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Ka pai to the "mainstream" New Zealanders

15 September 2005

Ka pai to the "mainstream" New Zealanders who are giving it a go

"Thirty-three years ago a Maori language petition (containing 30,000 signatures) was presented to Parliament. The request at the time was for Mâori language to be taught in schools. This day, 14 September 1972 was a significant event in the history of the Mâori language renaissance, said Mâori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia.

"Last night at the Mâori Language Week Awards I witnessed another "significant" event, I saw evidence of positive movement by non-Mâori New Zealanders towards respecting and pronouncing the language better.

"Many of the award winners last night were representative of "mainstream" New Zealand. I was inspired by the contributions the awards nominees have made to the status of 'to tâtou reo rangatira' in their workplaces and by their determination to celebrate the "other" official language of our country.

"Many of the award winners acknowledged that Mâori language week is not about having te reo Mâori prominent during the week only, but that it serves as a springboard to further raise the levels of support, motivation and encouragement to the growth of te reo Mâori over time.

"So, congratulations to the winners: Auckland City Council, Christchurch City Library, Christchurch Community House, Inland Revenue Department, NZQA, Waikato Institute of Technology, Albany Primary School, Diagnostic Medlab, Te Hiku Media, The Gisborne Herald and TV3.

"These winners have taken our te reo Mâori to forums, arenas and heights that only a few generations ago Mâori people only dreamed of. No reira kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui.

ENDS

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