Wellington is ready to use te reo Māori every week says Mayor Justin Lester as the city embraces Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.
“Language is the pathway to culture,” said Mayor Justin Lester yesterday.
“Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is our opportunity to learn new kupu, new tikanga, to challenge each other and find ways to use more te reo Māori in our day.”
The theme of Māori Language Week in 2018 is making the Māori language strong: Kia Kaha te Reo Māori.
In July, the Wellington City Council adopted its te reo Māori policy, Te Tauihu, with the aim of making Wellington a te reo Māori city by 2040. This means helping te reo Māori sit alongside English as a core part of the cultural fabric and identity of the city.
“We announced our intention to do this during last year’s Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, and have made great progress,” said Lester.
“The message we received from Wellingtonians was that they supported the vision and wanted us to dream big. I am excited to see what is put into place over the next two decades.”
Colourful floats and parade walkers were welcomed to Te Ngākau Civic Square yesterday by the Mayor, Deputy Mayor Jill Day, Te Taura Whiri and mana whenua.
“The parade is a visually striking way for us to celebrate te reo Māori in the heart of the city,” says Day, who leads the Māori Partnerships portfolio.
“Wellingtonians have embraced our dream to lift the status of te reo Māori and this week is our time to celebrate the way language connects us to each other.”
Progress towards a bilingual te reo Māori and te reo Pākehā city:
New names: Ara Moana for the waterfront walkway; Te Ngākau for Civic Square; Pukehīnau for Lambton ward; Motukairangi for Eastern ward; Paekawakawa for Southern ward; Wharangi for Onslow-Western ward; Takapū for Northern ward. (Gifted by mana whenua iwi Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika.)
Highlighted te reo Māori names already around the city, including a family activity based at Whairepo Lagoon.
Te reo Māori artwork, Ngā Kākano by Johnson Witehira, installed on the hoardings around the Civic Administration Building.
Māori kupu and translations installed on the Central Library windows overlooking Te Ngākau Civic Square.
First Matariki ki Pōneke festival including: ReCut performing arts show; the first Ahi Kā event with fire, kai and whānau; and the first winter Sky Show.
Supporting trial te reo Māori pre-school and after school programmes in community centres.