13 September 2021
Napier City Council staff are embracing Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) and in-house reo champions are encouraging others to make it part of their everyday lives, rather than just one week of the year.
Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori runs from today until Sunday 19 September. NCC is also supporting tomorrow’s Māori Language Moment, at 12 noon, which thousands throughout Aotearoa and globally are taking part in. NCC staff are also participating in the month long Mahuru Māori reo challenge, open to all, from beginners to experienced speakers.
The most visible sign of support by all Hawke’s Bay councils are the flags featuring kiwaha, or key Māori phrases such as me mahi tahi (work together) and kia kaha (be strong).
This year there are more than 80 in Napier alone, spread between Prebensen Drive, Marine Parade, Kennedy Road, Gloucester Street and the Pandora indusrial area.
The 2021 Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori project has been led by Te Waka Rangapū, NCC’s Māori Partnerships Directorate, and a project team including staff from across Council.
Internal NCC initiatives include: shared daily karakia in person or online at the start of the work day, an initiative which has been running since 1 July, short videos of our champions speaking in te reo Māori, quizzes and fun recordings of the A ha ka ma na Māori vowel song.
“I’ve been on a te reo Māori journey myself this year and have found it challenging but also extremely rewarding. I wholeheartedly support any efforts to inspire and encourage staff to embrace this beautiful language,” says Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise.
Economic Development Manager Bill Roberts began his reo learning journey at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa a few years after arriving from London, initially wanting to understand the meanings behind place names and know more about the land he had chosen for his home. “As I progressed I began to gain a real appreciation for how much more there was to learn. I really look forward to Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori as it really helps embed my learning – it’s a great opportunity to practice. Furthermore, it helps to normalise te reo so it is used increasingly throughout the whole year.”
Earlier this year the Hawke’s Bay councils’ Māori specialist teams also collaborated on another project,Te Kupenga app, to enable staff to have quick access to mihi, karakia and waiata. The app also holds a range of information including marae protocol, pronunciation guides, maps relevant to this rohe (area), and the Treaty of Waitangi.