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New Zealand’s Battle for te reo Māori: Call for Stories

News: 6 February 2022

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori media release.

The Māori Language Commission is calling for help collecting stories, images and memories that trace the ongoing battle to save the Māori language.  

“The battle for the survival of te reo Māori has been fought by generations of people, in our smallest towns to our biggest cities. On our televisions, in our schools, at our workplaces: and importantly in our own homes. Those stories need to be told and saved,” said Māori Language Commissioner, Professor Rawinia Higgins.

“We are keen for young New Zealanders to interview their parents and elders: What was it like in Aotearoa when they were growing up? Where did they see or hear te reo?”

“This year marks some significant milestones so we are encouraging individuals, families and communities to share a story, memory or memento that help tell the stories of the battle for our country’s first language.”

2022 Māori language milestones:

·       50 years since the Māori language petition was presented;

·       35 years since te reo became an official language; and

·       35 years since the Māori Language Commission opened our doors. 

Other significant anniversaries include:

·       50 years since Matatini began (under another name);

·       40 years since the first kōhanga reo; and

·       several iwi radio stations will also celebrate individual anniversaries.

2022 will also see the first Matariki public holiday, something the commission began lobbying for more than 20-years-ago.

“The one thing that hasn’t changed over all these years is that te reo still needs the support of New Zealanders if it is to survive and thrive. We know it takes one generation to lose a language and three to get it back: The countdown is on.”

The commission also released the findings of four years of Colmar/Kantar public opinion polling.

“More New Zealanders than ever before see te reo as part of their identity as a New Zealander and that speaking te reo is something to be proud of. 35-years ago when te reo became an official language of New Zealand, many feared that te reo would divide us. But in 2022 te reo brings us together. It is the language of Aotearoa and everyone who calls Aotearoa home.”

“From the days when it was banned, to protest marches and petitions, Treaty of Waitangi claims, counter claims and cases taken to the Privy Council and back: the battle for te reo was waged everywhere from our dinner tables to the highest courts on earth. It is a taonga for all New Zealanders to cherish, now and into the future.”

The commission will launch its 2022 digital platform next month.

Te pakanga a Aotearoa mō te reo Māori: E pōhiritia ana ngā kōrero

E pōhiri ana a Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori kia āwhinatia tā rātou whakaemi i ngā kōrero, i ngā whakaahua me ngā mahara e whakapapatia ai te pakanga kia whakamāuitia te reo Māori.

“Kua hia nei ngā whakareanga e pakanga ana kia ora ai te reo Māori i ngā tāone iti iho, tae noa ki ngā tāone nui katoa. I ā tātou pouaka whakaata, i ō tātou kura, i ō tātou wāhi mahi, ā, mātua rā i ō tātou kāinga. Me kōrero, me pupuri ēnei kōrero,” tā te Toihau o Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, tā Ahorangi Rawinia Higgins.

“E hiahia ana mātou kia uiuitia e ngā rangatahi o Aotearoa ō rātou mātua, ō rātou pākeke: “I pēhea a Aotearoa nō rātou e pakeke ake ana? He aha ngā wāhi i kitea, i rangona rānei te reo?”

“He nui ngā whakanuinga hira i tēnei tau, me te aha, e āki ana mātou i te takitahi, i te whānau me te hapori kia tukuna mai tētahi kōrero, tētahi maharatanga, tētahi manatunga rānei e āwhinatia ai te kōrerotia o ngā pakanga mō te reo taketake o Aotearoa.”

Ko ngā whakanuinga hira i te tau 2022 mō te reo Māori:

·       Kua 50 tau i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana o te reo Māori;

·       Kua 35 tau i te whakamana o te reo Māori hei reo ā-ture; ā,

·       Kua 35 tau i te whakatuwheratanga o Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.  

Ko ētahi atu whakanuinga i tēnei tau:

·       Kua 50 tau i te tīmatatanga o Te Matatini (he ingoa anō tōna i taua wā);

·       Kua 40 tau i te kōhanga reo tuatahi;  hei āpititanga atu,

·       Ka whakanuia e ētahi o ngā reo irirangi ā-iwi ā rātou ake whakanuinga ā-tau.

Hei tēnei tau, hei te tau 2022, ka kitea tuatahitia te rā whakatā ā-ture o Matariki, he kaupapa kua neke atu i te 20 tau a Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori e kōkirikiri ana.

“Kāore i rerekē i ngā tau maha nei te whakataunga me tautoko tonu e Aotearoa whānui te reo e ora ai, e puāwai ai. E mōhio ana mātou ka ngaro te reo i te whakareanga kotahi, ā, e toru ngā whakareanga e ora ai anō ia: E haere ana te wā.

Kua tukuna hoki e Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori ngā putanga o ngā whakaaro i te uiuinga tūmatanui a Colmar/Kantar.

“Kua nui atu te hunga e whakapono ana he wāhi nui tō te reo Māori ki tō rātou tuakiritanga i Aotearoa nei, ā, me whakahīhī tātou ki te kōrero Māori. I ngā tau e 35 ki muri, i nui te hunga i wehi i te whakamanatanga ā-ture o te reo Māori i Aotearoa, kei noho wehewehe tātou. Engari i te tau 2022, ko tā te reo he whakakotahi. Koia tonu te reo o Aotearoa me te hunga e whakapae ana ko Aotearoa tō rātou kāinga.”

“Mai i te wā i rāhuitia te reo, ki ngā porotēhi me ngā petihana, ki ngā kerēme o Te Tiriti o Waitangi, ki ngā kerēme tauutuutu i kawea ki te Rūnanga Ruānuku o te Kuīni: i pakangatia te pakanga o te reo Māori puta noa i ngā tēpu kai i ngā kāinga, tae noa atu ki ngā kōti matua rawa o te ao. He taonga te reo hei poipoi mā Aotearoa, haere ake nei.”

Ka whakarewatia e Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori tana pūnaha matihiko mō te tau 2022 ā tērā marama.


Updated on 30th March 2022