentre’s free NZQA accredited adult education programme. A network of bicultural officers encourage the everyday use of te reo by sharing ideas and phrases to use on session and at home. Singing waiata together is a particularly popular activity.

“At Karori Playcentre we encourage the use of te reo Māori and its correct pronunciation on session and at home by learning new waiata and phrases together each term,” says Faith Woodcock (co-Bicultural Officer). “This might include ways to praise our children like ‘Tino pai!’ or simple instructions like ‘Pupuri ringa ringa (hold hands)’. Our tamariki love it and we have great fun learning along with them.”

Weekly bilingual sessions are offered at two centres which anyone within the association can attend. On these sessions everyone uses every bit of te reo they have, and challenges themselves to learn more. By having a supportive environment to practice in adults are becoming more confident in their use of te reo on normal sessions, at home and in the community. And the children themselves are becoming teachers, keen to share their reo with friends and family members.

Getting the pronunciation right can be hard at first but Playcentre’s Ako Books ‘Rhyme and Reo’ series is designed to help adults and children learn together. The first book covers vowel sounds with fun rhymes incorporating Māori and English. Pronunciation tips highlight the Māori vowel sounds using familiar English words. The book can be bought

Playcentres run as parent cooperatives with families working together to provide quality care and education. Playcentres offer part-day sessions which parents/caregivers attend with their child/children. Older children can attend some sessions independently. To find your local centre visit – visitors are always welcome.


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